Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 12 - Trek from the Mountains to the Desert - or – A Drink of Courage for a Long Drive.

It took a lot of sun through the window to stir us. We didn’t get to bed until nearly 4 am. Pretty soon we were downing some coffee with Craig and Caroline, talking over the next few days. They were flying out that night for Miami, the first stop on a trip to the Bahamas for a family wedding. Craig was lamenting the timing, the Bahamas being a popular spring break spot. A quiet night on the beach seems to be just what they need.

We took our leave, eager to sit with Dustin and Brooke, some more New York expatriates. We met Dustin while doing the rounds in the New York spots. We love his act. Brooke, his significant other, is in a media studies program. They’ve settled nicely in Boulder. Brooke continues her studies, while Dustin has released a record and is now trying to put a band together.

We ate with them at Mountain Sun Brewery, one of the many illustrious spots to turn us down for this tour. The burgers were good, the beers were great! We had a good time telling stories of the road, describing some of the craziest people we’ve met. We all wish each other well, promised to set up a show together, and parted ways.

From Boulder, we hit I25 HARD. We blasted out of Colorado at 85 mph, watching the snow-capped Rockies roll by as if set pieces in a cheap Victorian operetta. Gradually the bushy landscaping and green lawns gave way to desert brush and dust. To our left was a plain stretching to the horizon, while to our right were continuously sprouting mountains, snow peeking through the scrubby, dry pines.

Just as we passed Trinidad Colorado, and rocketed over the New Mexico border, the sun set over the mountains. The sky exploded in reds and violets, and the hills glowed golden. Soon the night cooled the colors to blues and soft greens while stars winked to life. The highway took us twisting through the Raton pass, and pressed us to the desert floor, speeding into the liquid black desert night. The hills continued to glow orange at their peaks, and street lamps and lights from the windows rolled over the horizon, blanketing the valley with its own array of starlight.

We cruised leisurely through Albuquerque and arrived in the desert village of Belen at about 11:15. Quietly we puttered through the sleepy trailer park and knocked softly on the door. A few steps brought us into the warm glow of Blythe’s Grandparent’s home. Soon we had kicked of our shoes, and all four of us watched “The Gambler” with Kenny Rogers and Reba MacIntire. Blythe wasn’t the first to doze off on this night. I crawled into bed with a book on the adventures of Captain Kidd, and quickly passed out.

Thanks to Craig and Caroline for putting us up, Dustin and Brooke for meeting us for lunch, and Blythe’s Grandparents, Paul and Jeri, for giving us a home away from home.

Tomorrow… Nothing! Unless I think something write worthy happens, we’ll take off until next week when we hit the desert highway again for Phoenix.

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