We started the day at Wal-Mart where we had breakfast and 36 cans of soda, just to be on
the safe side. It's not a whole lot of fun running out of drinks when you're driving in
the desert. Most of the cans were put into the cooler in the Mustang while a small supply
went into the Chevy. Manuel and Niels switched places.
Roswell is probably best known for the alleged UFO crash of 1947. The town boasted at
least two museums dedicated to this event, one of which was our next place of sightseeing.
A map of the town was purchased at a gas station and after some effort we found the
museum. Unfortunately it was closed on Sundays so we didn't hang around for long.
We went west on Highway 380 and passed the off-limit White Sands Missile Range. No
activity whatsoever could be detected from the road. The landscape was quite arid. A few
scattered trees could be seen but otherwise the vegetation mostly consisted of bushes and
Near White Sands, NM
After crossing the Rio Grande, Marco and Niels in the Mustang lead the way as we
approached the north/southbound I-25. Dave was giving instructions over the CB.
Nonetheless the leading car missed the ramp and was forced to go south instead of north.
Much profanity cluttered the radio waves in the next few minutes. This was the first and
only time tempers really flared on the trip. Some 10 miles in the wrong direction had to
be traveled before we got a chance to make a spontaneous U-turn.
Going in the right direction once again everybody settled down. In the Mustang
conversation died down. Niels got a monster of a headache possibly caused by draft in the
car the day before.
The speed limit was a pleasant 75-mph so both cars rocketed towards Albuquerque, sometimes
faster than the speedometers could measure (they stopped at 85 mph). Once again we
rejoined I-40 and continued towards California.
We passed through a corner of a Navajo Indian Reservation in the afternoon, crossed the
Arizona State line, and decided to check out the Petrified Forest National Park. For some
reason it was closed too.
Late in the afternoon we reached Flagstaff, booked a room in a high-rise motel complex,
and went out for some grub. Mostly we just rented a single room with two beds so every
other night you had to bunk on the floor. Usually a motel bed is made up of several sheets
and blankets. Therefore it is possible to build a rather comfortable 'nest' on the floor.
During our days on the road nobody ever complained about flooring it. Ordinarily we were
so bushed that we could have slept anywhere.
See more photos from May 19.
Go to the next page in the Diary (May 20).