Saturday, January 28th – Sunday, January 29th
I packed up Saturday morning, carried my first load of luggage out to the scooter and nearly fell over crossing a sheet of ice. Whaaat?
It was 30 degrees, very windy and shockingly cold. Time for another round of scooter mittens! They helped keep my hands warm as I sat on the highway from morning to early evening. Unfortunately the mittens are so big they make tight turns at low speeds difficult, and that combined with a ice puddle I didn’t see ended with a low speed tip in a parking lot. It’s a lot harder to right this bike when it’s full of luggage and the mittens block easy access to the handlebars! Still, nothing damaged, so the ride continued.
Pretty much the whole day looked like the top picture. Nearing the western edge of Texas the vast, open flatlands give way to hills and then cliffs and mesas. It looks like a classic western movie territory; beautiful and striking. And then I hit El Paso. After spending all day driving through isolated Texas, entering a busy city is disorienting. The traffic crashed over me like a blow, it was weird and scary and took several miles before my brain settled down and remembered how to drive like a normal human. Very odd sensation, I wonder if this is what folks who live in rural areas feel like when coming into a city.
Not much to say about El Paso, I checked in as it was getting dark and then was out the next morning, heading north and then west, into New Mexico.
Back to wide open areas, although more people around. Near El Paso signs for “The Thing” begin, another roadside attraction but one I’d skipped on the way from California to Ohio earlier. This time I figured I might as well stop, and the tour only costs a dollar so it’s an easy choice for some time away from the road.
I won’t spoil the mystery of The Thing, but here are some pictures of the random stuff someone collected to decorate the trail to The Thing.
The torture exhibit is right next to a line of old, broken down cars.
After all the deranged happenings at The Thing, I drove a bit further to the rest area and enjoyed calm of the hills and rocks. And watching some tourist ignore the pet area and take their dog over to the wilderness. The dog romped for about three seconds until it got a paw full of thorns and limped sadly back.
After that it was time for the final push to Tucson. Again I arrived as the sun was setting, was greeted warmly by my hosts for the week and settled in for my stay in Tucson.
I was staying in the suburbs of Tucson and it turns out they don’t have streetlights there. This is to assist the nearby observatory; Tucson is an intentionally dark sky community. Very cool, although walking around without sidewalks or lights in the dark night isn’t so easy.