Our waitress, she proved there could be aliens among us. Looked to be about 70 (and probably smoked that many Lucky Strikes a day), told some really dry jokes and just kind of creeped me out. That's not an easy feat! After what was one of the better breakfasts I've had at Cracker Barrel... the name definitely suited the place!
Once again, off on our adventure. Checked the live well on the Ed, hahaha, made sure the hitch was solid and the lights worked. The brand new license plate showed a little wear, from what I assumed was a result of the monsoon we endured. Some massaging with the palm had it in shape. As is always the case, I set my GPS for the next round... and I just don't trust the damned things. I want to be sure I am headed the right way. When it loaded, it showed how far we were from Santa Fe. A quick calculation put us there around 4 or 5 that afternoon. Suddenly, we realize we won't have to lie around there for a whole day. The place we were going, the website said they quit selling tickets at 6, but didn't close until 8:30. We ran it by Spencer. Of course our impatient young squire would love that. Point the beast in a westerly direction and away we drove.
Across Oklahoma into Texas...I saw more damned trucks sitting in fields than I could ever count. I'd love to get my hands on a few of them! Some looked pretty damned solid. We hit Amarillo and just like last year, road construction. I am sure it could be used as a suspension test track. Rougher than a cob and tight lanes had me puckering and I wasn't trying to kiss the chica. I am sorry, but I will never be a cheerleader for northern Texas. As the highway unfolded before us, we were catching some hills and the New Mexico landscape. More nothingness than you can shake a stick at, but it is beautiful... just awe inspiring.
Highway 40 is like a ribbon stretching out in front of us. We finally reach the exit to Santa Fe, route 63 or something like that.... or was it 25... Hell, don't ask me, I'm driving over a road, reminiscent of the highway in It's a Mad Mad Mad World. Until I got behind the earth mother in her Volvo with the dog in the back seat. Geez, this woman had to be from Missouri... she couldn't drive for shi.... she drove badly. We get around her, find our turn to head into Santa Fe. It's just about dusk, GPS is guiding us through town, like only GPS can. It sent us down streets we had no business being on. Cross this street diagonally, that street a left into evening rush traffic, down a cul de sac, cut through the muffler shop parking lot. When I was done, I felt I had accomplished something! We arrived at Spencer's destination. He was ready to jump out of the truck before it stopped rolling. Trying to park the beast and a 50 year old, 26 foot long trailer on a narrow Santa Fe street was my first brush with murder for the night. I think I encountered Earth Mother's sister and she quickly learned, Ram beats Prius. But I digress...
Meow Wolf, is a most unique place. It was co-created by one of the creators of Game of Thrones. There will soon be a couple more opening in different areas of the country.
Every trip, we try to do something Spencer can enjoy. The year before we spent a day with Adam at Technicolor. The year before was Legoland and places like Warner Brothers. This place is best described as an art house. It's an old bowling alley, in which they built a house, with each room being designed by artists from around the world. Some were 3D, a first for me, as you actually wear 3D glasses while walking through the rooms and it is amazing. I highly recommend it if you have a sense of adventure and a love of art. Check out the photos, it's beyond description. We spent a good 2 hours roaming the place and discovering all the rooms. Spencer was ready to go, I was beat, and wife was hungry.
Our adventure getting out of there was almost as daring as it was getting in. I needed fuel, we were on vapors as it was, when we got in town. I found a station with diesel, maneuver the rigs in the narrow pump lanes. When I climbed out, I hear, Sir...Sir..." There in front of me stands a guy, maybe early 20's, weighed in at about 320, with a roll of paper towels, and a bottle of window cleaner. "Sir," he says," I'm homeless and am trying to save up my last hundred dollars for my first month's rent on an apartment. Can I wash your window for 2 dollars?" I figured it beat me standing there scraping bug guts off it . So I tell him go ahead. I get the pump in the filler neck and see I have to pay first. As I walk into the station, I hear something that sounded like an oil can, I turn around to see and there is Skippy the Samoan sitting on my hood, smiling and waving at me. I come back to fill the truck, the guy is standing on the tire, finishing the window. Hang up the pump, turn to have him ask, "How does it look, sir?" Hey, it was clean and I didn't have to scrape those damn bugs off! He hops down, I slip him his dough, turn to get in and I figured out what the oil can noise was. That moron sat ON the hood. I yelled, "Hey! You dented my hood!" He comes over and looks at it and says," Oh, well you know you can get paint less dent removal now..." At that point, brush with murder number two happened. I wanted to strangle that mild mannered goon. Instead, I just got in the truck and roared out of the lot, I think I got close to him as the Ed swung wide. We get to the light and when it turns green, I pull out and I see a motel up the street, as we decided to spend the night in Santa Fe, get some chow and sleep, then head out in the morning. Well.... what I thought was a left turn lane.... yeah... it wasn't I was so pissed by now, I just shot out into the wrong lane and drove almost half a block until we pulled into the next hotel lot. Close, but we made it. We circle the lot. You know... you really don't realize how damn long a 4 door Ram with a Mr. Ed trailer is, until you try to park it in the Motel 6 parking lot, in Santa Fe. I finally found a spot that allowed cars to pass it and be within view of our potential room. The front desk required a walk around the stairs and through a foyer. Our hospitable front desk clerk .... Does anyone else consider Santa Fe to be like a Fellini movie? ... the desk clerk was about the size of Wally the Window Washer, had bleach blonde hair and a real flirt. I booked the room and got a wink. I shook his hand and thanked him, thinking the whole time, "Buck, get your ass in that room!" We gathered the luggage, hiked it up to our spacious second floor penthouse. It was actually clean and didn't smell like Patchouli. We found a Chinese restaurant next door. It was pretty good, once they got the order right. I think it was owned by Mexicans, or American Indians. Stuffed to the gills, we walk out into that high desert cold and couldn't get to the room fast enough. Hit the bed and peered out the window, truck was good, hood was still dented. Last thing I recall was my head hitting the pillow. Sleep came easy.
Tomorrow, Grand Canyon... yippee....
Tune in next week for Part 3 of the journey
NOSTALGIA DRAG WORLD - By Eddie Buck