Day 3 9 AM mountain time 1631 miles driven

I am on the road again from Ute Lake State Park. Last night I got here really late, and everything was dark. I couldn’t see and I had a very hard time getting into the park. I literally drive around that place for half hour before I found a place to park (thanks Maps). I did end up parking right next to the bathhouses sleeping there. Once I got settled in I had a fight with mosquito who had found his way into my car. Another night slept with my car windows up. Fine with me though because man I was tired. I pushed myself a little too hard yesterday. However I only have 5 1/2 hours to Chaco Canyon and I am very excited about that. Once I get there I’m going to do a big long hike.
9:17 AM mountain time, I just bought a corndog for breakfast and already ate a banana, but the prospect of corn dogs and coffee together seems extremely favorable.
9:48 AM Kix on Route 66 diner. All of the waitresses look like rockabilly queens. Food looks so good and I am parked next to 1950s old truck that was rusted but awesome. I’m about to have my third breakfast.
11:40 AM mountain time – I am officially out here in the desert. The landscape’s definitely changed. I see buttes and mesas and pinion pine. There was a man selling cowboy hats and boiled Pinion back in Logan where I stayed the night last night. Last night I had a fight with mosquito. I won of course, but it did take a little while, she bit me about four times before I could get her. I slept in my car again, not uncomfortable, I would’ve liked to of left the windows down there. The more rural you get out here, the more notices you see about how whiskey is the devil and rehabilitation advertisements. There was also a huge home a billboard that said Mexicans against nuclear waste. That was really something. Supposedly they’re going to drill some sort of sinkhole where they’re going to drop off nuclear waste out here. Deplorable for sure. All I can think of is Jack Abramoff  and the dirty deals on the Native American reservations that basically exemplified corruption and the problem of money in politics, and also the stark and horrible Legacy of how Native Americans have been treated in our history. This country was founded on genocide and slavery. If anybody lives their life without thinking about that, they’re missing something of their own heritage.
More cramps today, just had my third breakfast. A plate full of potatoes onions mushrooms and eggs. Absolutely delicious. Also had my 2nd cup of coffee. It was not a damn fine cuppa coffee, but it was pretty good.
I’m about five hours from Chaco Canyon, I plan to set up camp go for a nighttime walk, and eat a tomato sandwich finally. And then I plan on looking at the stars until I fall asleep. This experience in particular is something I’ve been looking forward to since I left. I wish all my girlfriends could be here with me, we had all talked about doing this together but wrangling 4-5 ladies… Well you know it. Life goes on. And I’m about to sleep at Chaco Canyon for the third time. It definitely brings tears to my eyes.
I think the New Mexico license plate is my favorite. I like Oregon too, but the New Mexico one is so pretty and beautiful and yellow, some are turquoise.
11:50 AM mountain time I just remembered this and you’ll never believe it, but I just used the bathroom in that last diner I was in, and the lady that I was washing my hands next to asked me where I was from in North Carolina. She said “oh yeah I used to live in Burlington back in 1986.” I just shook my head and said “are you serious? I was born and raised in Burlington North Carolina.” What a Quinkidink!??
Also, there was a rockabilly festival happening in Tucumcari, so they were tons of old cars everywhere, and beautiful rockabilly queens and kings are walking around with their greasy hair and white T-shirts and tattoos and polkadots and red lipstick and hairspray. Kick. Ass.
12:27 PM MST I can’t decide if my stomach hurts because of that corndog or if I have Moon cramps.
12:45 PM MST Ontario plates! I’m going 80 and the speed limit is 75. People are passing me and making me look like I’m going slow. I don’t feel in anyway pressured, just concerned for all these motorcyclists out here.

1 o’clock Mountain time

Moon confirmed. And here comes my monthly dose of Advil.
I just saw lightning during the day, it’s way off into the distance up north of me (Palmas).

1:38 PM MST I think I just saw a crazy tornado in this huge cloud with didn’t look quite like the final it just look like a anomaly in the sky over there. I saw that right after I had a good long cry. Paul Simon song “hearts and bones” came on. It’s all reminds me of me and Peter. Then the next song was “cactus tree” by Joni Mitchell and that one didn’t do me any good either. I guess I’m still working through some hard emotions. But thanks to some very good friends and understanding on both of our parts, I have positive hopes that we will forever remain friends. Kind of funny grieving a relationship, it becomes this thing after you get together with somebody, it grows it to own life, and people fall in love with that. That’s one of the most heart wrenching things about breaking up is that people love you and they love the other person but they love the idea of both of you being together too. Sometimes that’s hard to walk away from…. i’m 36 miles from Albuquerque where I will stop for lunch. Finally going to have that tomato sandwich.

2 PM MST I have made it to the glorious yet understated Sandias mountains.

2:06 PM Albuquerque New Mexico. Funny I remembered that I was getting on another exit going north soon about three exits before I needed to do so. That’s pretty cool. This is also the first time I have not been on interstate 40. I am on North 25.

Leaving Sandia reservation 2:25 PM MST

2:37 PM just passed my first alien naval base. Oh my god there’s another thunderstorm!
Entering the Zia reservation, the Zia sun symbol it’s on the New Mexico flag.

2:56 PM I’m getting really hungry and want to make a sandwich. But there’s not a really good place to pull off. Wait till I get to Cuba shake spot and make my sandwich.

3:06 PM I can’t believe I’m this far across the country. I am literally miles from cities, gas stations and I mean a lot of miles not just some. The cliffs in the hills and mesas around here so enormous it would probably kill me to walk up really small One.
3:11 PM North Highway 550 entering Jemez reservation

3:25 PM elevation 6700

3:50 PM stop for lunch! That sandwich was kick ass. Elevation 7000 feet, back on the road from Cuba to Chaco! Met a really nice biker lady, she was driving a Harley. She asked me to look at her bike while she went inside and I did. She brought me out of giant super extra big gulp cup full of ice.
I have turned on the road to Chaco Canyon. 14 miles of paved and another 8 miles of unpaved and it’s true that when it rains is sometimes impassable. I hope that I can get a campsite. I think that the office closes at five and it’s 5 o’clock now.

Craziest road, ever.  Washboard city.
Does Siri work when I don’t have any service? Look at it she sure does. That hard-working girl. So I just set up camp at Chaco Canyon it is 6:40 PM. I just sat down for some dinner. I know I just had a tomato sandwich like two hours ago but that’s OK because this is my supper, banana and peanut butter sandwich with a pickle dessert. I was thinking about taking a nap before the sun goes down but the campsite is out in the sun. So instead I’m going to do a walkabout, get really sweaty and come back take a shower and do some stargazing. The moon is just over half full. I can’t wait for tonight, stars out here are tremendous.
Does Siri still work with airplane mode? Why yes! She does.

Walked up to the Canyon overlook trail to watch the sunset on Fajada Butte.  The moon was up and the Golden Hour has never been so magical.

9:00pm Can’t believe that I am at Canyon right now sitting in a lawnchair watching the Moon listening to the silence. People are getting ready for nighttime, they all have the fires going. I’m not going to talk anymore into this thing tonight, I’m just going to go to bed after I watch the stars come out. I will wake up with the sun.

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