Monday we started our trip back to Illinois. The first step was to close the house, and pack the car. Very different precautions have to be taken when you are leaving the house for a summer, where temperatures inside will reach over 100 degrees (38 C). Any food left behind, and all the candles were stored in the refrigerator. Precautions were made to prevent water from the traps from evaporating (plus the neighbors will look in). All furniture was covered and/or stored. All the windows were covered. The washer/dryer were covered. All linens were clean.
When all these items were taken care of, we all got in the van... and it wouldn't start. The battery was dead! Fortunately, the neighbor had jumper cables, and the repair shop, 5 minutes away, replaced the battery in less than 15 minutes. So our family motto "Off like a flock of wild turtles!" was even more appropriate than usual.
We had decided to take State Road 60 through Arizona and New Mexico, and it was a lovely choice, if not a fast one. At one point we had to cross Snake River, which is in a canyon.
You can see the river in this picture; we already crossed it, and climbed up out of the valley this far already.
We passed mines, both working and abandoned. We passed little towns that were squeezed into narrow valleys, and others that stretched along the road for a couple of miles.
We passed the VLA
and stopped for the first night in Socorro, New Mexico. We made a tactical error the first night, though. We did not stop to eat until after 9 PM, and tempers (several) were getting frayed. I am very happy to tell you that we learned from our mistakes and did not make that error again. Each subsequent night, we stopped to eat around 5 to 6 pm, and then continued for an hour or two to our resting place.
We stayed in Comfort Inns 3 nights: Socorro, New Mexico; Weatherford, Oklahoma; and Litchfield, IL.
In Socorro we joined up with I-40, which plays hopscotch with Rt 66 the whole way.
We saw "the World's largest Cross":
We saw the buried Cadillacs:
(By the time I got my camera out, this is the best picture I could get, out the back window of the van.)
We passed this:
My mom assures me it was built this way on purpose.
We passed within 2 miles of the house we lived in when I started kindergarten, in Amarillo, TX. We saw the remnants of the Air Force Base my dad worked at there.
We stopped at a rest area in Texas that was like a palace. This mural was in the lady's wash room:
We found out that Rt. 66 was built to connect the Mid-West with the West Coast, in the days before interstates.
The first day we stopped quite often, the second, a couple of times, the third only for rest stops. I think everyone was getting eager to be home. The only time we stopped in Missouri was to have supper. I wanted to see the arch, but I wasn't At All interested in going to the top of it (claustrophobia, you know), so we just shot pictures as we passed.
We reached home around 1 PM on Thursday. DD met us for lunch. My parents were touched that she went out of her way to see them. Then they departed for Michigan, and we went and picked up our dog from the friend who watched him while we were gone.
Friday night we went to see DD, SIL, and grand-kids, and hand out the loot.
And so ends our "Big Adventure."
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