NM and AZ
Wednesday afternoon, after checking in at the campground, having dinner and then driving around Tucumcari and taking in some of the neat Old Route 66 hotel signs, I relaxed a bit in the campsite’s rec room and charged the laptop and phone while letting a windy patch of weather pass. Got the tent set up around 9:30, and though it was a breezy night, it was comfortable and rain-free
So, up at sunrise and on the road again yesterday morning for what I knew would be a longish driving day across New Mexico and into Arizona.
West of the city, things stretched back out again.
Never having been this far west, I found a lot to look at in the landscape, but the vast distances between signs of civilization did kind of wear on me after a bit, and I was glad to reach Arizona around lunchtime:
Arizona struck me with its change of scenery – after that dramatic introduction (those photos are from the Welcome Center area), it was a lot like New Mexico had been.
I did see my first dust devil, and though it was a weak one, you could still see it rising from miles and miles away:
Then I saw the distant mountains that I knew signaled Flagstaff and my swing southward, and damn if there wasn’t still snow visible up there, just a couple days from the onset of summer.
Flagstaff to Phoenix was as gorgeous and varied a stretch of highway as I’ve seen, from these pine-topped mountains (which, again, had snuck up on me with a gradual climb from the east) down into canyons and cactus-dotted hillsides and broad valleys and incredible views.
I reached the home of my friends Jim & Michelle in the afternoon, and we passed a great evening hanging out and swimming and talking and staying up late.