Day 9 - Repairs and Departures

The Southwest has officially won my heart. Driving through here has been beyond anything I expected. Maybe it’s because I’m used to lushy green landscapes of the Northwest and Northeast. Whatever it is, this place has made me want to just keep driving every inch of Arizona and New Mexico. The mysteriousness of all the abandon buildings and the wide openness of the terrain makes it absolutely mesmerizing. Beyond the scenery, the people just keep getting better and better…

I had to have some work done on Odin, and Tim, our mechanic, could not have been a more awesome human. He got me right in early in the morning, and even got us a ride into town so we wouldn’t be stuck waiting for him to finish. We found out later from our Lyft driver David, who was a friend of his, that he also played trumpet and was a singer! When we mentioned that to Tim, he said that David was really the talented one, and had played on the Star Wars and Superman scores! Flagstaff was full of surprises.

The crappy thing that happened today was that I had to drop Kelley off at the airport so she could go back to Portland. Having my best friend with me on my journey thus far was (insert word that doesn’t exist because there isn’t one to explain how big this was)…She knows my heart in a way that very few others do, and sees through my B.S. like no other. I always treasure the time I get to spend with her, but this time was beyond all that came before it. I know not having her with me will always feel like I’m missing something.

I headed toward Gallup, New Mexico after dropping her off, and I was traveling on Rt. 66. Not long after I’d been driving, a truck full of alfalfa whipped by me, and as soon as the scent hit my nose, I burst out crying…hauling hay in the summer was one of my most favorite things to do, and it was time I got to spend with dad. It made me feel like he was telling me he was there. Just as the sun started to fade, and the sky turned purple, another truck full of hay came by…watching the sunset with my parents in the summer was standard dinnertime stuff. We would sit on the porch eating tuna and noodle salad, and watch the sky blaze. I know he’s still watching them with me, and that was his way of letting me know.