Monday, February 15, 2010

Crossing America Day #3

Awwww....the final day of driving!! Day 3 was an emotional roller coaster ride for me. Everyone knows I'm not the best driver out there or do I handle stressful car situations in a calm manner. Not so sure where to even begin for day 3...

Maybe I should start with the fact that it was raining in Tucson when I got here?! the desert? They supposedly get about maybe 1-2 weeks of bad weather during an entire year and Ryan said today was the first day he has been here where the sun did not actually come out?! It was about 50 degrees when we got here so at least warmer than at home.

During the night Wednesday night in Odessa we got the weather that ended up being one of the NC snowstorms! It was raining like crazy, thundering and lightning. It was so bad it woke me up during the night (I'm a very sound sleeper too!). We slept in a little Thursday morning and had planned to get up and tour a little of Odessa before we left but we changed our plans when it was still raining when we left. The hotel was a little bizzare in the fact that everyone (workers and guests included) were like saying bye and be safe when we left. They kept warning us that people in Odessa do NOT know how to drive in the rain. I was like "ok well at least it isn't raining that bad anymore". Boy was I wrong though....

People in Odessa probably can drive, its THE roads do not know how to drain water. Our hotel was about 2 miles from highway and then my stupid GPS took us the long way through Odessa. The roads were flooded and this 15 min stretch was one of the scariest driving experiences of my life! At one point in this 4 lane road I about started crying because I thought water was going to start coming into the doors and we were going to start floating. We were driving about 1 mph on the inside lane and there were cars in the right lane that the water had caused them to stall out and were sitting in a couple of feet of water. The cars had been abandoned by the drivers and I can only imagine the amount of water in their vehicles. I regret that we didn't get any pictures of this....but I was too scared at the moment to think of pictures and just glad we made it out of Odessa. Finally, we made it back to I-20 and were on our way through the rest of Texas.

We were in oil fields for the next few hours and then the landscape changed drastically. All of a sudden there were no more towns, and everything was brown and dessert like with mesas in the background. When we got on I-10 we were basically driving along the Mexican border. It was weird! There were quite a few campers in land that we could tell people lived in. It was really sad. We also started to get Crosswind warning signs and warning signs not to pick up hitchhikers because of prisons nearby. Weird! I think they put the prisons here because there is no where to go when they escape.

The rain started again! When we rode through El Paso, there was a place in a curve that you could see the border fence and see the shacks on the other side in Juarez, Mexico. It was soooo sad to see what these people were living in and then see how nice everything in El Paso was.

The last 4 hours were spent in New Mexico and Arizona. Nothing too exciting about New Mexico. I'm not a fan of the landscape here and it looks so brown. They had a lot of sandstorm warning signs and more wind warning signs. We didn't have to worry about the sandstorm signs because it was raining (and it did snow for a brief time in New Mexico!). When we got to the last 30 miles of New Mexico and into Arizona, the flooding landscape was bizarre. Only I drive through a desert and the land is flooded on either side for as far as you can see.

Once we got into Arizona, it got dark pretty soon but basically the landscape changed and there were more mountains and then right before Tucson, we started seeing the big cacti.

I am so glad to be here and glad the drive is over! The cross-country drive was a neat experience though!

We ended up arriving in Tucson 7:30 that Thursday evening. Driving is exhausting! Ryan came by the hotel Thursday evening to say hey but had classes and interviews on Friday afternoon so we didn't start unpacking my car until about 3:30 on Friday afternoon.

When we woke up Friday morning, mom and I went to check out the visitor center and stopped by a few furniture stores. The actual unpacking really did not take long since all I had was clothes and kitchen stuff.

It has been almost 3 weeks that I have been in Arizona!!!


Early Thursday morning...still in oil country!

Oil drills as far as you can see in all directions

Western Texas as the landscape changes yet again...

Juarez, Mexico from I-10 in El Paso

El Paso

New Mexico

Not a sign you see everyday!

This is a DESERT! FLOODED! New Mexico/Arizona border area!

Arizona as the rain stops!


Almost there...

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