Tag Archives: road trip

Montezuma Castle: An Arizona Cliff Dwelling

30 May

A little history…  In 1906, President Roosevelt declared four sites in the U.S. the first National Monuments.  Montezuma Castle, near Campe Verde, actually has no connection to the Aztec empire that is its namesake.  This cliff dwelling, which was inhabited by the Sinagua people for over 400 years, is nestled in limestone along banks of Beaver Creek.  From Tucson, it was easy to catch this monument en route to Sedona.

 

 

 

Tucson or bust! The story of my road trip

30 Mar

Long time, no blog!  As much as I hoped to blog “live” as my road trip occurred, the stress and subsequent exhaustion proved incompatible with blogging.  Now that I’m a bit settled, let me get you up to speed.

After much anxiety, last minute disorganization, and quadruple checking if I was ready to go, I hit the road around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 14th.  My first destination was Fort Stockton, Texas.  I quickly learned that driving up to 2 hours continuously feels like an eon to me.   It took me almost 8 hours to go 332 miles. This was partially due to my comfort level of driving precisely 46-52 mph and my GPS leading me into the middle of nowhere. This “scenic” route was quite hilly, with no option to turn around, no shoulder on the road, and no cell phone service.  Cross checking my Google map app proved unhelpful as well, as it mistakenly placed its blue dot on the path toward Odessa.   Despite not knowing where I was exactly, I knew that was not accurate.  An hour and visions of being on Nightline as “the sorry girl who followed her GPS into an oblivion and certain doom” later, I was back on course.  With relief, I reached the Fort Stockton RV Park just before sundown and the office closing.

 

Thursday brought a shorter drive for my planned side trip to Carlsbad Caverns. After cursing my GPS and banishing it from the dashboard, I embarked on a journey led by Google maps…. which took me again on a few secondary roads, this time riddled with cow-crossing-grate-thingamabobs (I’m so not country).  Not so fun when you come up on them without warning, when driving the MH Brigade.  Who knew getting to a big ass cavern deep underground meant driving up steep, winding roads to reach it?  Ahh, the adventure continues… (more on Carlsbad later, I have photos to upload!)…

 

 

 

 

 

Following an overnight in Carlsbad, I traveled next to Deming, New Mexico.   At this point, my time zone awareness became a blur as I left NM, reentered TX, then returned once again to NM.  When conquering the open road, west Texas can be a personal hell for many.  Most are saved, however, by tearing through at the posted 75+ mph.  Sadly, ol’ MH and I continued to putt-putt along at 55 mph max.  Nightmare.  I also had the hellish experience of driving straight through El Paso, where I successfully blocked 2.5 lanes at a traffic light for at least 5 minutes while I desperately tried not to miss getting into the left turn lane to get on I-10.  Thank you, El Paso, but I hope to never see you up close again.

My fourth and final day would take me from Deming to Tucson.  With the help of some adrenaline and my first cup of joe since I departed Austin, it was smooth sailing!  The road also flattened out a bit, which improved my speed.  My one stop was at a rest area in a place called Texas Canyon (fitting, right?).  What a relief to arrive at the RV park to the familiar faces of Mom and Joe to help me get settled in my site!  Stay tuned for the tour of my home-away-from-home.

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