Thought that it was about time that I spoke up and told you how the trip is really going. I thought that you might have been missing my input in any case.
So, I got to Santa Fe and it was amazing. A little art haven high up in the desert. Full of our kind of people and lots of tourists...
Beth had an amazing birthday experience that I managed not to ruin with my fear of water. I must say that when we stopped on the white water rafting day for lunch, I very nearly joined the guy who was following us in the van for the rest of the afternoon. You know what, you get to my age and you think to yourself:
A What the hell happens if Robin cannot drive the million miles to New York?
B. What happens if I do fall out of the raft and the guy has to push me under the water and I am
pulled out and I panic? Plus my hair gets wet and then I start to cry in front of my children.
C. What the hell did I get myself talked into?
But, I swallowed and bit the bullet and promised myself the hugest coffee when we made it to the other end. A good tactic that seemed to be the carrot that I needed. Then, Lewis took every rapid backwards with a huge grin on his face and I thought to myself, Sarah, you are an absolute idiot as I clung on for dear life. Phew. Glad that one is over and done with and I can come home and tell everyone that I went White Water Rafting and that it was super COOL.
Anyways, we had to get on the journey again and drove and drove. First to Texas (bear in mind that I cannot remember the names too well) and stopped in Armadillo for the night. Damn, those people have a lovely accent. Luckily they seemed to like ours and we had a most amazing night with the most fantastic shower so far on the whole journey, the next day. .....
( Note to self. Why did I think that I would actually get a decent hot shower with enough water pressure to get the soap out of my hair on this holiday?)
Oh yes, next day we got up at the crack of dawn and set off towards Oklahoma. I must say, what an interesting place. From what I could see from behind the wheel (I drove all the way through it) it was very very pretty. Never knew that they had oil and the largest amount of lorries driving cows to get slaughtered that I have ever seen. Then we came out in Kansas. You be thinking that the Nav machine woman got us driving in the wrong direction and between you and me there was a time when I thought to myself that we must be mad.
I got my time as the co-driver. Opened up the Lonely Planet Guide to North America and then read the two pages on Kansas and nearly cried. After that I looked at the map, you know on the big picture and saw that we were in one of the biggest states yet. How was it possible? Determined not to get side tracked into a Veggie Protest outside a meat factory or arrested at a traffic light for letting the cows out of a truck in front of us at a red light , I picked up the other guide that we had brought with us and dug in there. Low and behold.... A glimmer of light. A place to see. A slim hope of something that would be a life saving adventure. ...
So that's how we ended up leaving the main road. It said in the guide Monument rocks and so we went to check them out. We turned on to some very doggy dirt roads I must say when Robin mentioned the barbed wire and notices on either side of us saying in red not to trespass I thought ,umm! In the back, Lewis was having a great time watching the dust behind us and then it occured to me that we were leaving a trail that some guy sitting on his porch a hundred miles away would see and I thought ,oh bugger! But there was of course no way but forward and it was far too late to get back to civilsation.
I know what you are thinking. They watch far too many movies... but, what you have got to take into account is that when you drive on these roads in the backwaters of Kansas you are lucky if you see a car coming in the opposite direction once in an hour. Eventually we arrived ( and guess what, there was absolutely noone there but us) . As they say in China careful what you wish for. Or something! What an adventure.
But, we were safe, with the distinct advantage that we were on a hill and could also see them coming as well. (Damn why didn't we stop back in Texas at that gunshop?) Incidently the place was worth it. Totally awesome.
We stayed and looked at it for a while and then turned back. Thinking we were out of danger and that we would be back trundling along on the 281 in no time. But, of course, we took a wrong turn at the only crossroads on the tracks and ended up totally and utterly lost. As far as the woman in the Nav box was concerned we were in the middle of nowhere driving on a field. She was not a happy Irish person.!!
I sat there next to Robin thinking... maybe we should stop and knock on one of those farms and ask. Stupidly (not the first time this week )I mentioned it. To which Beth shouted from her seat behind.., Mum, are you crazy, you never get out of the vehicle and ask, didn't you watch bla bla movie? I of course hadn't. But, I got the gist and in anycase I got us into this so would have to get us out of this. I turned to the trusty map (thanks Tom) and found that we were in fact on a white road and that if we drove thirty miles, and I am not kidding, north we would eventually meet the big blue road and we would leave Barton County. I can say that we made it and kept the doors and windows locked the whole time. SOrry Kansas!
After that.... what does a family like ours do? We drive to the next town. Hit the shops and buy a TV and a Wii. Nothing like a bit of retail therapy to remind you who you are.
You should have seen us smiling when we left Walmart!