We are back from our trip that covered 1000 miles of the southwestern United States. We traveled all the way from California to New Mexico by car. I saw the town my husband grew up in. A little sad town called Mountainair. I learned that you can't judge a town by its main street. Most of the family moved away. The cousin who stayed lives on a big ranch outside of town. He walks and talks a lot like John Wayne and I was happy to meet him. I fell in love with his dog named Bandy.
I learned what it is like to sit under the stars with nothing but campfire for light. We made real smores and laughed at funny stories. I learned how to play washers and I showed them that California women could play horseshoes and even get a few ringers.
I discovered that llamas make good guard animals because they scare coyotes. I also learned that they'll spit at you if they don't like you.
I saw horizons so far that you couldn't see where they ended.
My husband promised me I would see cactus and I did.
I finally understood what it is to stand on a back porch and see nothing but plains for miles and miles.
We took a haunting trip to the Anasazi settlement of Gran Quivira, 25 miles from Mountainair, New Mexico. Gran Quivera was an active trade center from 900 A.D. to 1670 A.D.. You can read more about it here.
We headed back west, stopping in Williams, Arizona. I treated my husband to a birthday he will never forget. We were serenaded by cowboys as we rode the historic Grand Canyon train from Williams, Arizona to the rim of the Grand Canyon. While I stood in awe at the immense beauty and grandeur of the canyon from the safety of the guard rail, my husband stood on the rim and scared me to death. On the ride back to Williams, train robbers boarded the train and robbed us at gunpoint. It was all in good fun and an experience that anyone who loves old cowboy movies should experience.
I not only survived the car trip but discovered that my husband is the best traveling companion I've ever had.