Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hound Dog Traveler: Santa Fe to Flagstaff

Here I am riding shotgun and being the best "Watcher" I can be.
By Guest Writer: Cinnamon (Canela) Rose

Day #1 Yesterday... Santa Fe to Flagstaff. All in one day! Can you believe it? I was so exhausted. It was such hard work.

Yes, I got to ride shotgun. But that also meant that there was no real comfort involved. I missed my spacious car but she packed everything into that space and all that was left was the front seat. So I had to work! I decided, since it was very windy on the trip, that I would force myself to stay awake and help her drive. I watched all the trucks. I decided that if one swerved into our lane, I would bay my houndiest bay. And, even though I often looked like I was drifting off to sleep, I made myself stay awake to help her drive safely.

She gave me the official job of "Watcher." You know, I watch when it says "Watch for Falling Rocks." I watch when it says "Watch for Deer." And, I watch.

So how was the trip? Well, once we were out of Albuquerque, the ugliest desert city I have experienced, I thought I would enjoy the open spaces. But soon I was bored. It was pretty dry and deserty out there. There weren't any animals to "watch."

It was fun stopping for gas at the Route 66 Casino. Not that I got to gamble, but I got to get out of the car and use their "pet comfort area." It was a small fenced enclosure where we dogs could, well.. you know. I did my business (off leash) and came to the gate immediately. This was kind of like using a porta-potty. Then we got gas and I waited a bit for her to do her thing, inside. I decided to curl up on the seat and sleep but she was back all too soon! It was back to work for me. "Watch" on!

I thought we might go sight-seeing. As we drove past Grants, I saw a billboard advertising "See the Wolves." I thought I might like to visit them. But we didn't stop. :(

Here I am at the Continental Divide in New Mexico
We kept driving I-40 and it got windier and windier. I couldn't sleep because I had to watch the trucks, car carriers and boats that were cruising down I-40. I was really glad when we got to the Continental Divide and I could take a break, smell around a bit and have my picture taken. Then it was off to Gallup.

The Turquoise Room truck graphics made me really hungry. I wanted to stay at La Posada.
I was relieved when we got off I-40 and drove down Route 66. We passed El Rancho, Richardson's and many more interesting places.  Then we pulled into a place that sold Native American jewelry wholesale. I had to stay in the car while she shopped for Santa Fe Rose. So I curled up into a nice "coonie ball" and had a snooze. When she came back (finally) I hoped that she had bought a new turquoise necklace for me ... but I was wrong. Nothing, Nada!

We stopped at Winslow where she does volunteer work with the Adopt a Native Elder Program. I got to get out and walk around at La Posada, the former Fred Harvey hotel. I love that place. They allow pets and have lots of grass and a view of the trains that pass by. When I saw the Turquoise Room truck with some great food emblazoned on its side, I really wanted to stay. But we had to leave.

We were then off to Flagstaff and the winds subsided. I was excited when I started seeing pine trees. Soon we headed off the freeway into Flagstaff to the La Quinta Inn. This was my first night in a hotel. We were assigned a really nice room on the second floor. I helped her make four trips from the car up to the room. I helped by showing her the way up the stairs. I learned it the first time around. Then we walked in the pine needles before dinner in the room. I hit the sack early and snoozed until dawn. I was so glad she brought my bed... so glad!

Later, Cinnamon