Friday, April 29, 2011

I'm Going Off the Rails on the Crazy Train

I don’t think I’ve ever been on a road trip alone.  Well...from northern Colorado to the Wyoming border, but that doesn’t count.  Especially because now, for the life of me, I can’t remember why I did it.

I left this morning on a journey south from Denver to Santa Fe for a Women’s Retreat.  Yet another one of my journeys into the unknown.  But if it meant I could have a few moments of peace in my car alone...I was willing to take the chance.

About 20 minutes into my trip it occurred to me:  I’ve never driven this far and this long by myself.  I’ve always been either putting in a Disney DVD going 80 miles an hour or listening to my husband contribute to my ADD by changing the radio station at the beginning of every song (couldn’t we just listen to one all the way through??). 

I’ve never had complete silence and control of all of the buttons in my car for more than 2 hours.

I originally thought that this would be a great time to enlighten myself.  Six hours of driving through southern Colorado and mid-way through New Mexico...there’s a lot of room for enlightenment.  So I borrowed a few books on CD from the library so that by the time I hit the New Mexico border...I would hopefully be a whole new person.

One lives in hope.

I popped in Ekhart Tolle’s “The Power of NOW” and kept driving towards what I was sure would be a complete energy shift from the old, worried me to the new, “nothing can touch me” me.  But once I hit Pueblo, I had to finally admit it.

I didn’t get it.

I understand acknowledging that voice inside you that you should ignore.  But honestly...sometimes that voice is really funny and my “being” all by itself is pretty dull. 

So I popped that sucker right back out of the CD player and decided to listen to the radio.

I have come to a conclusion:  One should always choose their place of residence by the radio stations.  In fact, I remember, long ago, when I was a dad once threatened to retire in Angel Fire, NM...just because they had a great blues station.

After listening to one rural radio station after another...I now completely understand what he was talking about.  I may just have to retire in Cimarron, NM because they have a radio station that will play the Beatles...followed by Black Sabbath.  It seemed like nothing was off-limits for this station as long as they appeased the Septic Tank Service company that sponsored them.  But what really pushed me over the edge and had me so close to calling a realtor was...

It seems that with every lawn mower you purchase, you get a free box of ammo.

Forget the beach for retirement.  I’ve got Ozzy, short grass, and dinner on the way.

It’s possible that I would have had an educational experience listening to Mr. Tolle, but then I would have missed the area of New Mexico that only plays old country songs.  Now, I came to country music kind of late.  But after 2 hours of listening to that station, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I’m all caught up.

And now I know that Hank Williams, Jr. is kind of like the Jay-Z of country music.  That guy’s a little racy.

It’s amazing the things you start paying attention to after hours in the car by yourself.  For example:  Did you know that New Mexico must be the “Call us if you see a DWI” Sign Champion of the United States?  I’ll bet there are more signs that say that on I-25 than there are oil wells in Texas.  And the truth is...after driving completely straight, due south for about 3 hours...I was tempted to call and report myself, just for the heck of it. 

At least it would have made the drive more interesting.

It’s straight.  Dead straight.  There should be a warning about that.  You know how there are those signs that say “Next Rest Area:  60 Miles”?  They really ought to have one as you get over Raton Pass that says “Next Tree:  200 miles.”

But there’s not.  There is, however, a very helpful Bear Crossing sign.

It’s flat.  It’s straight.  And it’s dry.  The only cloud in the sky is dust.  And after about an hour of basically napping with my eyes open, something occurred to me.

Those poor damn settlers.  I mean, my hands were dry and cracking and my contact lenses felt like they had been suction-cupped to my corneas as I drove through landscape that looked like it was a state-wide bonfire waiting to happen.  I can’t imagine coming up on this in a covered wagon, just knowing that your husband took a wrong turn somewhere, while the kids asked, “are we almost there?” from the back of the pack. 

And I thought I had it rough.

One of the more interesting things I observed, while on my drive, was at a truck stop (of course), somewhere between the middle-of-nowhere and south-of-the-middle-of-nowhere.  It was a scale in the women’s bathroom and for a quarter, it would not only tell you your accurate weight, but would give you your winning lotto numbers as well.

Well.  It’s about damn time my weight came with some good news attached.

But the main reason I wanted to write this blog is to let you in on a secret that I’m betting no one knows about and I feel like it’s my duty to break the story.  As I started into the Santa Fe city limits, I saw the most amazing thing.  On the side of the highway was a somewhat run-down trailer with an American flag and an enormous sign on the side that said:  SHOW US YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE.

I had no idea that Donald Trump owned property just north of Santa Fe.

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© Catherine Tidd 2011

1 comment:

  1. Hi, just had to comment. I have made the trip from CO to NM many times. My drive was 5 hours. The terrain is to incredibly different, and that road is so straight. And, while I have not seen that sign, it does not surprise me. NM has lots of interesting signs.

    I remember making my first trips by myself. It feels so strange, as does coming home by yourself. So many new things that go into making up who we are becoming.