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A Day in the Glamorous Life

February 7, 2020

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This morning, I awoke in Gladis on the shore of a crystalline lake. A hot spring bubbled near the shore, so I slipped off my silk robe and took a quick soak before…

Joking. What really happened is that I awoke about 4 am in the back parking lot of a Cracker Barrel in Albuquerque. Hey, Cracker Barrel is an RV-friendly place, and free is free.

I finally got up at 5:30, made coffee, and put on sweats. Going out to turn the propane tank off for travel, I noticed that the homeless guy I had given $5 to the night before was taking a leak in the drainage ditch at the back of the parking lot. His buddy was still sleeping under a blue plastic tarp. Flurries of snow were starting to fall.

I started Gladis and got on the road at 6:15 a.m. It was still dark, but I really wanted to escape the snow. My weather app made it seem like the storm was landing in ABQ and heading east. We were going west. Good.

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Stopping at a casino outside of town to get gas, the wind cut like a knife. I was completely overjoyed to find my favorite kombucha at the mini-mart. Gas stations NEVER have good kombucha. It’s the little things.

I was feeling smug about leaving the snow behind. Then it began to snow. And snow. For three hours, the snow fell in tiny flurries and we crept slowly along on the interstate. No side roads for me during a snowstorm. I was thankful all the cars and trucks were keeping the road fairly snow-free. A semi truck lying on its side on the highway served as a cautionary tale.

I stopped in Gallup, New Mexico to work. I had technically taken the day off, but you know how that goes. As soon as you say you have a day off, everyone has something that just has to get done. A Subway parking lot was my office. It also gave me a chance to cobble together a breakfast protein shake with ingredients I had on hand. The secret is cinnamon, people. Lots of cinnamon.

After that, I only stopped to buy gas and to eat lunch at the entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park for about 10 minutes. I was tempted to visit and see the sights, but I knew it was already going to be a long, long day. I kept asking google maps how much further and then swearing loudly when I found out.

I went from the plains to the mountains back down to the plains and up and down mountains. The west wasn’t won, people. It’s still out there, and it is gorgeous.

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What did I do to pass the time?
I listened to podcasts. Throughline, The David Chang Show, Good Food with Evan Kleiman, The Daily, Fresh Air.
I sang songs, badly.
I talked to God.
I thought about my trip and all the places I had visited.
I checked google maps again. Swore again.

When I rolled into Mesa, Arizona, it was 4:03 pm. I had been on the road since 6:15 a.m. 475 miles, probably my longest road day ever, but I’m that much closer to home.

I may not have started my day soaking in a mineral pool near a crystalline lake, but I ended it in a jacuzzi in an RV park across from a strip mall in suburban Phoenix. Close enough.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2020 11:58

    That intro… classic.

  2. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2020 18:16

    Awww, I wish you’d hit Tucson, I’d spring for a beer! Next time! And if Yuma is in your sights again, Chretin’s for sit down Mexican food. Mr. G’s for rolled tacos, Village Inn for pizza, or The Garden Cafe for soup, salad, sandwich and a nice outdoor ambience.

  3. Robin permalink
    February 16, 2020 09:31

    I love your voice in this story

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