day 5 – el paso, so-so

Day #5 of 10 Days, 10 States Chapter 51 – My Journey to Oregon 3.2.2022

To spare my readers, yes you, the boredom of El Paso, I will say that only thing that was remarkable were the restaurants and shops nearby. Dinner courtesy of Wild Peckers! They are not paying me for this link, but they are surely worthy of it. Great eats! Now off to bed and OUT OF TEXAS.

[I will be honest, Texas was not as bad as it was the first time I went through it. I would give it another shot, for sure.]

Now, we move on, to the exciting, most beautiful, part of the trip, halfway to our new residence, Oregon. Within minutes, we are out of Texas and into New Mexico. Driving through New Mexico is a breeze and a bit otherworldly. Although many movie scenes ran through my mind, Tarantino flicks specifically, I had my sights set on my one and only home, Arizona. I am fortunate enough to say that I know where my home is. I know some people think they may, but do they really? Have they wandered outside, far enough from their cozy, comfort zone, to see if they may belong somewhere else? To feel what I feel when I’m in Arizona?

I realized this many years ago on a business trip in the less attractive area, Phoenix. I had been fascinated with Arizona for quite sometime and learning I was going to be traveling there, even on business, I was ecstatic. Growing up, my family vacations were few and far between and the ones I do remember, were close by on the West Coast of Florida, in the now overwhelmed and commercialized St. Pete Beach. I had visited my brother in Oregon prior to this trip which is the furthest I’ve been from Florida, but going to Arizona was a really BIG trip for me.

Long story short, I rented a red mustang and drove two hours in the cold [it was February] with the soft top down and made it to Sedona, a place I had only seen on television and in magazines. I was speechless; I cried – hard – tears like I’ve never known before, or have had since. I was in awe. I knew, at this time, Arizona was my home.

Back to the trip! New Mexico smelled like cow poop, but it was pretty, very pretty. Finally, the cow poop smell disappears and that familiar smell of dust and mesquite hits me and we are there, we are crossing the Arizona border, which is not far from where I “tried” to live [I’ll save that story for another day] for a few years, Sierra Vista.

We make a quick stop at the cheesy road-side attraction “The Thing“. My son was intrigued and although I had already lived the disappointment, I could not crush his excitement. I stayed back at the convoy with the critters. It is a must-do, regardless of how seemingly obvious this “thing” is just a “thing” and nothing special. The staff in the store is worth the stop alone; super friendly, welcoming and hey, you can pee for free there!

Back on the road to Sedona. A quick stop at Picacho [or as I like to call it, “Pikachu”] for a gas break, and within a few hours, there we were, amidst one of the most beautiful scenic places in the world.

…stay tuned for part 2 [there’s too much awesome-ness for one post per day going forward]

“Goodbye, Texas, I’m Going Home”

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