Day 2: Arizona to Santa Fe, NM

I woke up early.

Said goodbye to my hosts for the evening (my mother’s boyfriend’s brother and his girlfriend) and thanked them for their hospitality.

Arizona is very calm and pretty in the early morning.

I sought out a Starbucks in order to sit and check my email for a little bit before hitting the road.  I couldn’t find one so I sat in a McDonalds for 2 hours (longer than I intended) and sipped a large orange juice and wrote a blog post about what I had just gotten myself into. 😉

Finally I got back on the freeway.  At this time it was about 9am and I was right in the middle of bumper to bumper rush hour.  Though normally this would frustrate me to no end, I found it oddly comforting.  A reminder of home.

Since I didn’t know any of the radio stations in the area, I settled on one that seemed to play exclusively early 90’s hip hop and rap.  I immediately thought of Haley, and no sooner had I done that, then “I Gotta Man” came on (one of Haley’s favorites).  It was fun rapping along to ridiculous campy rap for a couple hours while driving in the morning sun.

I did make a couple stops along the way.

I pulled over at (yet another) McDonalds to brush my teeth,only to find out that their bathroom was out of service completely.

So I took my toothbrush/toothpaste and a bottle of water and brushed my teeth in the desert.

Because I’m classy.

Then I realized that I didnt really have any pictures of me WITH anything (one of the negatives of traveling alone).  But I had a car hood, some mountains, and a camera with a self timer.

After that it was mostly driving.

Just passed “Horse Thief Basin” and “Bloody Basin”. Ya think Arizona is trying to tell us something?

11:22 AM Sep 1st via TweetCaster

I remember every 10 minutes or so I would drive past another sign that said that I was at 100 miles higher elevation than I had been prior.  I think I got as high as 800 miles above sea level.

A couple hours after that i drove through Flagstaff, which was easily one of the most beautiful parts of Arizona.

I was on the phone with my mom while driving through and going “I’m driving through FOREST!”.  I couldn’t get over how gorgeous it all was.  And how different it was from what I called home.  Driving through beautiful red rocks and tall green trees (in some of the best weather I’d seen in awhile).   I’m sure I sounded like a colossal dork on the phone.

While driving through Flagstaff I saw a sign that made me literally guffaw with laughter.  And so I called Billy because he understands how deep my love for animal puns is:

Allison: Hey baby sorry to bother you, I know you are out with your mom right now.

Billy:  It’s ok I can talk for a tiny bit.  What’s up sweetie?  Where are you?

Allison: I’m in Flagstaff, AZ, and I saw this sign advertising a drive through wildlife park…and it’s name….was BEAR-IZONA. And I just HAD to share that with you immediately.

Billy:  No, absolutely, that’s fantastic!

We then got off the phone, but about 5 minutes later I got a text message from him that said: “….Bearizona.  Lol.  I love you”

I’m a lucky gal 😉


My buddy Pascual suggested that I might want to check out the “Meteor Crater”

This is not me.

But once I got there I saw that they wanted $15 just to LOOK at it.

wait, they want $15 to view a (albeit impressive) hole in the ground. A hole that is nicely shown in this colorful brochure. I think im good

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:43:25 PM via Twitter

So I was a little frustrated to have wasted time on a detour that didn’t really lead to anything.  However I did take the opportunity to stop at a grocery/gas station nearby (called the “Hole Enchilada”, hee hee) and clean out my car, reorganize my bags and slice up some fruits and veggies, in addition to making some more sandwiches.  While I know the whole thing added at least another couple hours to my drive, I was happy to get re-situated.s

At about 4:30 pm I passed the border to New Mexico “The Land of Enchantment” (yet another state sign I didn’t get a picture of).  But New Mexico is beautiful.  I had already been astounded by the quiet but awe-inspiring beauty of the Arizona landscape…and New Mexico quite frankly blew THAT out of the water:

and while I was stunned at the beauty of the sunset I saw while driving through Arizona, the one I saw in New Mexico truly left me speechless.  So much so that I pulled over to the side of the road to take some proper pictures of it.  Though they don’t capture the immense beauty of it, of being able to see it enveloping you from all sides.  My dad called me at around that time and i told him that it looked like a completely encircled rainbow.

At this point, I switch from “FUCK I just want to get where I’m going” to “wow I just love driving and taking it all in” about every 5 min. Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:03:59 PM via TweetCaster

Finally at about 10 pm or so (ridiculous) I made it to Santa Fe and met up with my friend Olivia from Los Angeles, who happens to be from Santa Fe and was already in town for a visit with her folks.  Lucky me!!  She took me to a place called Cowgirls in the Downtown area

(as you can see, I often refer to Olivia as the “hotter version of me.  Because it’s true)

My plan during my trip was to eat out as little as possible to try and keep costs down, but that I would try to make one or two exceptions when it involved enjoying local cuisine of wherever I was at.  This was a great place to go, as I  proceeded to down one of the most delicious margaritas I’ve ever had (oh man just thinking about that margarita is making me drool),  along with a cheese-less Chile Relleno (topped with some of the famous green chiles I’d been hearing about for years )

I definitely fell in love with green chiles upon eating this (and made sure to ingest a fair amount more after this…but more on that later.)

Then Olivia showed me around the downtown area a little bit at night (though I was tired and a teeny bit drunk and everything was mostly closed).

Then I followed her back to her parent’s gorgeous home, took a shower, and promptly passed out, with plans to explore more the following day…

~ by Alli on Friday, September 24, 2010.

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