Monday, January 22, 2007

To Vegas and Back

I flew out to Las Vegas this past Sunday with plans to help A.B. move to Nashville. While on the flight I met a very nice couple who have quarter horses and are part of the reining scene. We talked about traveling, horses and all sorts of things the entire flight and made the flight seem so much shorter.

I was surprised to find it a cold 34 degrees when I arrived and was told they had gotten some snow not to long before that.

We knew our plans were going to be altered drastically when her van broke down about 80 miles outside of Las Vegas. Due to the holiday (MLK Jr.) we had to wait another day before finding out it would cost to much to fix. Before leaving Las Vegas we decided we needed something good to eat and stumbled across Big Mama & Papa's Pizzeria. It was a delicious New York-style pizza that was full of taste but was much to wet. They are famous for having a 36" pizza.

So we rented a U-Haul, hooked up the horse trailer and headed East. It was the afternoon so we made it over to Hoover Dam before dark and we had to go through a security inspection to insure we weren't carrying anything to try and blow up the dam or anything. We talked to the police at the checkpoint for a little bit and we talked about me having to be back in Nashville to work on Thursday morning and with it being Tuesday night he just looked at me and ask if I had called work to tell them I wouldn't make it in time. I told him that I still believed we would make it in time but that just brought a little laugh from him. It was a beautiful drive through the hills and over the dam although a little tense sometimes with a U-Haul with a horse trailer in tow but we made it and headed across the desert.

Soon it was dark and so we couldn't see as much of Arizona and New Mexico as we would have liked but we had to make time. We arrived in Albuquerque around 4:45am and slept for a few short hours and than with a steaming cup of coffee we climbed back into the truck and I pointed us East towards Oklahoma City and balled that jack all the way. Hours later and amid snow and ice we arrived in OKC with thoughts of how to get to Nashville in time.

We stopped to see if we could find a flight to Nashville to insure my arrival at work, on time, but it just wasn't meant to be. Knowing I wouldn't make it on time no matter what, we relaxed a bit and went to IHOP for some food and than some sleep.

The next morning after playing on the ice covered snow for a good bit we climbed back in the truck and begin the journey eastward. The snow finally receded but we begin to see everything covered with a thick layer of ice. We eventually stopped in Checotah, Oklahoma for some gas only to find this small town covered in ice and the gas stations lined with cars and trucks to get gas. They had been without power for about a week due to the ice. We talked to some of the locals for a little bit and than we made our way back to I-40 and onward to Nashville. Checotah is now famous for being the home of Carrie Underwood and what a nice little town it is.

We went at a nice pace and made it through Arkansas. We stopped in Forrest City and ate at Granny's Country Diner. It was a nice meal and everyone in there, except for us, were locals and just having a good time. Around 9pm we crossed the mighty Mississippi River and passed Memphis and back onto the smooth Tennessee highways. (Let me say that we found many, many bumpy and potholed roads coming across the country. I just recently heard that Tennessee is in the top three states for having the best highways and I can agree with that. Bravo Tennessee!!)

We made it safe and sound to Nashville and we loved the idea of getting of the road but also we dreaded it and wanted to just keep on going, somewhere, anywhere. Ahh maybe another time.

We played all the fun little road games, sang along with the radio, told stories of past travels and we gave in to the "road" and we had such an amazing time.

~power plants glowing in the night
~A road runner try to cross the road (he turned back)
~We talked of Egyptian banjos and "Pedro Ninnywiggin"
~cars buried hood-first with their tailfins in the air (sorta like carhenge)
~72 ounce steak at Big Texan Steak Ranch
~Hoover Dam
~Route 66
~Granny's Country Diner
Forrest City, Arkansas(870) 633-7012

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