Blizzards, Broke Vehicles, and Big Birds. Oh My!

Flying vehicle parts, blizzards, and giant black birds that won’t move from their meal in the middle of the interstate. Such are the hazards of road trips. Still, we are having a good time.

Dust haze, northern NMWith a serious storm heading into the northern mountains of Colorado hubby thought that we’d avoid any adverse weather because we were swinging far south, heading over Raton Pass, through New Mexico, and into Arizona. Weather reports were predicting the storm would be well north of us. Nope. We ran into severe, high winds in southern Colorado and New Mexico. We had a headwind of 40mph, which was seriously screwing with our gas mileage, but it was about to get worse. Somewhere in the middle of the New Mexico desert we lost the plastic cover of one running board. It blew clean off the truck, but not before clipping the back end and scraping up the side of my pretty, red Trailblazer. We’re hoping it will buff out. As for the running board, it became a highway casualty (memorial service time and date to be determined).

Blizzard Central NMWe came to accept that the high winds were going to be with us for the day and cautiously passed semi after semi (the double-trailer FEDEX trucks were especially scary) as we continued from Las Vegas, NM and on to Santa Fe where we stopped for lunch. We walked around the downtown shops, my son and I snapping pictures of anything that caught our fancy. We asked one of the local shop owners for a suggestion for lunch. She suggested a Mexican restaurant a little off the beaten path that was about a block away. The air was a chilly 50-something degrees so we were kind of thankful to get inside. We were not disappointed La Cocina De Doña Clara was clean, the service was good and the food was wonderful. Great chile rellenos! Thank you!

La Cocina De Dona Clara

Back on the road outside of Santa Fe, my son now driving, we ran into more bad weather. We soon found ourselves in the middle of a blizzard that wasn’t supposed to be happening. Visibility had been bad with all the dust kicked up in the wind between Colorado and Santa Fe, but now we were driving in near white out conditions for nearly four hours. My son was ever the trooper and handled the adverse driving conditions like a pro (so proud!). The storm finally let up somewhere near Gallup, NM.

With hubby behind the wheel once again, we headed for the Arizona border. He thanked our son for driving through all the crappy weather for him. Ha! We ran into intermittent brief snow showers but the drive to the border remained mostly uneventful. Of course that changed once we crossed into Arizona.

About thirty minutes into Arizona we ran across some birds feasting on some road kill that happened to be just left of center on the two-lane road. As we sped closer and closer to the group they refused to budge. We were now playing chicken with…well…anyway the birds scattered at the last possible second. I was sure I was going to have another bird versus vehicle trauma only with a lot more, larger birds. The first episode being a small bird that was split in two right before my eyes on the antenna on the front of our vehicle as we traveled down a Kansas highway. Yuck. These huge black birds (I’m guessing crows or ravens) were apparently both much larger and smarter and managed to get the heck out of our way. Whew!

We were now in the final stretch of our trip with only about 3 hours to go until we got to our destination for the night in Winslow, Arizona. All along there have been Indian shops, billboards for local attractions like ice caves in volcanoes, petrified forests, and fossils. We have so far managed to avoid these tourist traps. I figure since our ultimate destination is arguably the largest tourist trap in the country, we probably don’t need to stop at every roadside shop.

Eagles fans! Look who's standing on a corner in Winslow AZ!Finally safely ensconced in our hotel room in Winslow after dinner at the El Falcon restaurant we all went to our respective laptops. I don’t know what the other two were doing, but I put the finishing touches on this, the beginning of a great road trip story. Can’t wait until tomorrow!

Tune in tomorrow for news and stories from the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, NV! Have you taken any road trips? What was your favorite stop? Why?


3 thoughts on “Blizzards, Broke Vehicles, and Big Birds. Oh My!

  1. This was awesome to read, although I am insanely jealous, but happy you guys are having a good time 😀 and that’s really gross about the birds. and the restaurant looks really colorful. I’m glad you guys made it safe! and I can’t wait to read more(p.s. I thought you were supposed to be taking a break from your blog hmm hmm.)

    1. We did stop by the crater and it was cool. As I metion in my next entry, it plays a crucial role in my next book so having the opportunity to research it in person was totally awsome! thanks for the like and the link to your blog, I’m looking forward to reading about your visit to the crater. 🙂

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