Day 1 – 9/24/14 Wednesday


Today is the first day of the rest of the trip which began in the rain, and I don’t ever remember going on one of these trips in anything but clear skies. But we took off on time, got above the clouds quickly and with the sky getting lighter with the dawn, you could make out all the wonderful cloud formations, and it continued on through a beautiful sunrise. It cleared soon after and you could see fog in the valleys of rivers and streams, making wild shapes with fingers of fog spreading out into the areas around these waterways. The sun was really low as we approached Chicago and there seemed to be a lot of lakes that were calm and mirrored the clouds as we passed over them. No problem with connections, although had to walk a mile from one end of the terminal to the other end. Got to Phoenix on time, my bags were in the first few to come out and I was on my way to the rental area. Everything was going smoothly, and I thought I might make Bisti before sundown for some photos and just to get a feel for a morning shoot tomorrow. However, things did not go smoothly at Alamo. I asked about the 10% discount from COSCO that I was supposed to get when I got to the counter, and he said no problem, spent a lot of time typing on the computer, writing things down, printing it all out, explaining the insurance options (which would have added $600 to the cost of the rental) and then wanted me to sign the agreement at $100 more!!! Where is the discount? More banging on the computer, puzzled looks and finally got it done, but only after about 45 minutes!!! It was not looking good to get to Bisti by 6pm, but I had a shot. I went down to get the car and was told to choose either a Dodge Journey (which did not look like it was very high off the ground and small) or the Nissan Xterra, which looked like the perfect car for this trip…BUT I couldn’t get the seats down nor get the headrest off to get the seats flat!!! Called someone over to help out and we finally figured it out, but that took quite a while and I lost more time. I figured the nightmare was over and went to exit and the guy says that I can’t take the car because it has to get back to Canada!! I’ll have to get another car !!!! Now it was out of the question and ended up making a Motel 6 reservation for Gallup instead of Farmington. Very disappointed to say the least.
The drive out of Phoenix was interesting; it started out with 100 degree temps and huge tree like cacti, almost like a forest growing on mountains as I drove over what seemed to be several mountain ranges. Finally ended up on the very flat Mogholland Rim with Ponderosa pine growing tall and temps around 80, but as I headed away from the edge of the rim, it became very flat grassland. I hooked up with I-40 and headed east to Gallup where I went to WalMart ( really like being on another planet) to get all my provisions, including flip flops since I had forgotten mine, and then to Home Depot for 2x8x8 cut into 4
two foot pieces for possible help if I get stuck in mud (I read that somewhere). Over to McD for dinner and back for a shower and rest. Getting up early tomorrow to drive 2 hours to Bisti for the sunrise. Popped tonight. Have been battling a bad headache all day having taken Tylenol twice, but for some reason, it has persisted despite the pills. Hope it goes away overnight.


One thought on “Day 1 – 9/24/14 Wednesday

  1. Joe, hope the headache has gone away. Lots of water to keep hydrated always works for me when traveling. Can’t wait for the first pictures. We set a record for rainfall on September 24th. Enjoy.


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