Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cross-Country Road Trip (told through cell camera) Pt. 4: Deserts That Go on Forever

We almost ran out of gas when we entered New Mexico. I was asleep and blurted out 'gas,' when I awoke. It's as if I in was in a symbiosis with the truck. David stared at the dials and realized we were quickly running on fumes. The lights started blinking and the cabin became quiet. We drafted off a truck for a few miles, and keep the foot off the gas going downhill.

We made it to a tourist center and they directed us up the hill toward a gas station. The tension broke and we could laugh again. We were a few minutes away from my nightmare: stranded in the desert with no town in sight. We were in between mountains so there was no signal and the sun was setting. The desert was becoming cold and I had put on my jacket in preparation to walk for miles.

Darkness by the time we get to Albuquerque. We stop at one of my favorite diners off the edges of UNM. When I spent a year in New Mexico I loved going to Mannies. The food was roughly made, but cheap and had huge portions. I could eat one meal and be good for the entire day. Mannies has $4 Huevos Rancheros that fill out a platter plate and $2 coconut/chocolate cookies that are roughly the size of a baby's face. I packed in the eggs and beans. She asked me the prototypical New Mexican question: red or green? If you like both red red chile and green chile sauce you give prototypical New Mexican answer: Christmas.

 The cook piled on the green and red sauce. I whipped them into the mounds of eggs, beans, and hash until the plate was a soupy ghoulash. David looked at me while eating his vegetable sandwich. Someone is going to be hungry in a few hours and it's not going to be me. I grabbed a baby face cookie on the way out and we were driving again.

David got pulled over by an officer an hit with a $70 ticket for having his high beams on. I'm considering whether or not I should drive considering the two incidents the last few hours. Finally at 12 am I take over. I'm exhausted by keep driving, through New Mexico and into Arizona. The roads are narrow and dark.

We make it to Diamond Mountain at 3:30 in the morning. We walk into the appointed RV and collapse. I cover myself in a bulky leather jacket. It's 4 am and my head is swirling. I'm awake by 6am and have a surprising amount of energy.

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