After a whirl wind few weeks at home in California, I packed up for return to Austin and our month in San Miguel. We planned an early start for Saturday so I drove to Fresno on Friday night. The full moon coming up over the Central Valley was truly awe inspiring. Who would have though Highway 99 could be so beautiful?
Raney was set to travel with me to Las Cruces where she would spend a week with J and family, fly on to Dallas to visit A and family, then finally fly home again to Fresno.
We were headed for Lake Havasu for our first night at C's condo, but had to stop at Murrey Family Farms for cherries and sweet peas. The bouquet of sweet peas rode happily in the van for several days.
An early start from Havasu got us to the Grand Canyon for a walk along the rim trail and a picnic lunch. My pics don't do it justice, but I loved this haiku....
We pulled into Holbrook about dusk and got slightly lost finding our motel. Not much to see there, I practiced parking the van in a right spot. No worries, it's a dream to drive and park.
The planned route was Highway 180 southeast across New Mexico. A slight detour took us through Snowflake. It's a green, green, green town, very happy change from the desert! Raney's brother and family had lived there quite a few years ago. It was fun to finally see it.
We stopped for a Root Beer float on Route 66 and found 1966...
My favorite scene from Route 66...
Further down 180 we found the "Madonna of the Trail". Also stopped at the Visitors Center.
We were in for a fun drive.
My road atlas is pretty basic so I didn't really know about the high mountains we would be crossing. The pass was 8500 feet and the While Mountains were beautiful. We stopped at Luna Lake near Alpine for a lunch break.
Continuing through the mountains, we crossed the San Francisco River. I jumped out to take a pic of the rusty old bridge and was excited to see a family of javalina walking up the river bed.
Look really closely in the above pic to see this guy (or gal)....
We hurried past Silver City hoping to get to Las Cruces before bed time for the Randolph family.
Charlie was waiting up for us, as were the boys! They were too excited about seeing Grandma Raney to even think about sleep.
The next morning I made my favorite stop at the Texas Visitors Center. These pink trees were blooming in the parking lot. Soon I will research what they are called besides "pink trees". Sorry to say the employees in the Visitors Center didn't know either!
My last night on the road I stayed just east of Ozona. A HUGE storm was brewing at sunset. It let loose about 9 pm with thunder, lightning and RAIN until midnight!
I arrived in Austin about 2 pm. Visited with B and P until dark, then off to my condo and a lovely nights sleep.....no thunder and lightning!