Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back On The Road America

Back On The Road has returned for it's American Tour 2013. Sharon and I have been overwhelmed by the welcoming from normal Americans across America in each All American City we have either visited, driven through, or bypassed on the interstates. Interstates I find very comfortable...the homogenization of America is clearly defined by the uniformity of its fuel stations, restaurant chains and shopping malls with dedicated exits while perched upon knolls afar. Venturing off this ribbon of freedom can result in unpredictable regional culture and language barriers...the experience we seek.

For my readers who didn't know the background to my excursion it's rather simple and done so many times before but I found it important to take this journey while the players are still alive both physically and mentally. I am a realist and I don't find being frank regarding such issues as limited time on this planet shameful or frightening... it's just the facts Jack. So I decided to explore my early past with very little knowledge available to me. I know my birthplace, hospital, grandparents farm, and one schoolmate name from my kindergarten class. There are stories for each of these topics and places and some interweave to enrich each other. Along the way Sharon and I will stop and sight see, visit friends and some of her family members as well. A mix of camping, hotels, and kindness from family and friends will rest our road weariness.

Typical camp...4Runner, table, and tent
To prepare for this journey I purchased a 1996 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 off Craigslist with 249,000 miles on her. I kind of fell in love with her because she is much like myself....a few dings and flaws, a lot of miles but still has much more adventure under the hood. The design of this vehicle is well suited for long distance travel on any road. After the purchase of this fine ride, I bought four new tires, and had Tim at Bisbee Bug install new front brakes, fuel filter, and check over everything else. She is ready for the road.  As in the movie "Captain Ron"..."If it's gonna happen...it's gonna happen out there"....and it did.

For the first part of the trip I have to work with Sharon's schedule. She must be back in Phoenix Tuesday, the 21st of May so she will leave the tour in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and fly back at which time I will then solo north to the Great Lakes and meander west towards Bisbee and all points along the way.

Day One...Faywood Springs

Once Tim Hall slammed the hood shut on the 4Runner I jumped in and drove the 100 yards to our house, threw in the remaining bags, programmed the GPS and off we ventured east to the Land of Enchantment. Our actual stopping point for this half day run is Faywood Springs, a natural hot springs camp about four hours drive. We've been to this oasis a number of times and if you've never been, you should. Along the way I was jonesing for some New Mexican green chile so once we arrived in Demming we sought out the Campos Restaurant...an unassuming down home eatery that prepares the local chile with lots of love. Once the chile and beer were safely in my tummy I resumed my driving position for the last 30 minutes of the drive to a rather empty Faywood. This is quite a contrast from our last visit. Within minutes the tent was erected we took a hike up to a vista point, watched a sunset and then with our towels in hand,  dipped into the pools of hot water. After a couple hours of soaking relaxation under the starry night sky we slipped into our sleeping bags and didn't move until the dawns early light.

Soaking away our weariness

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