From New Mexico I headed north to Colorado! On the way I saw so much wildlife! Everything from gazelles to caribou! In northern New Mexico it looks just like the scene I painted on the shed at home!
green rolling hills, bright blue skies, lonely barns with cows dotting the land, as well as WILD SUNFLOWERS EVERYWHERE!!! Absolutely beautiful!!!
Up in Colorado I saw a bit of the Rocky Mountains, they are truly majestic there really is no way to describe their beauty!!!
After driving into CO, plans changed and I needed to find another place to stay, so I headed back south toward the Grand Canyon where there was a possibility of finding a job.
After driving through mountains and desert through blazing sun and pouring rain I decided I needed to stop and sleep, so I find a place in Las Vegas, NM between two hotels under a tree and get situated for my first night Boondocking! All went well in the manner no one messed with me or my truck and I didn't get ticketed or towed! But I had crazy dreams all night about 'docking. I set my alarm for 5am so I could head out before anyone could see me getting out of the back of my truck. Which was also just in time to see the amazing desert sunrise!
Finally I made it to Flagstaff, AZ where last min I decided to go visit with friends Mark and Diana and they were so wonderful as to welcome me into their home at such short notice! I had such a great time with them, on the first day there we went to the Montezuma Well
"Montezuma's Well is a sinkhole, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water. More than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland." There were remnants from cliff dwellers who had lived there thousands of years ago.
as well as the channels for irrigation they created
There were also these incredible rainbow colored lizards running all over the place!
The next day we went out to Sedona (the place with the pretty huge red rocks!)
My wonderful hosts!!!
It was monsoon season so the whole time I was in Arizona and half the time in New Mexico it was raining.
The next day we went to Jerome, AZ where Mark works in a gallery where he sells his art. OMG what a fabulous town!
an old mining town turned artist town. It reminds me of my apartment at home, old, colorful, and full of fun random things!
I am so thankful for their hospitality!
The next day I was on my way, after running out of money and not getting the job at the Grand Canyon I decided it was time to head home!
Along the way I stopped at a tourist stop along the highway
Haha I couldn't resist!!
Something else I did when I was in Arizona was go to Winslow, AZ and became the girl in the flatbed Ford slowing down to take a look at the people standing on a corner in Winslow, AZ who were looking at a painting on the wall of a girl in a flatbed Ford slowing down to look at them. HAHAHA
From there I headed to Amarillo, TX where I ended up staying at one of the parking rest stops. Not one of the regular ones where there are picnic areas, just a park, sleep, then get back on the road. I slept surprisingly well for having semis drive right by my window all night. In the morning I headed back over to the Cadillac Ranch and watched the sunrise
The next day I kept on the road making it from Amarillo, TX to southern Illinois! Along the way I stopped back in Oklahoma to say hi to Sherri. If you're ever driving from OK to Missouri do pay the 6 or 8 dollars to take the toll roads, all the stop and go traffic in the little towns in 110 degree weather is not fun! I think the long driving hours and the hot hot heat didn't help with trying to drive through St Louis but that was horrible! I even thought if I wait till 9ish to drive through all should be ok, right? Nope! Twisty-turny roads with tight curves in 45mph zone with packed traffic and semis going 80 with construction lights and reflectors disorienting! Woo! I vow to never drive through that city again! When I finally made it to the other side of town I set out to find a place to sleep (an hr or so away from the murder capital)
there was a rest stop up ahead about 15 more miles so I convinced myself to stay awake long enough to make it there. When I finally get there it's a closed weight station with the next stop being 45 miles away! Knowing that between the sleep deprivation and the shot nerves from St Louis there was no way I could make it to the next rest stop, I take the next exit and find a cute old 50's style motel (with the seafoam green bathroom tiles and all!) So I stop hoping they're still open (it was after 11pm at this point) I walk in and this sweet old Indian man comes out of the back more than happy to rent me a room for the night "The best room in the place!" Finally I get a shower and fall fast asleep in a big bed with no worries of wild animals or crazy truckers! Aaahh :)
I set my alarm for 5 so I could get back on the road but the snooze button let me half sleep till about 9! -much needed!-
When I finally hit the road I came across a pack of bikers, ended up they were Hells Angels! (I didn't know they still existed!)
It was about another 7hour drive till I made it home, but my oh my it felt good to be home!!!
I had the absolute greatest time on my trip!!!
In total I got to see 16 different states and animals ranging from gazelles to camels to porcupines to caribou! Incredible!!
Thank you all so much for supporting me! And those who let me stay with them - you are the best ever!!!! <3 <3 <3 :)
...now to start planning next summer's trip to the north 1/2 of the states!!! ;)