500 Miles from Home

I suppose 500 miles is a reasonable distance for a first day’s travel. I suppose that even if I were running away, this is about as far as I could get in a day. I’m not running away, but it sure feels good to be running – on the road and everything new.

Almost everything new. It’s shocking how similar things are in cities in Arizona; the 17 highway from Phoenix (93 degrees at 9 pm!) was lined with the same big box stores as everywhere: Best Buy, Guitar Center, TJ Maxx…

But in Tonopah (off the 40 between Blythe and Phoenix) I ate delicious chile rellenos stuffed with beef at Tonopah Joe’s Family Restaurant where the whirring ceiling fans and muttered Spanish from the neighboring table (three men signing papers) created a surreal vibe that I enjoyed. Christian ran free in the space, which was enormous – but mostly blocked off by stacked chairs except for the six booths in the front.

I was carrying a knife in my purse, as is my wont as a forest kindergarten instructor, but nobody asked me any questions. My lululemon yoga gear apparently makes me look safe.

The moon was brilliant in the mountains as I approached Flagstaff. My arms got whipped with the brisk night wind out the sun roof. The temperature here is perfect for sleeping. Earlier when we had stepped out after dinner into the desert oven, Christian looked up at me and said, Why is it hot? It’s nighttime! In the desert, sun roofs are best reserved for the starry nights. We had one pee break at Sunset City rest area (past Blythe on the 40) and man, it was scorching. It did not make me miss the desert one bit.

I almost veered off the highway to check into The Motel in the Pines (17 miles south of Flagstaff), but suddenly realized that I was less willing to take risks while traveling with Christian, even though his company makes me feel less alone. I decided to ride all the way to the Motel 6 at the 40 junction, which Chad had already scoped for a swimming pool. It’s fine here. We’ll walk over to the strip mall across the street in the morning for breakfast and go for a swim before we leave. I plan to bunk somewhere in Amarillo tomorrow night. Five hundred mile chunks each day is the general plan, with a layover to visit a friend in Nashville. West coast to east coast. Should be a good road trip.

We snacked on org. raspberries, TJ cheese crackers, salt and vinegar chips, apples, carrots, and chicken sandwiches. And See’s lollipops. C calls the raspberries on his fingers “Spidey shooters.”

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