The first morning of a trip everything is clean and organized: car, clothes, maps, snacks, people. How is it that by the first night it all has changed so much. The car is filthy from two unexpected sections of dusty gravel road. The warm clothes had to be dug out of the very back suitcase because we came through a snowstorm and it is cold up here! And if one molecule of food or drink is allowed into the interior of your briefly spotless vehicle it mutates into multiple crumbs and spills. How is that?

However aside from all that, and my ongoing struggle with Bad Cold, the day was quite perfect. Starting with morning fry bread, all warm and golden and smoky and glistening with grease.

Ah Fry Bread…So Beautiful and … Fried…with Real Grease…and Hot and Flaky and Amazing.

Then the back roads as promised, some very far back in fact, such as from Jemez Springs around Fenton Lake to Cuba on the gravel with the cows wandering across the road. Up into a modest little snow storm past Chama.

 I am sharing my vast store of road trip best practices with Teresa. Like always begin the trip with your most loved CD. Preferably the sound track from Oh Brother Where Art Thou. Always surround yourself with maps. GPS does not give you a sense of being in a bigger geography. It implies that you are the center of the universe—and deserve to be guided through your surroundings without having to think about them. With maps you know that there is very big, huge in fact, geography all about and you are just the merest speck moving through it. So get over yourself and travel the old fashioned way…with maps.  

 What a perfect traveling companion Teresa is…The exact right combination of talky and not. And photo op sightings. And snack organizing. I even like her music. Wow.

Today’s mileage 338. Given the 10 hours from Albuquerque to Salida that averages out to 33.8 miles per hour.  I think we must do a little better some days but how fun it is to poke along and take pics of every single odd or beautiful or pitiful sight you see.

Poor Tierra Amarilla.

Goodnight from Salida, Colorado.

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