Monday, August 17, 2015

Road trip across the USA part 2

If you hate ghost towns, you may as well not bother to read this post...because my second day stops across New Mexico and Texas consisted of fuel stops and ghost towns. 
I became the expert at looking ahead on my gps to which little obscure towns were coming next and then googling them, seeing if there was any old interesting history or if the town looked pretty blah. 

Each of the ones I stopped at had something interesting about it. Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of this town. It could have been Moriarty or Milan. 

I read about this ghost town on Google, got off at the exit, and nothing was there except this little bridge. I followed this road for probably ten miles and nothing was there. I kept seeing little trailers where people were living, but no abandoned town. Eventually I just turned around and went back to the freeway because I didn't want to waste too much time. 

I took this picture on my way back to the freeway. You can't really see it in this picture, but perhaps in the next picture it's a little clearer.  Between the two sets of railroad tracks (in amongst the greenery), there was a horse standing there, eating grass and not tied up or penned in or anything! I considered stuffing it into my car and bringing it home with me...

This was when I was almost to Albuquerque  

I kept seeing small signs for an old historic bridge. I didn't know what bridge they meant, but I love history, so I followed the signs.  Here it is, the Rio Puerco Bridge, which used to be THE bridge when old Route 66 was thriving. 

I wanted to get a picture by it, but there was nobody nearby to take a picture for me...

I once again looked ahead on my GPS and saw that the next town was Cuervo, NM. When I looked this town up, LOTS of news articles and blogs popped up. After reading them all, I was only slightly frightened too stop there...and wondered whether I should. But then my adventurous side won and reminded myself that I might not be back this way for a lonnnnnng time.  I know you all might be curious now. If you care to, do the same thing I did, and just google the town name.  You can read the articles for yourself. 

By far, this ghost town was the most fascinating because it's literally still there. It's not like walking up to a pile of rubble and thinking "this used to be a building!!!!!" Like I typically end up doing.  This is still a town, still fIrly intact...and even had sort of creepy people living there not long ago.  (Google the town)

You don't know how badly I wanted to get out of my car and walk into these buildings and explore.  But my better judgement said that since I am a 23 year old girl, alone, in an abandoned town where there has recently been found suspicious and nasty activity...I better not.  

So I enjoyed the view of this town from my drivers seat

I drove up a bit further on the 40 and saw another town called Newkirk which is yet another ghost town.  I even read a nice story about a girl who lived there with her family.  This store was owned by her relative I think....

As you can probably tell, I was having the time of my life exploring these ghosttowns.  I got back on the road at just the right time because the storm darkened and the lightning started flashing before there was a terrible storm.  I was even able to get a few pictures of the lightning! 

That was the end of my second day on the road.  I stopped in Amarillo Texas for the night and then resumed my drive the next morning.  :)  Check back for Day 3!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Road trip across the United States part 1

In preparation for my move back across the U.S. To the state of Maryland, I worked on packing all of my things up for about two days. I was able to fit everything into my little car (which is a miracle). I had my car serviced and they gave me a guarantee that my car was healthy enough to make it across the country. :) 

I spent my Wednesday morning finishing up some last minute details and then had lunch/breakfast with my best friend before leaving California. I said my goodbyes to my landlord and land lady and then drove off.  I was bound and determined to not only see amazing sites on my trip, but also to make the trip in four days and three nights.  So though I knew I wanted to stop at different places, I also wouldn't let it sidetrack me. 

I made my first stop when I saw signs for a little town called Seligman in Arizona. When I drove into the town, I realized that I wasn't hungry though, and didn't need any I turned around and headed back to the freeway. I was nearly back when I saw a tiny sign that said 'Town Cemetery' with an arrow. 

I cannot resist looking at cemeteries. 

After spending my first night sleeping in my car in a hotel parking lot in Flagstaff, I decided that the next night I would be spending IN the hotel.  It was certainly uncomfortable, since my car was full of boxes and bags and my seat could not slide back or set back at all.  I made it through the night of course though and the next morning, I got an early start to my day since I couldn't bear to try and sleep uncomfortably anymore that night.  I drove for just an hour or so and then decided to go a little bit out of my way to see Sedona Arizona.  I really wanted to see the Grand Canyon, but it was pretty far out of my way.

I was driving through Sedona just as the sun was really coming up, so it was beautiful and the rocks were so red.  My camera really doesn't do it justice at all.  Plus, there were very few places to pull over along the road, so my pictures were minimal.

After getting back on the road, I drove another hour or two and began seeing signs for the Meteor Crater.  They even had their own AM station advertisement, which I listened to about 12 times in order to understand all of the details.  Apparently, one of the largest meteor craters in the world was right there in Arizona and I'd be driving right passed it! 
So you can just guess where my next stop was...

This crater is 26 stories deep!  That's like, a skyscraper!  It was pretty neat. They gave guided tours walking around the entire crater, which is several miles around.  But I didn't have time to stay for a tour...I had to hit the road again...
I saw signs for St. Joseph.  I couldn't squelch my curiosity in wondering which Joseph was the I googled this town and found out that this was one of the largest first settlements of Mormons in Arizona.  Of course, that explained who the St. was...
Apparently they used to be St. Joseph, but then had to change their name to Joseph City because of confusion in the mail system with another St. Joseph.

I did a quick drive-thru of the town, took just a few pictures of these signs and then hit the road once again. 

As I was driving through Holbrook, AZ I couldn't resist taking a picture of this road sign.  I only wonder what the story is behind the naming of this sign...

I think my road trip will be divided into three parts, since I don't want to become boring or drag it on and on with tons of pictures.  :) 
Until part 2, hope you enjoy the tales of my road trip. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Goodbyes are sad

Goodbye's are sad, even if they are not permanent. I had to say goodbye to the most loving, sweet congregation of Christians a few weeks ago.  I am taking a new step in my life, and preparing to take a job in Maryland at a Christian school. There are so many exciting things about this opportunity. But one of the saddest aspects was saying goodbye to this amazing group of people. 

My last Sunday morning, I taught the teen girls class for Sunday school, just like normal. Then I played the piano for the prelude and the church service. They surprised me with a huge gift basket of goodies and bath and body works, gift cards and a beautiful scrapbook with pictures to help me always remember the church. 

After the service, there was ice cream for everyone. The my favorite people took me to lunch at the Fishermans Market in Palm Springs. On our drive, we saw this tell tale sign of a forest fire in the distance...

We stopped at this awesome huge rock to take a couple of pictures

I love these people so much. We would joke about it, but they are seriously like family to me.  I am going to miss them sooooo much

I will miss my wonderful piano students. This is one of my students; she has come so far in the year that I have taught her and she has worked very hard.

I'll miss this great girl who is part of my Sunday school class. 

This amazing group of teens and 'tweens' will be greatly missed...

And my pastor and his wife have been such an encouragement to me these past 3 years. I love them so much and their wonderful family. 

I took this picture of the beautiful gifts I was given.  One of the sweetest gifts was the memory locket from Origami Owl pictured below.  

It is personalized and so thoughtful. I wear it often now and think about this amazing church every time I do!!!!

Goodbyes are sad...I am excited for the future, but I am sad to say goodbye to so many terrific people who have touched my life in a very special way.