Thursday, June 11, 2015

10 June 2015 Albuquerque to Flagstaff

The drive from Clovis, NM to Flagstaff, AZ would probably be monotonous for some. And had I been on interstates the whole way I might have agreed. There is no convenient interstate that goes where I was headed so I was on 84 most of the way. The two lane highway was more tiring than the better highways for a number of reasons. The pavement was not always good. The Prius probably picked up some tar during one long paving section. Traffic was sometimes heavy in both directions making passing difficult. The speed limit was 75 most of the time but some vehicles couldn't or wouldn't go that fast. The towns - visible from a long distance thanks to the grain elevators - slowed everyone. That fact however made the trip more interesting. It was a little disconcerting to see the signs for a town but no evidence of any inhabitable structure. The number of abandoned structures of all sorts was a little alarming. What happened to all those people? Did they die? Did they move to a "city"? Did they own the land and sell it? Were they kicked out for some reason? We have a lot of tumbledown buildings in the boondocks of Pennsylvania. I guess they are everywhere. Evidence of changing society or something.

 Meanwhile trains, trains, trains. I have never seen so many trains even when they ran in front of my house. No half hour went by without seeing one or more. They passed the motel in Clovis and I can hear them here. They don't bother me. At least one train was all tank cars. I wondered if it was hauling oil. One was almost all UPS trucks. Some were double deckers and other just containers. There seemed to be some method to the loads. They were all very long usually with at least three diesels pushing or pulling. I love trains and was always happy to see them tho a bit amazed at the quantity. I considered taking the train tour of the Grand Canyon but thought I would be too tired to drive to Williams. The bus will do. Taking photos at 82 mph is not easy. Far too many are just blurs. What follows are the ones that are useable more or less. They are in order.

I liked the hills with the long view ahead.

Every once in awhile there would be a building.

A glimpse of hills after so much flat land.

Huge signs. I didn't stop at any of the attractions.

Real hills in the distance.

I was so excited to see mountains.

These redish mesas were fascinating.

Farther on they changed character.

The sun was on the windshield so the photos of the mountains near Flagstaff didn't photograph well.

This type of traffic light was banned in Ohio years ago but they are all over Texas. When there are left turns, the set can get very complicated. This is a simple set.

I stopped for lunch in Albuquerque to have lunch with Paul. I had originally planned to stay with another friend but he had to fly home before I could get there. I agonized about how to change the schedule for many days but so far it has worked wonderfully. So far...

1 comment:

Kirin said...

Hi Shel!
I am thoroughly enjoying your blog, your FB comments, and especially your photos. You are an excellent chronicler (not sure of that spelling) and it's wonderful that you are able to see friends and sights and the vastness of this country. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
I hope you've acquired and used some sunscreen. ;-)
Have a peaceful evening and a good rest.