Monday, December 01, 2008

they grow 'em BIG in New Mexico

New Mexico State University is the home of the Road Runners. Nothing would do but they put up this HUGE statue of one of these little fellows. As you're tooling down the freeway it makes for an arresting sight. Likewise, this announcement in the same Rest Stop. Consider yourself as having been warned.

We left San Diego yesterday morning at 6 AM and arrived in Tucson at 1:30. Of course our room wasn't ready so we sat in the car, listened to music, read and dozed. Finally we could get in, unpacked, then went out for some last minute shopping. A couple of years ago we found a Trader Joe's just up the street from the hotel; a good place to know about as you stock up on travel nibbles. Had dinner ~ our room has a kitchen ~ and went to bed early. At 12:45 AM the fire alarm went off in the hotel. Sleepy, groggy guests poured out into the cold night. Nobody saw or smelled any smoke, but the alarms were screaming and lights were flashing into the dark. After 15 minutes a big fire truck showed up, checked the place out, turned off the alarms and we all filed back into our rooms. About 5 minutes later the alarms went off again, but this time for only 2 or 3 seconds. So back to bed, back to sleep. At 3:30 AM it started all over again. Alarms blaring, lights flashing. However, it was all over very quickly this time, in perhaps 30 seconds. I didn't even have time to get my shoes on. All quiet the rest of the night.

We were on the road to El Paso by 7 AM. This is a hard drive because the road is straight, the landscape barren, and there is very little traffic until just on the outskirts of the city. It's easy to doze off. But the mountains are spectacular and the sky was a bright, cloudless blue. Again we arrived at the hotel early and had to kill 1 1/2 hours. We were on a great crossword/Sudoku paperback hunt for Jack and, on the third try (CostCo and Walgreens came up empty) we found some at Target. These will keep him happy for a few weeks.

I am about to prop myself up on the bed, read today's NY Times and do the puzzle. It is probably the last one I'll get for 5 months unless we can find a Starbucks on the way to the border tomorrow morning. We'll finish off the good turkey soup for dinner, watch the news ~ esp. the president-elect's morning news conference which we could not get on radio as we were in some sort of Arizona-New Mexico radio frequency dead zone at the time. Then it will lights out early. We'll be on the road by 6:30, across the border by 7:00, down to the 30-mile immigration check by 8 AM and, if the gods are with us, on the road to Chihuahua by 9. We are currently on Mountain Time; change to Central Time comes in Cuidad Jiminez. We think it's 2:30 when we get there; it's acually 3:30 and time for the first Mexican beer of the season. I doubt there will be any more internet until Cuyutlán, unless by some miracle the hotel in Zacatecas has fixed it's dark internet cubby and something actually works this time. You never know.

49 days until 1/20/2009: End of an Error


At 3:25 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Great report, thanks! I hate those damn false hotel fire alarms too...


Post a Comment

<< Home