DSC_0009My pop apparently has the driving stamina of a long-haul trucker and today he proved it. We were in the “Command Vehicle” (that’s what he calls his SUV) from 8am until 9pm!! If you’re not into counting, that’s 13 hours in car!! A car without XM or an MP3 plug-in I remind you, although today I found my dad’s CD collection…it contains a Lionel Richie CD. Enough said.

Well after searching 20 minutes for a Starbucks (really Flagstaff? shame on you for not having one on every other corner!) we left Arizona this morning and drove almost the entire way across New Mexico.

Along the way we visited the Petrified Forest, super cool and beautiful petrified wood, but don’t be looking for a forest you will be sorely disappointed.

We went on from there to the Painted Desert, another place where a picture will never do it justice. Awe to the Some! You can check out pictures of these natural wonders down below.

What we haven’t done yet is to visit/meet up with ordinary people doing extraordinary things! I had too high of hopes it seems for our time constraints as we make our way across the Southwest. Tomorrow is another day though, and according to the Driving Gestapo- a.k.a. my Pop, it will not be as long a drive day. So I am keeping hope alive that we will find some peeps doing good things. For now though here’s some of the people we have been meeting along the way.

We ate at a little chicken shack in New Mexico and met Taylor and Rayna. It was one of those places you might pass up, but you won't be sorry if you stop. Friendly people and good food.

We ate at a little chicken shack in New Mexico and met Taylor and Rayna. It was one of those places you might pass up, but you won’t be sorry if you stop. Friendly people and good food.

Liranda checked us into the hotel last night and had such a great personality. She told us about how she had to teach herself how to drive by stealing her dad's truck when he would perform at ceremonies for their tribe as a medicine man.

Liranda checked us into the hotel last night and had such a great personality. She told us about how she had to teach herself how to drive by stealing her dad’s truck when he would perform at ceremonies for their tribe as a medicine man.

Rick and Carla have a Navajo jewelry stand on the reservation just outside the Grand Canyon. He served in the Army and she was a medical assistant for years until she moved back to care for her sick father. They were so sweet and we bought some fantastic baubles from their stand.

Rick and Carla have a Navajo jewelry stand on the reservation just outside the Grand Canyon. He served in the Army and she was a medical assistant for years until she moved back to care for her sick father. They were so sweet and we bought some fantastic baubles from their stand.

Painted Desert

Painted Desert

This is the Petrified Forest. Now from far away it may not look like much, but up close, this wood has been turned to the most beautiful of stone.

This is the Petrified Forest. Now from far away it may not look like much, but up close, this wood has been turned to the most beautiful of stone.

This is wood that is now stone! It's amazing.

This is wood that is now stone! It’s amazing.