Turkey Day 2004: Much Abridged

It’s 6:39 p.m. on Thursday. We’re in Indianapolis. I find it hard to believe that yesterday we were in New Mexico. Retrospective thoughts such as this make this country seem small. But when you’re moving alone Route 40, along the northern chimney-like top of Texas and you’re taunted by horizon more distant and seemingly unattainable than any still ocean as it meets the sky. It’s enough to make you ant to remove the car keys, throw your hands up and give up.

But we didn’t.

We stayed in Needles the first night. If you hadn’t already noticed on your own, I’m here to tell you that California is really fucking big. We wanted to meet Arizona the first day (Monday), but just could not do it. So we stayed in Needles. The following day we were told that Needles is “known” for giving its visitors illnesses such as upper-respiratory infections from something they “make” or burn there. At a Denny’s outside our hotel room door where we were served frozen Boca Burgers, I half-assedly (if there were such an adjective) asked about the strange odor looming around Needles.

Hello. Where does Needles, Callifornia get its name?

Neetle Mowntin.

Oh! I see. So is that where the smell comes from we’re smelling outside? Needle Mountain?

Her head tilted and the skin around her eyes wrinkled. Her mouth moved to the side a bit.

Naw. Jus’ Neetle Mowtin.

Later, we found out about the illnesses. Not much I can say about that.

We drove to Flagstaff, next. There, we took a much worthwhile detour to see the Grand Canyon. I took pictures. But I have no way of downloading or uploading them just yet. The drive through the mountains of Flagstaff were/are just breath-taking.

After our detour, we drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico. New Mexico is bloody cold. But she sure is pretty. The right-hand side of New Mexico (for you edumacated fellers, that’d be the eastern side) was like driving through a foggy movie set. Visibility was next to nothing, which was a blessing in disguise, really. That way we had no idea how far we had to go. But I did think it’d be warmer there. And Texas? Forget about it. Texas wasn’t only cold, but it had weird laws and strange side roadways. It also has the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere. (Apparently even bigger than the one on Interstate 70 in Illinois. But I’m not so sure about that. They looked exactly the same. Toby took pictures. The proof will be there.) Within five minutes of crossing the Texas state line we saw three cars pulled over by cops. Texas sorta scared me. I won’t lie.

We drove to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Albuquerque. I liked the little bit of Tulsa that I saw. But we saw very little. The folks were friendly and the food was comforting. We left there at 9 a.m. this morning.

And now here I sit.

I’ll write more once we are home and my laptop doesn’t have only 37% of it’s battery juice left. Depending on whether we meet up with someone like Gina or Missy along the way, we’ll be in State College tomorrow night.

Happy Tofurkey Day! Or, for you heathens and murderers, Happy Turkey Day!


  1. happy thanksgiving to you, too. belated, but.. you know, different time-zone and all. hope you had a great day. i love road trips ;o)


  2. The massacre wasn’t limited to turkeys here. There was pork sausage in the stuffing and crispy, crumbled bacon bits in my chipotle sweet potatoes, and shrimp was served before dinner along with champagne and cheese and crackers. And we can thank our enslaved bovine friends for the butter and cream that I added liberally to almost everything. Yum!


  3. MmmmmmmmMmmmm cheese.

    Hopefuly, everyone knows I was just kidding. About the turkeys and all. :]


  4. oh … and there were chickens in the broth I used to make extra gravy. BTW, the turkey I bought was organically grown and fed non-meat products. So at least we ate a vegetarian for Thanksgiving.


  5. ha! True. I’m sure he’s thankful for that. The turkey. Not God.

    P.S. I have the flu. I am not making much sense today. I was going to make a new post, but I’m slightly off today. Forgive.


  6. Sounds like you caught something in Needles, too. It just took a couple of days to incubate. Feel better!


  7. I hope you feel better! I’m sorry I couldn’t meet up w/ you guys. We were in Columbus part of the day on Friday, shopping. (My phone was off most of the time b/c I don’t get reception in my hometown.) Happy Thanksgiving weekend!


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