I thought I would be supremely inspired to write now that I am on the road, but truth be told, I have not been inspired in the least! But, perhaps…that is where to begin.
I left Atlanta this past Monday, Jan 23rd. The “yellow brick road” was a very wet one. Rained for the first 2 hours until I hit Birmingham, AL. Afterwards, smooth sailing into my first destination, Oxford, MS. Notes about Oxford: a quaint, clean town. Home to University of Mississippi or more commonly known as OLE MISS. Lots of red brick buildings (typical of the south) and a cute “historic”downtown square. For you readers out there, William Faulkner made Oxford his home as did John Grisham for many years. Surprisingly, I did not find the locals there to be all that friendly. Strange, I thought. I did find a good bookstore and a place for breakfast. The breakfast place is called Bottletree Bakery! Wonderful granola! I did go for a run there, but will share about the running in my weekly recap.
Next stop: Little Rock, AR
I departed Oxford and headed west, then northwest to Little Rock, AR, bypassing Memphis. I chose this more northerly route because all the other times (3) I have been across country, I have traveled thru Texas and wanted to see some other states this time. Unfortunately, there was not a lot to see on this drive to Arkansas. I pulled into Little Rock late in the day and actually just ate dinner at my hotel. I wish I had something more exciting to tell you, but I don’t. I’ve been staying at Holiday Inn Express Hotels and so far, all have been pretty good places to stay. You know I am a coffee snob, so I have not had too much of the hotel coffee and the next morning, I went in search of a coffee shop in little rock. I actually wanted to serif I could find alternate places to Starbucks. I tried. I found a place and ordered a regular coffee. I hate to say it, but I left and had to chuck the coffee…yikes. Ok…where is nearest Starbucks…
..I found it! Ok…onward to Oklahoma City!
More rain greeted me on this third day of my journey. Rained a good bit, but pulled in OKC with blue skies and sunshine. I easily found the main downtown area and more specifically, the basketball arena. I had considered going to the NBA game that night, but then decided against it when I could not find a hotel room anywhere nearby! Bummerstay had to stay on the outskirts of town and saw a Mexican place within walking distance. I thought maybe this place would have good food and margaritas, but no…damn! Well, at least the meal was cheap…I am without a job, you know!
I ran the next morning and then took off for East New Mexico. I mean no offense to anyone who lives in either OKC or Little Rock, but as I spent just a little bit of time there, I found both places to be rather dreary and depressing. Perhaps, it is because of winter. All I can say is that being there made me appreciate where I have lived (Atlanta) and where I am headed to next (SF)
From OKC, I headed west and then Southwest and stayed in a very small town called Santa Rosa, NM. I could have gone longer, but I am trying not to drive more than 6-7 hours a day. Beyond that, it just isn’t too much fun! I got a recommendation for dinner and margaritas from the hotel front desk clerk. Both the food and margaritas were better than my previous 2, but still far from what I am accustomed to….I guess I am becoming a margarita snob in additon to a coffee snob. OK. I can probably live with that….
I love the SouthWest. When you drive across it, it’s hard not to just continuously drop your jaw in disbelief over the beauty of the landscape. And the quiet….ahhh, it’s so amazingly quiet. One of the things I have noticed since I have been traveling is how my mind has just been quieter and quiter….the inner noise is virtually non-existent. It’s as if the driving has been my traveling meditation. Wonderfully peaceful. 2 weeks ago, my head was filled with so much stress, noise, worry….and it has all but simply fallen away….no doubt some of it will come back, because actually a certain amount of stress is good, but it’s nice to have the quiet for now, both internally and externally.
I left early the next morning and headed towards Flagstaff, with a brief stop in Albuquerque. I thought I might stop and stay in Santa Fe or Taos, but as I got closer and closer, I was just now drawn to do so….I think I just want to get “home”. I stopped for a cappuccino and a couple of grocery items in Albuquerque and then kept truckin’ on to Flagstaff, AZ. And that is where I currently am, Flagstaff. Cool little town in Northern Arizona! Decided to stay 2 nights. Ran this morning and will catch up on the running posts tomorrow. Hope to get another run in tomorrow morning before heading to Las Vegas!