Tuesday, November 11, 2008
A large portion of my weekend (and that being 12 hours on Saturday) was spent doing what I seemingly do best...driving.
And since Blogger didn't do what I asked, you'll have to look at the second picture first and then the first to really understand what I'm talking about.
When I got home Saturday after a long day of driving, talking, writing, driving some more and trying to figure out the ins and outs of football-telling, I sat on the couch and pounded out a quick column. The following is from that column, which I think best describes the feeling I have when I'm driving in New Mexico:
By the time I've reached Datil, I've crossed the Continental Divide three times (if I counted right) and feel as if I'm sitting on top of the world. In Kentucky, I used to have that feeling but on a much smaller scale. We'd be horse-back riding in the woods for hours and then all of a sudden, the trees would part and deliver us into a meadow full of green grass and a tranquility that the mountains didn't carry.
When I get to Datil, that's what I feel like.
The highways have carried me up a couple thousand feet through mountain ranges and rock edifaces to this: the high plains, where the mountains I was once in the middle of retreat to the background to allow the peacefulness of this massive meadow to take over. On one side, some of the mountains look like sand dunes; they're void of trees or grass and the afternoon sun glints off their tops, making them appear like gigantic gray caps. On the other side, there are more mountains but these have green junipers and cedars. In between is acre upon acre of plains.
Now, that's how I feel about traveling in New Mexico, poetically speaking. Later in the column, I get to the nuts and bolts of how I really feel about it:
Hwy. 117 is the type of New Mexico highway who's job is 1) be a road and 2) test the toughness of its passengers. Loose gravel, no center lines and sporadic roughness are just some of the things it uses to test your endurance. One of the rancher's wives actually said that the road conditions was one thing she saw deter people from living out there.
And if written words aren't enough, here's some video proof for you:
It's really not as bad as I'm sure my voice makes it out to be - there were lots of factors that day that made the trip less then appealing:
1) I was sick
2) I was tired
3) I was driving alone
But despite those factors, the trip is always rewarding because a) it is beautiful...and that's pretty much all there is to say about it. It's pretty beautiful country.