Chris & Mike’s Big Holiday Adventure, VI

The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
~Aaron Lauritsen

Mike and I are tired—he because he’s been driving hours on end, and I because I have not slept well the last few nights. I cannot wait to be home in my own bed with my own blankets and my own floors and my own La-Z-Boy. That doesn’t mean I haven’t had a great time; I have. I’m just tired of hotel beds that are not comfortable and sitting in a car for hours-on-end while fighting a little dog who is stronger than anyone would ever believe. He usually wins because, quite frankly, he is more persistent than any I am.

And we wonder why Riley is spoiled?

Allow me to explain. We put him in the backseat after we pack the car each morning, and before either one of us can get into our seats, he has jumped onto the console between our seats and sits waiting for us. “Get in the back!” I tell him, and he stares ahead, ignoring me completely. I try to push him back, but he is a strong little thing, so I either have to pick him up and place him there—not easy since he’s overweight—or I have to give in. I refuse to give in first thing in the morning, so I do the pick-up routine, but he jumps back up. I use my arm as a blockade, but he pushes it or tries to step over it.

Somewhere in west Texas

I swear it’s like living with an ornery five-year-old child. If he were a kid, I could put him in time-out, but Riley is a typical terrier. He does what he wants to do and ignores what he doesn’t want to do. It’s exhausting.

The International Gateway Bridge

At any rate, we’ve been on Interstate 10 since we left Largo on Thursday, and we’ll continue on a bit tomorrow until we head north somewhere near Tuscon or Phoenix. Did you know that I-10 spans 880 miles in Texas? We do since we’ve covered every mile of it from its border with Louisiana to its border with New Mexico. When you drive I-10 through El Paso, you can see Mexico on the south side of the interstate, and you can take anyone of the international bridges out of the US and into Mexico. We didn’t.

Welcome to New Mexico!

Nothing against Texas. but I was never so glad to get out of that state as I was this afternoon. We rolled into New Mexico around 2:00 this afternoon and made it to Lordsburg, our stop for the night, before 4:30.

Until yesterday, I had not heard of Lordsburg, New Mexico. Originally, we had planned to stay in Las Cruces tonight, but yesterday we decided to drive the longer distance today so that we would have an easier drive home tomorrow. Believe me when I say that there are not many towns on I-10 between Las Cruces, which is on the Texas border, and Lordsburg which is close to the state’s western border with Arizona.

Heading west to Lordsburg

The total area of Lordsburg is 8.4 square miles, most of which consists of bare land, and its population is about 2800. There are 12 motels, six or seven chain and three locally owned restaurants (but no Starbucks), and chain gas stations galore. Its claim to fame is that one of the city’s residents, Elizabeth Garrett, wrote New Mexico’s state song. It was also home to one of the detention camps of Japanese-Americans during WWII.

I am just amazed at how far you can see on clear days.

There are patches of old snow on the ground, and it’s freezing here tonight. We’re heading out early so we can get home at a good time. Liam, my Irish-voiced male Siri (I renamed him) tells me it is 579 miles from the Lordsburg Hampton Inn to our driveway. Don’t get between the La-Z-Boy and me tomorrow afternoon.

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