Monday, August 4, 2008

Phoenix, New Mexico, El Paso

Today we drive from Phoenix, AZ, completely whizzed through New Mexico and finally ended at a La Quinta in El Paso, Texas.  As many of you have probably heard, the heat in Arizona is ridiculously unbearable and unlivable.  Even though I knew it would be that way, it was still shocking and unpleasant.  However, we had a great stay with Mark's aunt, who cooked us dinner and made us banana/strawberry smoothies.  

We also stopped at the Chiricahua National Park, which is home to these amazing rock structures.  The Indian name for them simply means "standing up rock," which they are.  It's like someone took big boulders and just stacked them one after another into a column and then topped it off with a flat stone cap.  They were different than anything else I'd ever seen and Paul said the same.  However, we couldn't get any awesome pictures because the sun had already set and there wasn't any serious light.  The visit to the park was cool though because absolutely no one else was there.  (I started imagining crazy serial killers hiding in the rocky valleys but I didn't share my crazy ideas out loud).  Also, a lightning storm started and it was so beautiful.  Every so often a big dash of lightning would crack across the sky and light up the red sandy dirt of the park.  It was awesome.  We decided that anyone could come through and see this place during the day, but we had a special experience because of the night lightning circumstances, free from crowds. 

The lightning really didn't stop the entire night but it was gorgeous.  I haven't seen anything like that before so even though I was slightly concerned for our safety (Paul told me later that you don't have to worry about lightning if you're in a car) I enjoyed the stormy drive.  

Another highlight of the day was when we spotted stray calves in the middle of the road and stopped so we could see them up close.  In the background was a rainbow and it really was out of control pretty and sort of unreal.  You can see how cute the calf is and sort of get a feel for the rainbow too in the pictures.  

Now we are in El Paso, Texas for the night!  It's insane how close to Mexico we are, though we will not be going in.  This is the setting of Cormac McCarthy's wide open Texas novels like The Road and No Country for Old Men.  Hopefully I can get some good shots tomorrow while we're driving approximately ten hours to Austin, Texas!  I'll let you know.  


Sarge said...

Oh El Paso - I loved it there - and Juarez - it is pretty much half of Cormac McCarthy isn't it?

Petey said...