Sunday, October 16, 2011

Moving to Portland: Part Two

[Last time on this here blog, I spent my last day in El Paso and drove across New Mexico to my grandma's house in Farmington, New Mexico. You can catch up on that post HERE.]

In the morning I awoke and got ready to go to church with my grandma. We went to Sacred Heart Catholic Church a few blocks away. Now, my grandma is quite the...ahem..."inventive" driver. Essentially, she makes up her own set of traffic regulations. She parked her Cadillac in an area blocked off with the words "No Parking" in easily visible locations. That is her space.



I like that church mainly because it reminds me of Christmas. Every year we attend Midnight Mass there. It is always cold, occasionally it begins snowing when we leave. I associate the church with a peacefulness I rarely have. This day was no exception. After mass we went back to the house to pick up grandpa so we could go eat breakfast.

He sat in the backseat even though I offered to give up my space. On the way to IHOP, they both asked me questions about Oregon and what my plans were. Inside we had to wait quite awhile to be sat. Grandpa picked up a newspaper and informed me Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis had died. That came as a shock, though I suppose I knew he was in bad shape from the last photo I saw of him. We all talked some more about family and whatnot. What was most impressive was how they seemed to know everyone there. After greeting one of the employees and speaking with them and their lives, I would be told the person's backstory. I found out who was related to other employees there, who had left to have a baby and came back, who got married and left, and on and on.

Finally able to get a table, I was able to speak even more with my grandparents. I loved watching them interact with each other. Even after so long they are not bored with each other and seem to have a very strong relationship. That breakfast, aside from being tasty, meant a lot to me to attend. It gave me hope.

We drove home and I took a nap because I felt a bit tired still from the previous days drive. I slept for hours. My intention was only to rest my eyes for about thirty minutes. Oh well. I took my grandma out to the shed to meet Catface. She loved him. He is a great cat so I should have expected that! What I did not expect was that grandpa would love him too. I have never seen either of them interact with a cat before.

Grandma offered me the option of staying another night there. As much as I enjoyed my time in Farmington, I knew I had to get to Idaho by that night and had to leave. So after a trip to Sam's for some gas, I left for a new home. Catface even came out of hiding for the drive and hung out over my shoulder.


Driving into Colorado was nice. I have been there a few times, but not since I was a kid. Generally I love mountains, but this was something else. The scene a few hours into the drive was incredible. It reminded me of an old move. At the time I could not remember which one exactly. Now I think it was a least partially Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. My mom watched that thing a billion times when I was a child. I know it by heart. I wish I had stopped to take a picture of the scene. Oh wait! The internet. I can find this place.

Via DaveO on Panoramio
Via Sara Bombaci on Panoramio
At a "T" intersection, a family riding bikes waved at me. Strange people...

Really, all of Colorado is beautiful. This is a different place down the road.

Via David E. Smeeth on Panoramio
Utah was nice too...for awhile. There were tons of great rock formations, but this took the cake.

Via Michael Sch√§ffner on Panoramio
The roads in Colorado had mostly been relatively straight. Now they were curvy. I felt like I was a Hot Wheels car on one of the little racing tracks I played with a long, long time ago (yesterday). As expected, sunset over all these rock formations and mountains was breathtaking, but I somehow managed to catch my breath and drive on without crashing.

Night crept up on me and I ventured deeper into the mountains. Now there were a few cars traveling in both directions. The many different car lights coming around the bends in the road cast strange shadows everywhere. I began to feel enclosed as the rock walls towered over both sides of the narrowing road. Suddenly, the mountain came to life and breathed fire and smoke. It was illuminated. My pulse quickened as I tried to figure out what was going on. Was it a monster or was the mountain on fire. If it was on fire, it would be a gigantic one. Zooming through the turn, I realized it was a factory of some sort. Later I would learn it is a power plant. At least now I knew my mind could still play tremendous tricks on me.

Via  spence-ation on Panoramio
Now feeling exhausted from my near brush with a fire-breathing dragon trapped in a mountain, I was relieved to see civilization again. At this point I figured I should find a place to eat and gas up. I drove into Provo hoping I would find both. The first place exit I tried had neither so I continued on. There is only a slight seperation between that area and Salt Lake City. Of course a big city would have plenty of gas stations and fast food places, right? I will never know because the amount of construction prevented me from finding anything. The lights for the work crews shined so bright I could not read certain information road signs or see where to turn off the highway. Frustrated, I continues on to what I assume are suburbs. Luckily, I found a nice little group of businesses and a McDonalds. Normally I do not eat there, but I pretty much had to. The cool thing about the Salt Lake City area was the sports radio stations. It was nothing particularly special; I simply enjoyed hearing sports talk radio. I listened until the static outshouted the announcers.

The rest of the drive through Utah and into Idaho proved to be uneventful. Rarely did I come across any cars. I managed to speak to Jackie, my best friend, for quite some time. She kept asking when I would be in her time zone. That was very important to her. So cute, that girl. We were excited to see one another. Only a day away now...

I originally planned to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot in Jerome, Idaho. It is a so-called "Supercenter." I used to work at a Super Walmart in Las Cruces, New Mexico and it was a 24-hour store. All the ones I have ever seen have been 24-hour stores. I thought I could pull up there, use the restroom inside, change into some sleeping clothes (a pair of basketball shorts), maybe buy some ice cream and then spend the night in my car. Unfortunately, that store happened to not be open when I arrived. Disappointing for sure, especially considering I was quickly running out of battery life on my phone, could not find the charger, and wanted to buy a car-adaptable charger inside so I could keep texting Jackie.

Nevertheless, I was one day closer to Portland.

[Part Three is posted rightttttttt HERE!]
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