Friday, September 21, 2007

Road Trip

Wulp, we left the cozy confines of Spokane, Washington on Aug 21st. Destination: New Orleans. My job started less than a week later and we had about 3000 miles to drive. We had two things going for us: Lauren had a nice car, and we have some friends who are kind enough to live near our driving route. The nice car thing is somewhat new to me. For those who know me well, they understand all my previous roadtrips were colored with a healthy, realistic fear of my car dying on the road. No, my car "baby blue" was sold the week before and was now being tortured by some sixteen-year-old kid with baggy jeans and a nose ring.

Along the way on our drive we got the chance to see my old friends Stacey and Brian in Utah. They are both pals from my days with Second Nature. They have a great cabin up in the hills outside of Salt Lake. Lauren and I had taken a trip with them a coupla years ago up to Jackson, Wyoming. We had to run pretty quickly, but we scored with some homemade zucchini bread from Stacey. From there we headed south, past where those miners were trapped. That was a sad realization when we recognized we were so near such a tragedy. The local stores all had signs of support outside and there were donation jars set up to help the families. As we crossed into Colorado on back roads we entered into some of the most beautiful landscapes either of us had ever seen. We have some special places in this country. While a sophomore in college, I had moved to Telluride, CO to be a ski-bum. Lauren's friend Liz is living there now, so we were able to stay with her and I could show some of my past to Lauren. It is a great town. Imagine, I could ski from my front door to the chair lifts. Onwards we went southeast to New Mexico and a stop on route 66. Conventional wisdom held we should stay at one of the big chain hotels, but I got us a steal of a deal at this hokey Indian-run motel on the side of the road. In Dallas we had dinner with Lauren's brother Travis. While driving lost through the city we saw some incredibly wealthy neighborhoods. Each home was a castle. There is definitely money in Texas. His school, Southern Methodist University, was equally impressive. As we ended our trip through Louisiana, we got our first bit of the local culture at a Popeye's chicken house, and at my new favorite, Cracker Barrel. Move aside McDonald's, you can score baked ham and mashed potatoes during your road trips in the South! The accent on the gal at the chicken place was so strong I couldn't understand a word she was saying, and the guy at the drive in window was roaring his demand for buckets of fried chicken. I had been the minority before while traveling, but this was the first time I was a minority in the US. It's a funny feeling. One of my little-known enjoyments is listening to Gospel radio, and in that regard I am truly blessed here. We cruised into New Orleans with the solid backing of a fired-up preacher. Hellooooo Big Easy!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Too bad you didn't have time to stop and say hey, when you drove through. I hope to visit soon.