Our Trip Out West- #1

We recently got back from our “too long” trip out to Oregon where I have family.  My mother, 86 and in poor health, needed some help making her home safer for her to live in.  We drove.  Won’t do that again!!!!!!  Next time, I fly to our destination.  I will plan much shorter trips.

We had been considering selling our home and moving back west.  We have been researching different places.  We decided to cruise through the South West and look at some places we’re interested in.  Unfortunately, I was recovering from a severe illness that had left me hospitalized for a time and I am afraid the trip was much to ambitious for both of us.

We had recently become aware of a little gadget that we decided to try out on our trip.  It was a Garmin GPS unit.  We chose the cheapest one we could find.   Without a doubt it made our trip so much easier and less stressful.  It was worth every penny we paid for it.  I would recommend it to anyone who travels or is planning on traveling.  The voice  that directs you is pleasant, though she can be a nag if you make a wrong turn.  But, don’t fret.  She will have you back on track in no time.  It took a bit of getting used to, though.

The first thing is that you have to let go and let her direct you.  99% of the time, she knows what she is doing.  We second guessed her at times and got ourselves off track.  My husband would even argue with her.  She became like a third person traveling with us.  It was kind of funny.  However, as will all technical gadgets, there were a couple of times when she didn’t know where she was going but we managed to get ourselves turned back around and back on track.  Those were few and far between and due to new roads being built etc.

One thing we want to warn you about is she, (we called her Carmen), seemed to take us on all the back roads.  We went places we had never heard of before.  However, this was a blessing.  We were off the beaten path and we saw places we would never have seen if we had not trusted her to get us to our next destination.  We drove I-40 to Texas where we picked up a US highway that would take us to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico via Roswell, New Mexico.  That was a very pleasant trip! We drove through  the little town of Clovis, New Mexico where they have to military bases and a Veteran’s Hospital.  That is one place I want to go back to and check out when we have time.  It is a cattle and grain town.  It was quiet, beautiful, green, and relaxing.  I saw the biggest feed lot I have ever seen!  Silos and granaries were everywhere.  We drove along side a train track filled with grain cars, car carriers, cattle cars, etc, for miles and miles before coming to Clovis.  They even have a cheese factory there.  If we had not used the GPS, we would never have had that experience.

What do you think of when I mention the name, Roswell?  I think of a small rural town with one cafe, a few colorful locals and the infamous Roswell UFO sighting.  Well, you would be wrong.  That town is quite large!  They have a military academy there and walkways over the roads from the school to the soccer fields.  We never did find the UFO cafe.  But, we did take pictures of my husband sitting on a bench at the local Wal-Mart with aliens standing behind him.  Quite cute the way they have used their infamy for local color.

We checked out Truth Or Consequences.  I found it artsy, but a jumbled mess.  Trashy trailers and homes lumped together, with postage stamped yards mingled with beautiful homes.  I felt claustrophobic.  We had thought that lack of zoning would be something we would enjoy, but it was just too unkempt and chaotic for my taste.  I couldn’t be creative there.  This is just my opinion though.  We were surprised to find that we did like a little structure in our lives after all.

We then headed west out of town via the GPS.  It was a quiet drive and hardly any traffic. That made the drive quite enjoyable.  We stopped a small unique cafes along the way and took in the sites.  We passed the SETI array, (something we were interested in), which we hadn’t expected to see.  We even discovered Smokey Bear Boulevard high up in the mountains.  This was the place where they had rescued the tiny baby bear many years ago from a fire there.  He became the well known Smokey Bear.  There is a monument there and we ate at the Smokey Bear Cafe.   It was fun!

On that drive we discovered the Petrified Forest.  We drove through and got wonderful pictures and even bought a few souvenirs.

We finally converged with I-40 again and headed for Idaho Falls where we both have family.  Visiting with family is always pleasant and we hadn’t seen them in a long time.  While we were there we stayed with my son.  He works for a wonderful mattress place called My Comfort.  They sell special mattresses like the ones used in burn units of hospitals.  They are made of a jell much like the jell used in Dr. Scholls jell inserts.  The way they are made and the jell used eliminates pressure points.  He had one on his bed and we slept on it.  Wow!  What a wonderful night’s sleep.  We went out and bought one.  I have never had such comfortable sleep.  It is a wonderful product!!!!!!!!!

While we were there we got to tour the giant wind turbine  farm that was up on the hill above Idaho Falls.  I stood no more than 50 feet from one of these giants.  It is virtually silent.  There is a minor hmm something like a plane engine in the distance, but it is not obtrusive, nor annoying in any way and we found the the view was not impacted negatively at all.  They become part of the background and don’t seem to be unsightly.  In fact, they are kind of beautiful when you see them from a distance.  We saw them in Oklahoma as well as Texas also.

I will share more of  our trip soon.  For now, let me sum it up for you.  If you travel, purchase a Garmin GPS.  It’s wonderful!  It made finding our way across the country less stressful and at times relaxing.  If you are struggling with finding a comfortable mattress, check out MY COMFORT in Idaho Falls.  They are on the internet also.  I recommend this mattress!  You are worth it!    Wind turbines are not intrusive, not noisy, and don’t seem to impact the view.

Bye for now, more of our trip later



~ by womenstudycenter on October 23, 2009.

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