Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Crazy-ass Road Trip '08: Part One

I've been trying to make a post while on the road but have been having some difficulty, so we'll see how it goes now...

I left from my office at 4 pm Friday, with the temperature somewhere around 100 (I don't really care to know what it was exactly). Other than the heat everything was fine. I picked up a couple new counties. I had planned on spending the night in Lubbock, but my route skirted me around town and I didn't pass any motels. Rather than deviate from my route, I went up I27 to Plainview, getting there about 11:30. I was pretty tired and my lower back was killing me. I brought far too much crap with me, so much that I have to wear my backpack, which is stuffed to the brim, and because I have a bunch of camping gear on the back seat, it pushes me forward on the seat, which makes it hard to sit comfortably.
I woke up pretty early Saturday even though I didn't get to sleep until 1. I went through Amarillo and into Oklahoma and turned off the highway onto a small back road with a few families of prairie dogs. When I got to Kenton, a few miles from the OK high point, I was very glad to see they had a gas pump since I was getting low. When I went inside the clerk informed me that they haven't had gas for a while since an inspector shut it down. She told me the nearest places that did have gas, I bought a drink and headed to the HP. In the gravel parking area I changed into shorts, a short sleeved t-shirt, and my hiking boots. It was a 4 mile hike one way, but not particularly strenuous. I did wind up drinking every drop of my 1-liter Nalgene bottle. There was a fairly flat section, then a switchback up to the top of Black Mesa, then pretty flat across the mesa to the high point, marked by a stone obelisk. It honestly wasn't especially impressive, there was a decent view but certainly not the best view I've had on an 8-mile hike. I took some pictures and headed back to the parking area. I changed back and headed to New Mexico to get gas and then went up I25 into Colorado. I was planning on staying in Walsenburg, but it's a small town and didn't have many lodging options. I pretty much had my mind set on drinking beer in a hot tub, so I decided instead to backtrack and stay in Trinidad. I stayed in a Holiday Inn, which was far too expensive, ate in their restaurant, which was decent but not great, and sat in the hot tub for a while. They didn't allow outside alcohol since they have a liquor license but I wasn't as intent on a beer at that point. The problem with the pool area, though, was that there were six unsupervised children running around. I chatted for a bit with a retired guy, then retired to my attractive, comfortable room.

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