Monday, May 23, 2011

Socorro: San Miguel Church, the Fires of Hell, and then Home

[2010 Out West Road Trip.  Travels with Carol.]

In March 2010, my mother, Carol, and I took a road trip from Missouri to New Mexico, in search of sun and warmth. Here is Day 16 of our road trip. 

Thursday, 18 march 10 

We booked out of that sorry Socorro room fairly early, then stopped by the San Miguel Church, built in the late 1500s. Very pretty adobe church. We were able to go inside; the statues are all draped in purple cloth for Lent. 

We subsequently left for today's destination, which was Roswell, where we intended to visit a museum, then spend the night. We already knew we were going to lop off a day from our trip because of incoming bad weather. But after wending our way through some very beautiful mountain vistas, and making a surprise stop at the unexpected Valley of Fires, we suddenly came upon the junction of 380 and 54. Carol said, "54 goes into Missouri, doesn't it?" I said, "yes, do you want to take this instead of going to Roswell?" Carol said, "Sure." And I said, "Why the hell not?"
Thus in the space of a very few seconds, not only did we change our route, but made the almost-simultaneous decision to simply deadhead home. So we stopped for lunch at Santa Rosa, NM, and have now stopped for the night here in Shamrock, TX, which is very close to the Oklahoma border. 
Note: En route between Santa Rosa and the TX border, we drove through smoke. Unlike Oklahoma, NM doesn't care if people drive through smoke, as long as you roll up your windows.
We passed what looked like a very nasty crash site just east of McLean, TX. Multiple police cars.  
We've got about an 11-hour trip to Warrenton on Friday, and hopefully, we'll arrive soon enough that I'll be able to jump into my car and get home to Jefferson City by dark. We'll see.
The days have really zipped by on this trip, but I think we'll both be glad to be home. Of course, when I get home, it will be sans satellite TV, which means no TV, period, since I don't have the special box that allows local channels. I cancelled the satellite effective end of February. Culture change! I'll rely on Netflix movies for my visual stimulation or lack thereof.
Also on this trip, I said a final goodbye to a 9 or 10 year-old nightshirt. It was disintegrating in front of my eyes, and I left it in that sorry Socorro hotel room.
Our long drive today offered yet another example of how ever-changing the NM geography, etc. are: mountains, plains, foothills, fat rolling hills, you name it, it's here. It is endlessly fascinating to me. Carol is a bit less enamored.
Yes, I agree it is time to come home.  If only to get some control of my food choices.  Am embarrassed to say for a late lunch at Joseph's Restaurant (a national shrine to the Mother Road Route 66) I ordered their primero dish called Chicken Fried Steak that came with mashed potatoes and two shades of gravy.  It was delicious and unfortunately memorable.  Look forward tomorrow to real life but this trip has been unforgettable.  Mzuri has made it possible for me and we did get along every day.  We are foregoing dinner tonight and I'm only having Cheddar Pringles with French Onion dip and a Bloody Mary. 


Carol, will you be at coffee on Sunday?

There is a chance of snow here for Saturday!  Tomorrow should be close to 70 and then drop throughout the night.  Jaz will be so excited to see you, she misses her Anenie. 

Thanks for the heads-up ... that's exactly what we wanted to avoid by coming home early. 
I look forward to seeing Jaz and Tim also. I'm pretty sure on Sat., I'm going to be majorly in cave mode, so beware!

Glad to hear that you made it through the smoke!  Also, I'm sorry to hear about your nightshirt...I've done the long stare at a good shirt before ditching it in the past, and the only word I can think of to describe the emotion is "deflated."  If this shirt can fail, what can I depend on?  Anyway, drive safely on the way home, and enjoy the gravy for me.  There is none worth eating in NYC.  On biscuits or otherwise.  Lastly, I'm trying to find someone who remembers the glory days of the New York Yankees from 1950-1967, because I met their 6-time World Series champ and Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford in Florida this week.  He's 81 years old, but still had the pipes and energy to sing Frank Sinatra's "New York" with me.  Then we went to a strip club.

Have a nice drive.

P.S.  I was just kidding about the strip club...but I've found that it's a great way to end a story when I didn't take the time to develop the climactic arc essential to worthwhile narrative...forgive me. 

Welcome home travelers.

Yeah, bummer about the nightshirt. I have another shirt - a pullover, actually - that is overdue for the trash also, but I haven't had the heart to throw it out. Yet.

Personally, I'm not a gravy fan, but I did have a bite of Carol's chicken-fried steak and it was, in a word, decadently delicious.

We're glad to be home and very glad to have missed what turned out to be a spring blizzard in OK and AR. 

Too hilarious.  I have a night shirt that is so thin and will rend while innocently sleeping.  At the latest gaping tear I thought..well its time.  But I will wash it and maybe use as a dust cloth once or twice.  I think it is folded neatly in a pile of laundry.
Loved this bit "I didn't take the time to develop the climactic arc essential to worthwhile narrative...forgive me."  I simply will have to use this in the future!  I have no intention of asking for permission to use and I will deny the source if questioned.  I also have no compunction in using it at my caprice.  but thanks NYC!

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