We drove into Albuquerque yesterday, which is really beautiful city cradled in mountains, so every view has a gorgeous backdrop. I can see why people move out west; the landscape is so stunning. The sunset last night was really pretty. A small part of the trip was on old Route 66, so we drove through Clines Corners, a pretty big tourist trap, but we didn’t stop.
When we arrived in town, we drove directly to the VW dealer, who seemed sort of less than impressed to see us, which many in the group found disappointing, I think. Some of the guys came out to see the customized cars and look everything over. Stephanie got the mass airflow sensor that she needed to replace, and one of the other cars had to have their fuel pump replaced, which they did right there, because they needed it. And we spent some time looking over their new and used beetles on the lot. The had a beautiful new gecko green convertible with a cream top that I liked a lot, maybe even more than the new red with black. If we win the lottery, I’ll get one. I should think about getting a ticket sometime.
After that, we stopped at the motel, and settled in. One of the guys on our trip, John and his wife Linda decided to go to the emergency room; back in Devil’s Elbow, John got an insect bite that seemed to be getting worse, and he was in a lot of pain, so he and his wife and Cori and Verlaine went to the hospital. We heard they treated him, so I think he’s okay; I’ll find out more when they join us today.
The caravan went to the home of Sue and Aaron, who are the owners of Ciao Bug, and old friends of everyone on the trip. They hosted us to a barbeque; very nice to eat with everyone and have a meal cooked at home; very delicious.
Their home is really pretty; Sue’s painted some nice southwestern art on the walls that I took pictures of. Aaron let us on his super-high-speed internet, where I uploaded something like 400 photos to my Flickr set, which should keep you busy for awhile. They included yesterday’s pictures of the drive into town, too. I’m getting tired of trying to hunt down wireless, so I may just blog and put photos up later, since I seem to have so many pictures. I am apparently going for sheer volume, rather than artistic merit on the photos. But I like everything I’m putting up, for the most part, and wouldn’t eliminate any of it.
At the end of the day, we lined all the beetles up in Sue and Aaron’s drive and the neighbors took pictures, before heading back to the motel. John replaced Stephanie’s mass airflow sensor in the motel 6 parking lot, while Luke from California and Mike hung out and watched. We need to find a present to give to John for working on Phoebe, because he has really been a big help, and so nice. Mike and Luke and John and Stephanie talked about cars for an hour on a level that was way, way over my head but fascinating to listen to. I’m traveling with some really smart people who know a lot about the machines they run; I really need an idiot’s guide to how the car works to even follow along.
At the end of the evening as the sun was going down, we watched a bus try to maneuver a tight turn around the motel parking lot without hitting any cars, get stuck, and have to get out to find the car owners, which weren’t any of us, so we were entertained. Then we headed to bed. Hope the bus got out.
This morning, I’m up a bit early (I started this post at 3:30) due to the predinsone we picked up back in Roswell. But I feel GREAT, so I don’t mind.
Today’s we have a pretty long slog to Williams, Arizona, where we’ll stay for a couple of days to take the train to the Grand Canyon. Everyone has laughed about my irrational fear of falling off the edge. I guess they have rails around it, or something. We’ll seen when I get there. (I’m from Iowa, people. It’s hard to fall off stuff, there. Everything is nice and flat and safe.)
On the way to Williams, we’ll probably stop at the Jackrabbit Trading Post, which is a really big tourist trap, and we will (of course) go stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.