Road trip to mom's house.
Arizona Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
September 6th, 2008 – by: NancyBC
If she needs me, I go. She is old and that is as it should be. I am happy for road trips. The prep before I leave, the anticipation of unknown places. The road is always a good time for me as long as a friendly face and open arms wait for me at the other end. Somehow they are always there, waiting. This last one was Labor Day wknd, 2008. It was a hectic, tiring week before I left and the thought of the trip kept my spirits up and strength available. Then it was time to pack, then it was time to service the truck, then it was time to kiss the pup goodbye and back out of the driveway. Mmmmm, better put Bonnie Raitt on the cd player, definately a Bonnie Raitt kind of morning. As I slowly made my way through the Hoover Dam I thought about how the mountains just open up around you when you enter AZ from NV. The dam is only 6 miles from my house so I was fresh and ready and still sipping coffee from home. Then it happened. To the right of me and to the left, open desert hills and views, piles of desert mountains and oh, the sky was blue. I always have to pay attention to the road in that area because I get distracted by the colors and the eagles that live around Lake Mead and the little crazy chipmunks who dare to run on the road in front of the cars and trucks. The desert does thrill me. Before you know it though, you are driving into Kingman and the landscape has changed. That city has really grown but the beauty of a sunrise there is still more than I can tell. My friend Camille lives there and out the back of her ranch you can see shooting stars all night long. The County Fair happens every Labor Day Wknd there so I was tempted to stop but the road was still so new, I just drove on. As you make your way toward Flagstaff, all manner of road side offers fly by. I like the jerky places and the rock shops. This time I just kept going though as the cool air of the mountains called to me. It took me 3 hours to get to the pine trees below the snow level. Trucks and travel-trailers slowed me a little but I just set that cruise control and the flow of traffic seems to catch my pace and stay with me. Ashfork is where I usually get excited because soon I will be seeing Elk along the forest line and the hawks will be sailing along in front of my truck as I move up the road. As the trees get taller, the sky gets smaller. Then the smell of pine hits you and you find you are near the Parks turn-off. I was caretaker for 2000 acres there when I was in my twenties. Well, actually I was only 17 but they wouldn't let us live there if we were under age so we lied. Oh the days.....:+) I am told the ranches have parceled out and have been selling bit by bit. And so it goes. Just before I make it to the first turn off to Flagstaff the road gets steep and even though my little Ranger has power, it is tough to keep the pace so I just move as I can and then before I know it, I am on a surface road and slowing down for the locals. Oh my goodness, to see that many Elk just grazing along the side of the road, they are so big, it makes me feel my true place in the universe. I just can't stop grinning now and the oncoming drivers are catching my joy. I like to stop at Bun Huggers tavern on the corner that you turn at to go down the hill to the Phoenix valley. I don't eat beef but they have been a college town haunt for burgers and beers since I went to high school so if you are into the beef thing, well, they are for you. I like the home made french fries and well, they have two pool tables so I can take a break from the road and catch a game, too. Yeah, I like to play pool. The best part of it is that my big brother has lived up there since I was in high school and he eats lunch at Bun Huggers every day. Most of the time I just miss him but they know me and get messages to him for me. I am always getting a chat or two from one of the locals who thinks he knows me because I look so much like my big brother. I get that questioning look and they say, "I haven't seen you for a long time but don't I know you?" It's nice to be remembered and at Bun Huggers, you are with good people who feel the family feeling in their tavern. I always tell them I am Dave's little sister and then they come over with a hug and a, "Oh, yeah, how you been?" Grins and hugs all around... Well that's about it. After a bite to eat and maybe a game or two, I take 89A down the hill. Phoenix highways can be overwhelming and that is another story for another day. All I can say is if you enjoy the road like I do, treat yourself to the sights and smells of I-40 to Flagg. from Boulder City and then save the tales of your travels to enjoy on those days when work is tedious and people too troubling to endure. Life is good. N.
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