I drove away from Luke Air Force Base at 11:00 a.m. this morning shortly after finishing the clearing process and receiving my new "Retired Civilian" Federal I.D. After lunch with a good friend, I hit the road out of town.
Three hundred-plus miles later finds me at a Red Roof Inn at Gallup, New Mexico, on historic Route 66. The room is surprisingly nice considering that it is less than fifty dollars a night. I did two brief stops along the way: one at the McDonald's in Camp Verde, Arizona - the turn off for the old mining town of Jerome, and the other in Winslow, Arizona - where I stood on a corner and was such a fine sight to see.
I drove by some wonderful scenery today - the saguaro cacti on the drive out of Phoenix, and majestic rock formations near Window Rock. There were also several roadside genuine Indian trading posts along the highway. One odd thing, however, was that I only saw one Wal-Mart truck the entire day. I'm not sure what that means, but the last time I took a long road trip, before the two years on Okinawa, the roads were littered with Wal-Mart trucks.
Nick, my oldest, just called and said the West Plains is under a winter storm warning for this weekend, so they are preparing for an ice storm. I may get to see some winter after all!
Albuquerque and beyond tomorrow.