Leaving Arizona in the Dust

Saturday, April 2, we said our goodbyes to the friends who were still left in our park, shed some tears, and were on our way. It was already warm at 8:30 in the morning; we had our windows all the way down. The sweetness from the grapefruit and orange tree blossoms hung heavy in the air, and I took gulps of air to try to preserve it in my lungs.

I silently said goodbye to my favorite mountain, Red Mountain, as we sped by it.

Four Peaks Mountain was off in the distance.

We saw many, many bicyclists on the road.

I didn't find out till later that they were participating in the "El Tour de Mesa",  a 72-mile charity ride around Red Mountain to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

I will miss this beautiful scenery,

and this.

The drive out of Arizona has many curves.

We soon left the desert-like surroundings with the tall saguaros behind, and entered in the Tonto National Forest. We saw small patches of that funny white stuff called "snow". Here is a huge flooded area from the melted snow. I just love the reflection of the blue sky and pine trees!

An area that was burned from a fire.

A couple of funny signs I saw along the way......

I might have qualified to work there if it were "FAT Ankles Cafe!"

A hotel for horses? Seriously?

Doesn't this look like a bat-mitten shuttlecock for giants?

We stayed in Holbrook, AZ overnight. The wind started to pick up later in the evening. The next morning we checked the weather and high winds were still forecasted. We got on the road anyway.

This is lava rock all along the road from a long ago volcano.

Horses grazing not seeming to pay attention to the gorgeous red rock backdrop.

Remember the high winds forecasted? It seems they weren't lying.

Look at these!

Not to worry. We made it to Albuquerque in one piece. With gusts up to 65 mph, that tail wind gave us better gas mileage! We set up in the blowing wind and it felt like we were getting sand blasted. The tiny granules of sand were stinging every exposed inch of our skin. We made sure all our windows were closed, but somehow a fine dust permeated the air of our trailer, settling in our ears, noses, and throats. Everything is covered in dust inside AND out. So much for Jim's wash job on the truck and trailer!

The wind blew through-out the night. The trailer rocked so hard that I felt I was on some kind of a ride at Disneyland. I was so worried that a nearby tree was going to snap in half and come crashing down on our trailer. It was an uneasy night. The next morning it was still windy, but not as bad as the day before. As we were packing up to leave, Jim hurt his back. It was only about 30 degrees outside. We were cold, wind-blown, and now sore. Time to move on.

Next post: our trek up a volcano near Raton, NM
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