Amarillo by Morning
We left Amarillo at 8:30, June 19. We would have left earlier, but I had a technological issue with the entry App, August, at the Airbnb. It was a really cool app; the door lock links to your phone. You simply press a button on the app to unlock and lock the door. Note to my future self: If you use August again, be sure to charge your phone overnight. Otherwise, you will be locked inside until your phone charges!
Our first stop was the Cadillac Ranch. Now, we had been here before on our trip with my parents back in 2009. I forgot how small this place is. The cadillacs are planted in the middle a field on the south side of I-40, and you have to walk just a little ways to see them up close. This time we came prepared with our own can of spray paint. While the girls were putting their mark on the cars, I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitos! After about five minutes, we were ready to get back on the road.
The Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico
Our next stop was in Santa Rosa, New Mexico at the Blue Hole. This spring fed swimming hole was located just off the interstate—very easy to find. We had to pay $5 to enter the park, and it was totally worth it. We got there around 10 am, so it was not too crowded. The water is always a cool 61 degrees. We watched a view people climb up the steps to the rocky jump off point and take the leap to the cold water. Each time, the jumper would pop up out of the water exclaiming, “Whew! That’s cold!”
The girls decided that since I was the oldest I had to jump off first. So, I did. I didn’t stop to think about it; I just jumped right in. I’m not going to lie—it was freezing cold! I thought it would be about as cold as the water at Camp Ozark, but I was wrong! Much colder. I swam quickly to the stairs to climb out—probably haven’t swum that fast since I was in college! I climbed the steps shivering and complaining about the cold. Madison said I was exaggerating.
Next, it was her turn! She swam quickly to the steps also! When I asked her if she wanted to do it again, she said she didn’t think so because of how the cold water knocked the breath out of her.
Claire was the bravest of us all; she jumped in three times!
After we had our fill of the cold water, we had a great picnic lunch thanks to my Mom. She had fried some of her world famous fried chicken for us and made some chocolate chip cookies and sandies. Overall, it was wonderful experience and a great memory for us.
I highly recommend going to the Blue Hole if you drive by it on I-40.
On the Road again
We settled in for a long drive to Painted Desert, Arizona. What struck me the most was the lack of trees. I don't know exactly what I was thinking; I mean, we were in the desert after all! I was just really missing my trees!
Claire drove us safely through Albuquerque and the Sandia Mountains. I-40 was steep and curvy, but she handled it like a pro! As we continued down the interstate we saw many beautiful mesas. I was excited to see these in person.
About five and a half hours later, we made it to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest. Let me say that it was mighty hot here! The landscape made me feel like I was on the moon or mars. This is one part of the world that has remained untouched by man. Words can't really describe what we saw. Below are just a few of my favorite pictures.
Keep on Keeping on
Driving through the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest took us about two hours. When we exited the park, we ended up in Holbrook, NM. Here we were glad to eat at the local DQ.
We continued driving until about 9:45 where we reached our final destination for the day--Williams, Arizona: The Gateway to the Grand Canyon. After a long, hot day of driving and exploring, we were glad to get showers and go to bed. I think we drove about 14 hours this day.