The Long Drive Home
8/20/09 - Well, we're in AZ now! Our cross-country trip from Martinsville, NJ to Chandler, AZ was tiring, but thankfully uneventful. We drove through 11 states, but only saw the countryside through the car windows. We drove because we didn't want to fly Demi, our greyhound, in cargo. So we couldn't very well stop and leave her in the car while we did a bit of sightseeing, could we? She was so very good in the car & in the hotel rooms we stayed in every night. We couldn't have asked for her to be better.
We went over rivers and through mountains, and marveled at the amount of food our country grows, and yet we have hungry people. We left New Jersey and drove through the many, many cornfields of Pennsylvania. We dipped into West Virginia for just a few minutes & crossed the Ohio River into Ohio. We cut down to Cincinnati so we could stop and visit some of the Marvel clan there - Travis/Cathy/Nate/Spencer and Mom. It was a very brief visit but it was great to see them all!
When we resumed our trip, we entered the Indiana soybean fields. Again, we were astounded by the amount of soybeans we grow in the US. When we crossed into Illinois, we were greeted by a sign for Martinsville - oops, wrong state.... We saw the arch in St. Louis from afar & crossed the Mississippi River in Missouri. Now we added grapes to the crops as we passed vineyards. And of course, there were plenty of bales of hay along the way.... At various points during the journey west, the route turned into old Route 66 - “the highway that is best”. Although we didn’t travel the entire way “from Chicago to LA”, we did go through St. Louis, Joplin, Oklahoma City, Amarillo and Gallup!
Once we crossed into Oklahoma, we exchanged crops for cattle, as we saw fields & fields of Black Angus cows. Here we saw signs for Chandler - oops, wrong state again.... Also in Oklahoma, we found other types of farms - wind farms. Modern windmills dotted the landscape from Oklahoma to New Mexico. When we moved into the Texas panhandle, we started to see oil derricks tucked in among the fields. We also came across the "largest cross in the Western hemisphere"...
In New Mexico, we saw several refineries, to our surprise, and large expanses of empty land. Of course, we were going through lots of land that is designated as Native American reservations. It seems that most of the land we "gave" them is desolate & nothing grows there. In New Mexico we slipped between some bad weather clouds, as there were tornadoes touching down to the east and north of us during the drive. As "prepared" is our middle name, we had researched the best ways to take cover in case of a tornado, but luckily we didn't have to follow them!
We were thrilled when we entered Arizona, only to be faced with a challenging drive. We had to cut through some serious mountain ranges & spent a few hours in hairpin turns and switchbacks. It was very tense driving. Candy had to fight the rising vertigo as she drove along the roads with low guardrails and steep drop-offs. We arrived at our Chandler house in the late afternoon of August 19th. It was an exciting 2442 mile adventure, but one we wouldn't want to do again. We're happy to be here, in our new permanent residence!