No makeup

4:30 am: Leave Phoenix. I couldn’t get to sleep and by the time my alarm goes off, I’m running on excitement.

Hour 2 complete

6:30 am: Arrive in Flagstaff, throw the sunroof open, smell summer. The scent of a cool breeze blowing through pine is one of my favorites. In Flag, this scent would in inauthentic without the occasional dash of skunk and diesel. Still, it’s heaven.

Flagstaff, AZ

6:31: Consider abandoning plan and just staying in Flagstaff. Then I think of throwing my arms around Cody and reconsider.

Solidary day

8 am: I’ve never driven the route between Flagstaff and Albuquerque before. I cannot believe how much the flat land near Winslow reminds me of the salt flats of Bolivia.

could be Bolivia

9 am: It is pretty silly an Arizona native would know Bolivia better, but before yesterday, I’d never paid any attention this slice of my homeland.

Near Winslow, AZ

9:15 am: Even the trains cutting through the changing landscape were aesthetic, their cars a patchwork of faded rusted colors otherwise found in a setting Arizona sunset.

Holbrook, AZ

9:30: It wasn’t until Holbrook, Arizona that I ran into a wee bit of trouble. I shouldn’t have been driving 80+ miles, taking the occasional photo and listening to music. Thankfully the officer was about my age, cute and was perhaps a bit more interested in getting a drink at a later date than hassling me about my lack of proof of insurance and speed. Noting my luck, I slowed down considerably. I also thanked God repeatedly for this great dash of fortune so early into the adventure.

Lunching with Raesha

12:30: Alburquerque meant a bowl of hot New Mexican food with Raesha. She’s a doll! We really enjoyed catching up and once again I was reminded how lovely this¬† artsy web community is.

WIshing I'd been a passender

2 pm: Begin regretting that bowl of green chile. My tummy is so warm and I’m getting very, very sweeepy.

Nearing Raton, NM

4 pm: Signs begin to include “Denver” as an option and I continue to marvel at the beauty of New Mexico. It really is the state of enchantment. I’d move here in a second. The rolling hillside, red earth, wide, clear skies — gorgeous.

Hour 12

8:30 pm: Denver. I arrive after lots of construction, an Oreo McFlurry and 940 miles driven. Cody, Mark and Raja are there to greet me with open arms, Wi Fi and a coffee shop on the corner of the new neighborhood. I’m having an affair with Colorado and I have a feeling the next few days are going to be wildly remembered.

The adventure continues,