Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Amarillo...

We left Tucson this morning. My heart was heavy. Saying goodbye wasn't exactly easy for me. I thought about my friends and the fun I had and the people I met. I thought about the warm sun on my face and the birds in the trees. I was homesick for a place I've never truly lived in.

During the night, the snow had fallen and the normally brown and dusky mountains in the background were snow-capped and all white. It was strange and some how fitting for our last morning in town.

We were making pretty good time. Greg had decided on a short-cut on up through Silver City, New Mexico. We would be going through the Gila National Forest. At first the roads were pretty deserted, level, and the speed limit higher. But eventually the flatlands turned rough, and the roads zig-zagged higher and higher. The storm was at our backs, the winds howling and shaking the mini-van. We snaked our way through, sometimes over ice and snow, curling and bending with the ribbon-like road.

Greg was starting to get tired of the constant weaving through the labyrinth of road, so we briefly stopped. I got outside and took a quick picture. Although the view was amazing and the ride absolutely gorgeous, I knew that it was a treacherous place. If the wind blew any harder, I would have been in danger of being swept off the mountain-top.

It's not noticeable in this picture, but the road hugged these mountains and we crawled through them. Although we weren't going very fast, we still ended up shaving off a little bit of time and the prospect of getting to the hotel quicker did much to balm the stress of driving in such conditions.

It's funny how one minute you're riding through wintry white snow and the next you're in the middle of the sun-soaked desert. The rocks, the trees, everything seemed different.

I didn't get any pictures of it, but we passed through a cute, although somewhat deserted little town of Hillsboro, New Mexico. I was impressed with the many cafes and galleries. Though not a sign of human life could be seen, I was still smitten with the quaint town that boasts no more than 250 (give or take) citizens.

Is it me, or does the sky somehow seem bigger here in the Southwest? Although I love the beach and I love the mountains of the Carolinas, I still am utterly charmed by the Southwest scenery. Part of me feels like I should up and pull a Georgia O'Keeffe or Agnes Martin.
We made it here in Amarillo, Texas just after 11PM. We'll be staying here the night and taking off early in the morning. Our hope is to reach Memphis early. I would very much like to explore it a bit before we head on back to Asheville.


SummersStudio said...

Lovely country out here. The sky seems bigger to me too. It is just the most incredible blue and the light is fantastic. Happy travels.

Anonymous said...

You and Greg be careful! I avoid any mountainy areas this time of year in New Mexico, AZ or CO - never know when a nasty storm will hit. So you and Greg have bigger balls than Dad or I.

It was nice to see you - even if it was just as I breezed up and down your aisle. Greg is signing up for the March HI Soft Flex show, so I might see you there, or maybe in Santa Fe.


Unknown said...

I think Arizona would welcome you as a home....if you ever had the inclination to try it out. :)

Andrew Thornton said...

LeAnne the sky does seem bigger out there, an electric blue and usually calm and clear.

I will miss it much.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Jenny!

Big balls... maybe. Or just ignorance. I don't think Greg would have been so willing to take the shortcut had he known how high stress it would be.

We were lucky to get through when we did. A storm rolled through after us. I worried about the car we passed heading in the opposite direction... going towards where we left and into the heart of the storm.

I am looking forward to seeing you in Hawaii. I can't wait to soak up a little sun. I am in desperate need of it!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Ask Sara!

Perhaps one day I will. For now I'm very much rooted in New York. I like the little trips down to reconnect with my family in North Carolina, but I am very much a City Dwelling creature. New York has spoiled me something awful!

jennifer said...

wow, nature. haven't seen much of it in awhile. it's beautiful.