I'm blogging from an undisclosed location, 925 miles from Fort Collins, after 14 hours of driving over two days.
The past two days have been a photographer's dream, this drive was one of the most colorful and scenic winter road trips I have ever taken. The first day was through southern Colorado and northern New Mexico in the afternoon light and today was through western New Mexico and Arizona with mostly morning light.
Because of where Phoenix sits relative to the time zone boundaries, we get dark mornings but longer afternoons here. The sun sets around 5 pm in Ft. Collins these days and here in west Phoenix, about 120 miles east of California, the sun sets around 6 pm.
I took pictures the whole way of course, but I did something really dumb. I took my beater laptop with me on the road, but forgot to install the software to read the digital photos off my camera and card reader before I left. So I can't include the trip shots until after I get home in January.
The first night I stayed in an overpriced, dingy hotel room in Santa Fe. Last year Steph and I stayed in the same place and had a nice room and I remembered it, so I planned on staying there again. This year I booked the room just for me and I got a queen bed, what I didn't realize was that made a difference in the overall quality of the room.
I woke up early this morning and decided I didn't want to hang out in Santa Fe, I wanted to hit the road early and get settled for a few days in Phoenix so I can relax before the race. Now I'm in my bunker in my undisclosed location, which is really the Best Western in Goodyear, AZ. Outside my window it looks something like this:
The light over the Jemez and the Sandias this morning was pink and lavender over pinon-dotted hills, makes me want to paint again! I wanted to stop every 5 feet and take pictures but I never would have made it to Phoenix today.
Once I got into Arizona I had to stop for my obligatory photo op at the Goodwater sign. I set the timer on my camera and took the picture for Steph, while the semis whipped up the gravel and wind as they flew by.
I was amazed at the amount of snow on the rim between Heber and Payson, it had to be at least 4 feet. Where the roads had been plowed it was piled up to the bottom of the stop signs, all you could see were the red signs with no posts.
The desert was green after all the moisture. When I arrived in Phoenix I saw the bougainvilleas on the freeway and got excited about the colors. There's something about winter in Colorado, we get starved for color. Color deprivation. It makes us do crazy things when we see green or pink, after not seeing anything but gray and white for months.
As soon as I got into my room here, I called Dennis and the first thing out of my mouth was about the bougainvilleas.
A winter trip to the desert is the cure for color deprivation and whatever ails me...
I stopped to get some green corn tamales and checked into my room and here I am, blogging, about to take a long, hot shower and settle in for a long sleep. Tomorrow I'll go over to Nardini Manor and set up what I can, get my last supplies, organize my gear, and make plans for race morning. Once I do that, my job is to eat, drink, and rest until the race starts.
Sounds like a cure to me.