Our July road trip started out right with us collaborating to become the Alpine, Arizona, trivia champions. For one night. I knew that Thomas Jefferson was an architect. Dan’s logic brought the win home. A free dinner was ours.
Following two days in the cool Alpine mountain air, staying at the wonderful Alpine Inn, we headed out. (I loved that co-owner Burke and I agreed that this country’s problems probably stem from Americans chowing down too much junk food. His breakfasts were scrumptious!)
Driving from Arizona into northwest New Mexico, the landscape of another planet looms in the desert. Hailing from New England, the views still dazzle, even after living here for sixteen years.
Driving out west lands travelers on Mars. Take Moab, Utah, with its red rock extravagance. Driving out west anchors travelers in a deep ocean of history.
Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly wowed us thirty years ago with an Indian in the Cupboard moment, glimpsing tiny human beings and trucks from its rim. It still wows.
This was to be my Colorado trip: Pagosa Springs, Salida, Fort Collins, and Steamboat Springs, where hot springs beckoned. The most gorgeous drive I’ve ever experienced — along with the highest mountains at 12,000 feet — transported us to the Continental Divide on the way to Breckinridge, a too chic resort town we’ll avoid next time (there will be a next time for Ouray and other stops along Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway).
My least favorite day was driving across South Dakota, although some more little-known sights than Mount Rushmore or the Black Hills may be worth seeing.
Who doesn’t want a generous, kind heart like the Tin Man at the Land of OZ park in Aberdeen?
A Lakota woman’s call to Dignity touched my heart at a rest stop in Chamberlain.
The weirdest stop of all was in Alliance, Nebraska: Carhenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge, uh, built with cars!
But the best stop? Seeing my darling grandson, 18-month-old Foss, and my dear son and daughter-in-law at their home in Minneapolis.
And, driving back to Tucson after two and a half weeks of incredible in-car collaboration, bumping along Indian Route 15, road signs remind us: “Drive in Beauty.”