Even when driving south you are still subject to some adverse weather. We had decent luck running from the cold for a few days but it caught up with us in Oklahoma. While driving it dumped about 4 inches in a matter of a few hours. We ended up pulling into a truck stop to stay the night. Unfortunately it was the afternoon which meant we had the whole day to kill while we waited for the storm to die down. Luckily they had a diner with some delicious buffalo burgers, warm tea and a place to hang out at for a few hours. Thank goodness because trying to kill an entire day at a truck stop can be boring. We did happen to make some friends while there also...
We came across a couple of guys who rolled in through the snowstorm on their bikes. At 18 and 20, Valentine and Arlo were on their way from Boston to San Diego. They had been traveling for 2.5 months already and were about halfway through their trip. It was super inspiring to talk to a couple of young kids wanting to take some time to live slowly and experience life. We chatted about life on the road, the crazy people we had been meeting across the midwest. They had been camping out, staying in abandoned hotels and meeting people on the road who would host them and give them a place to stay. They were truly free on this trip. No agenda. No timeline. Just loving what they were doing. You can follow along with their travels on Instagram.
On our travels down Route 66 we found some really interesting roadside attractions like Cadillac Ranch.
"Cadillac Ranch is a public art installation and sculpture in Amarillo, Texas, U.S. It was created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. It consists of what were (when originally installed during 1974) either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line (most notably the birth and death of the defining feature of mid twentieth century Cadillacs; the tailfins) from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt." -Wiki
We swam in the "Blue Hole".
"The Blue Hole of Santa Rosa is a circular, bell shaped pool east of Santa Rosa, New Mexico that is one of the most popular dive destinations in the US for SCUBA diving and training. The Blue Hole is an artesian well that was once used as a fish hatchery. It is a clear blue body of water with a constant 64 °F (18 °C) temperature and constant inflow of 3000 gallons per minute. While the surface is only 80 feet (24 m) in diameter, it expands to a diameter of 130 feet (40 m) at the bottom." - Wiki
Made it to Arizona and had to visit the Petrified Forest National Forest. It was a completely surreal experience. To be able to walk around in an enormous desert filled with what looked like (and at one point was) these massive logs that upon further inspection were completely transformed into solid rock was unbelievable. Millions and millions of years of complete transformation from dense rain-forest on the southwestern edge of the supercontinent Pangaea to desolate desert as the continents shifted and the trees were covered so quickly in water and sediment that they fossilized and took on the color and attributes of the minerals that dissolved the wood away and replaced it.
The result was a gorgeous rainbow of different earth-tones making up these beautiful rock-logs strewn by the thousands across an endless desert. It was truly mesmerizing. A reminder of the impermanence of our lives. These petrified logs have been sitting, utterly untouched, for 60 million plus years. Completely at peace in their timelessness.
And of course I have been consuming an insane amount of coffee along the way. Nothing like waking up in the desert when it is 20 degrees and making some Aeropress in the sunlight.