Monday, May 10, 2010

Drive, part 3

My time in Colorado has toughened me to mountain driving. I’ve done Vail Pass and been forced to take Tennessee Pass in scary weather when the interstate was closed.  I’ve driven Independence Pass multiple times and don’t even get slightly anxious anymore. But Red Mountain Pass kicked my ass for some reason.  The heavily loaded car, the animal cargo, the lack of other cars on the road, nonexistent cell phone signal… any and all contributed to making me one giant stress ball incapable of fully enjoying the views.

When I finally got down on the other side I felt a huge weight off my shoulders, and disappointment.  It wasn’t supposed to be stressful!  It was supposed to be transformative and peaceful, dammit!
I kept going. I stopped for gas.  I passed through Durango.  Before I knew it I was in New Mexico.  I was sad as I crossed the state line and said goodbye to Colorado.  I plan to be back in the fall, but something felt final about that moment.  And not in a transformative peaceful way, either.

Much of the first part of my New Mexico drive was filled with stop lights and low speed limits.  This was not magical.  There was some beautiful scenery, but I was barely able to enjoy the magic because I was done of it.  I had wanted to stay off of interstates some (not that I had an option from Durango to Santa Fe), for solitude and more interesting scenery; I had found neither, really.  By the time I was on major highway I just wanted to be done.  I was done.  My eight hour drive was closer to ten at that point, and my shoulders were still up by my ears from the near-death drive over the pass.

Santa Fe, I have to say, was lovely.  I arrived as the sun was setting, and the pear trees were blooming there (they were not yet in Colorado, where it was still winter, and they have already passed in North Carolina, summer is here- Santa Fe was my Spring), and the breeze was perfect.  I loaded the cat carrier on a luggage cart (the carrier is more than 40 pounds, as each cat is at least 20), lured Max into the elevator (he hates elevators, but also refuses those outdoor stairs that are like grates), ordered a pizza, and got as much sleep as I could despite Merlin’s frequent meowing and Max’s bed-hogging.

Santa Fe, by the way, at 7000 feet, is the highest state capital in the country. Just some trivia for you.


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