Feel the impact!
Holbrook Travel Blog› entry 2 of 27 › view all entries
June 25th, 2008 – by: jsfarv
Long Beach, CA to Holbrook, AZ
7:30pm / 90â / slightly breezy and clear skies
A quick note about the headings youâll see throughout my blogging â If you notice, Iâve given you some brief statistics about where I am and what the weather is like. I learned this from my grandma who, for all 86 of her years, contacted you one of three ways: in person, by an actual phone call, or through a handwritten letter. Her letters always included information about what the weather was like on her trip or even just at home â a notation I assume she picked up growing up on a farm in South Dakota where weather could make or break a seasonsâ harvest. She also saved every paper sack, re-washed Ziplocâs and aluminum foil, and thoroughly read every piece of junk mail â this reporting on the weather is the life skill Iâve chosen to adopt.
Leaving Long Beach today at a prompt 6:30am, we quickly found out that when youâre HEADING to the Inland Empire, you donât hit much traffic as those leaving the Inland Empire and we were pleasantly surprised. The day began with virtually no snags, probably a first for us in our many years of long-distance travel. Then, as we were getting on I-15, I asked,
âDid we bring stuff to do laundry?â
âUm, whoops, no.â my mom responded.
Fortunately, there will be a variety of fine retail establishments throughout the south. Then we get on I-40, and I ask,
âDid we remember the folding step ladder we just bought?â
âUm, whoops, no.â my dad responded.
Dang, we actually bought that just for this trip.
Then I remembered â âI left my deodorant at home. Whoops. Well, the only sufferers are my parents.â And, there are many fine retail establishments across the U.S.
As we progressed through the unattractive California desert, I began to think, âIs it all going to be brown and grey?â And before I could figure out an answer, I was blinded by an angel from heaven:
We had JUST left California and already weâre saving money! I thought I should stop and buy a house in Arizona to further increase my savings, but decided the savings in gas was more than enough so we pulled off the highway and topped off. Itâs odd that paying $3.89/gallon was exciting, but it certainly was! Coincidentally, we were at the Pilot gas station RV Island filling up next to a carbon copy of our own motorhome. The family there was traveling from Pennsylvania to California for a Disneyland-Yosemite adventure. Iâll skip the prior and stay in with the latter, but thatâs just me. They informed us that they were shocked by the rising gas prices. At home in Penn., they were paying $3.40-$3.60/gallon. They also told us that the farther east we traveled the cheaper it was going to get â music to our ears.
The further we traveled into Arizona, I realized that the desert is not all the grey and brown drab colors of California. The Arizona desert is actually quite beautiful â and green! Lush ground cover stretched every direction, and it was all a vibrant shade of green. As we continued, the elevation began to increase and by late afternoon we were in Flagstaff, AZ. Flagstaff, a mountain-desert town, is one of those places that upon first look, I think I could handle living there. Rusitc, wild-west and southwest appeal abound. The main street/business loop is interlocking pavers and the buildings look like Main St., USA. It even snows in the winter â I will be returning to Flagstaff some time.
As our day neared its conclusion, we saw the sign for Winslow â home of the worldâs largest meteor crater (and referenced in The Eagles âTake It Easyâ)! If youâve seen the movie Starman with Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen, the crater is the site where Jeff Bridges â an alien â is picked up by the mother ship at the filmsâ conclusion. So, we took the 6 mile detour to look at this natural wonder. A sign suggested tuning in to 1610 AM for information, so we tune in. I am immediately startled by the raspy âMoviePhoneâ male voice exclaiming, âFeel the impact!!â Apparently, the craterâs theme is âFeel the Impact!!â He also informed us that you can get a Subway sandwich with free cookies after your visit to the crater. Feel the impactâŚ
The crater is huge. It is beyond my description (photos to arrive later âŚ to see the impact). From the crater rim, everything looks normal â vast, but normal. Then you peer through the affixed telescopes and one is pointed at a 6-foot tall mock-up of an astronaut. Stepping away from the telescope, you realize that you cannot see any part of this 6â man at the center of the crater. One rock is singled out by the telescope as being the size of a large 2-story home âŚ it looks like a rock youâd find in a backyard garden. Feel the impactâŚ
The northern Arizona landscape is not barren, bland or ugly â but is quite beautiful and tranquil âŚ until you come across the Arizona Public Health Dept.âs billboard campaign:
âMeth Kills âŚ your teeth and gums.â
As if the fact that it might actually kill YOU wasnât enough, the State of Arizona has decided it needs to play into the vanity inherent in us all - even drug addicts. To really drive their message home on the billboard, the Health Dept. has used a very convincing photo of the decayed mouth of an actual meth addict. Use meth? Lose your teeth. Feel the impactâŚ
Despite the very unattractive public health billboards, today was a good day. Lots of family conversation, only 2 wrong turns, and the hottest it ever got was a manageable 113. Now, with 578 miles under my belt, a dinner of steamed brussell sprouts and hot wings in me, and it being 9pm â I am off to bed. Until tomorrow!
Feel the impactâŚ
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