(Carlsbad, NM to Grand Canyon, AZ)
We woke up in Carlsbad on Tuesday around 7 am, knowing that we still have about a eleven hour drive to do that day (which turned into at least 16 since we were going through the mountains) We started to pack up camp and Chris took to dirt bike around before he loaded it up on the back of the rv. While riding in the park he saw 5 wild pigs roaming around. We also saw our skunk friend from the night before and 2 ringtails. Ringtails look like a mix of a big cat with a raccoon tail.
Later that day I was driving and started see rain clouds out on the horizon. They looked really cool because you could literally see where it was raining. Then the lightning began, and we were driving right into the storm. Chris was in the back working and all of a sudden the wind picks up to 40-50 mph and it started POURING. I start freaking out (as you know by now, anything out of the ordinary while driving the rv scares me) and then it starts hailing. Chris tells me to pull over and all of the other cars on the road pulled over too. It was a super bad storm that we waited out for about 10 or 15 minutes. Look at the size of the hail Chris picked up.
So it started to look like we had only seen the beginning of the storm and Chris thought it might get even worse if we stayed any longer. (Remember we have kayaks, a solar panel, dirk bike, etc. on the outside of the rv.) So we drive on and everything turns sunny again. Chris gets out to check on all that equipment and when he gets back in the rv, he sees this huge bird sitting on a rock right outside out window. He gets out the camera and starts to take really close, cool pictures. We later find out (after watching all of the professional photographers take pictures in the Grand Canyon) that this bird is an endangered California Condor. (Chris and I can do and awesome condor impression if you ask us to.)
We continue driving through New Mexico and realize that we are going right through Roswell (the place with all the UFO action). Of course we stop and go to the UFO museum and gift shops. We learned a lot about the government and air force’s conspiracy to cover up the alien ship crash landing in Roswell that contained 4 extraterrestrial beings. Many people swear to its authenticity while the government said it was a weather balloon and 4 test dummies inside. Who is right…..that is for you to decide.
Chris had done a report on UFO’s back in the day and was slightly more interested in all the museum documents than I was. We had a lot of fun there messing around with alien stuff and it was a good stop on our trip.
We then ended up on a 100 mile scenic drive in New Mexico, past Smokey the Bear National Forest (the danger level for forest fires is very high right now, you can’t have campfires anywhere). It was a beautiful drive through the mountains. No matter which window you looked out of, the views were breathtaking. We even stopped in a lava field to collect some rocks for the salt water fish take Chris has.
The only bad part of the drive was that the rv doesn’t go above 40 when going up steep mountains so it turned a 75 mph drive into a lot slower one. Hours later, it was 8 pm and we were driving into Albuquerque, NM. We planned on just driving through but Chris really need to buy some hiking boots. (He had ruined his previous ones while working on the rv and decided that it would be no problem to just scoop up a pair on the road…NOT) We find four sports stores that had Columbia shoes and only one of them was still open. Luckily we go to the Sports Authority just in time to pick up some new boots and a walking stick for me. (Once again me=clumsy which doesn’t bode well for steep grand canyon hiking)
I get back in the drivers seat and continue on past the famous, historic Route 66. While we were going down the road, all of a sudden a truck driver pulls up next to me and flashes his brights. Then he pulls in front of me and hits his break like 5 or 6 times. I freak out and tell Chris because it was looking like something was wrong. We pull off and Chris goes out to check our lights. We realized that for the past 200 miles, when we have our lights on at night, the break lights were permanently on. The turn signals were also wired backwards Oppppsiess. Haha at least we corrected our mistake and didn’t get in an accident during those first 7 states.
I drove until around 1 am and we were still about 300 miles away and was sooo tired. Chris took over the wheel and I went to bed. He drove us another 200 miles while smoking a cigar until he got too tired to drive. Around 3:30 am our day ended and we both went to sleep at a rest stop for a couple hours. Unfortunately, the alarm would be going off in about two hours…..