Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Texas, Roswell, & Sedona

Ok, I know that we have been slacking on the blogs. We have been so wiped out at the end of each day that we have just crashed without so much as looking at the computer. But I know the masses must be appeased to avoid a mob lynching (more on that later), so I got up at 4:30am to write this. (OK, my body is still on East Coast time so I naturally woke up - but still....) 

Monday morning we go up bright and early and headed out of Dallas. On our way we stopped by Dealey Plaza. Below is the infamous book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald was suspected of lying in wait for President Kennedy's cavalcade to pass by. On the 6th floor there is now a museum. If we didn't have Katella with us, I think I could have spent all day learning about this piece of American History.
 But alas, we had to move on. And once you're outside of Dallas, there is not much to see. But we managed to find The Star of Texas which claims to be the World's Largest Rocking Chair. The shop that owns the chair was closed so we settled for a quick photo op in front of the gates.
 I mentioned that there would be more on lynching in this blog and I will not disappoint. Below is the site of the last mob lynching in Texas. In 1928 Marshall Ratliff  robbed a bank in Cisco, TX dressed as Santa Clause. The town, unhappy with the court rulings for the crime, chased Ratliff through the streets and hung him from a pole where the marker now sits.
 And if you that story was fun, you have clearly never learned about Old Rip. The story goes that in 1897, Old Rip, a horned lizard, was placed in the cornerstone of the county's third courthouse. When that edifice was demolished in February 1928 the cornerstone was opened and much to everyone's surprise, when the marble box was opened the interred lizard was still alive 31 years later. Supposedly, over 3,000 people witnessed the live lizard's unveiling. Old Rip then toured the nation and even met President Coolidge. He eventually croaked (they say he died of pneumonia) and was placed in a casket in the courthouse lobby. In 1973 he was toad-napped and then subsequently returned. And one last bit of Old Rip Trivia - it is reported that Michigan J Frog (The WB Mascot) was born of the Old Rip character.

 After we saw Old Rip, there was not much excitement on the road for a very long time. Katella is getting weary of these long days in the car. Poor baby.
In Abeline, TX, we stopped at the Visitor's Center and Katella chased some butterflies.
 And many more miles down the road, we were looking for something to eat. But in West Texas, you're be better of eating dirt (there is a lot of that) than trying to find somewhere reputable to eat. Not a Subway in sight, we stopped at this little BBQ shack. Ron said that there is no way this place has ever passed a health inspection. we speculate that given it's remote location, there may not be a health inspector in the US that would venture out far enough to grade it.
 But we were brave and split this sliced mesquite beef brisket sandwich. While it's not much to look it, it was REALLY good - as many places that look dangerously dirty often are. However, we both suffered belly aches for the remainder of the day and into the next.
 Somewhere along the way, we traveled into New Mexico. There was such a vast expanse of NOTHING that the only thing we could find of mild interest were Historical Marker signs like the one below. Really, I only included this picture so you could see the immense nothingness that is the border of Texas and new Mexico.
 We had to make our own entertainment, so we got a little creative.
 But once the sun started setting, God created some entertainment for us. The sunset was colorful and pretty.

 Finally, we made it to Roswell, New Mexico. Many of you may know of the Roswell UFO Incident. We were less fascinated by the alien speculations and more fascinated by the array of alien themed buildings, signs, Coke machines and much more. Here are a couple fun pictures. We especially enjoyed the Alien Language on the Arby's sign.
 Once we left Roswell, there was more nothing to see for a long, long time. One thing that broke up the monotony was Stewart's Petrified Wood. That was something....

Stewart's also has an ostrich farm. We took Katella over to see the big birds and in all of her curiosity, she crept closer and closer. The birds walk right up to the fence. They seem to like people but they aren't big fans of dogs. One ostrich lunged towards Katella and flapped it's wings. Poor puppy was scared to death and spun around so fast that she slammed into me and jumped into a patch of thistles. We had to spend a few minutes pulling thorns out of her paws. Once safely away from the ostrich, she was all wags and smiles again.

 We arrived in Sedona, AZ after a few more hours on the road. We were surprised to find that Sedona is actually in a forested canyon. The drive down to the red rock area was reminiscent of the drive to Big Bear or Arrowhead. Especially during this part of the drive, we noted that the more west we got, the brighter and more vibrant the colors around us became. We didn't realize how bleak Pennsylvania can be compared to the west. Our awe grew as we traveled to our hotel. It's more beautiful here than I could have imagined. Below is a picture taken from our hotel room.
 This is what we saw when we went out just after sunset to walk the dog.
The hotel at which we stayed has the number one rated restaurant in Sedona - Elote - so we decided to give it a try. We started with the signature dish of Elote, which is fire roasted corn with spicy mayo, lime and cotija cheese. Ron loved it. I thought it was good but not amazing. For the main course, Ron chose Carne Asada (Vintage Farms skirt steak with guajillo sauce, Shaft blue cheese, avocado and rajas) which was delicious. I chose Tomato Salad of local Arizona tomatoes, homemade oaxaca cheese, cider vinaigrette. I thought my choice was the best thing on the table.

Though early for Arizona, we decided to head back to the room and turn in for the night around 9pm. Our bodies still have not adjusted to the time change. This morning we are taking Katella for a hike to Snoopy Rock . She really needs the exercise after being cooped up in the car for days on end. So off we go into the land of red rocks! More from the Morrissettes tomorrow!

No comments: