Another two days down and another 631 Miles driven.

Day 3: Clayton, New Mexico (428 Miles)

Day 4: Sante Fe, New Mexico (203 Miles)

TOTAL to Date: 1,126 Miles

What a trip this has been… we’ve seen the plains of Kansas (not the most interesting, I must admit, but different none the less) and the plateaus and mountains of New Mexico. We have arrived in the land that I have never been and its absolutely beautiful. The roads are long and straight, the traffic sparse and the landscape riddled with rolling mountain-scapes. New Mexico (and Arizona) are one of my “never been” states, and after this trip, the only areas I have yet to visit are Hawaii and the upper New England area of the east. Two regions I will step foot on before I die.

There really wasn’t much to see in Kansas and in route to Clayton, NM to be honest. It was right on the cuff of the Oklahoma/New Mexico border and still had that plains like feel to it. Flat and hot. My father did spot a camper that matched a brand he has been looking for. Never one to meet a stranger, he decided to pull in and check it out. The surrounding trailer and building seemed abandoned, but after some searching up the road, he found the owner and chatted with him a bit. Always on the look out for a diamond in the rough. I did get a chance to step out and take some great images of the aging tug along box, but unfortunately for you.. those are currently being held tight to the archive. 😉 — Jump on into IndieGoGo Campaign and get your reservation in for the photobook.

After moving on, we got to Clayton and did develop a new found love for KOA campground services. These make the place we stayed while in Emporia look like a rat-trap truck stop. In Emporia, the horseshoe pit was missing a spike, the volleyball nets were falling down and the “fishing pond” was directly adjacent to the shitter evacuation pond. It was quite the ill-conceived layout and lacking upkeep. KOA operated campgrounds are damn upscale. In Clayton, the KOA had a putt-putt golf course and due to the large storm cell coming in, we were lucky enough to have access to cabins, rather than the manual popped tent we slept in the night before. These cabins are damn nice and well insulated. Sleeping four people very comfortably. I do have to say, its the first time I have slept in a bunk bed in many MANY years. Now on my second night of it, I’ve still weary that I may fall off. Got to keep the tossing and turning down to a minimum area of coverage. ;-)… Here in the massive Santa Fe KOA campground, there is a dog park (AWESOME!), a bon fire pit (currently off limits due to a burn notice, sad face), laundry facilities and peaking mountains all around us.

The storms were spectacular in Clayton, but we never really got a lot of rain. Sadly the mistiming and ho hum fencing around us did not offer up a good photo opportunity. But alas, we grilled hot dogs and finished them up as it began to drip down upon us. But it just wouldn’t open up and remained in that, “is it or isn’t it” type of storm. Never the less, it was pleasing, aside from the fact the assholish train operator from Emporia seemed to of followed us clear to New Mexico, endlessly blaring that bloody horn all night long. Still, after 8 hours of driving, sleep comes swiftly, even for an insomniac like myself.

Today we arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico around one-ish in the afternoon. We opted to dive into another KOA campground and cabin. This time, since my folks are anticipating doing this road touring more often now (glad Jane and I could assist in throwing fuel on that fire), they went ahead and applied for a membership with the outfit. With as many adventures as they get into, I am sure it will be used very often. Hell, I think Jane and I will be getting one ourselves soon. Especially if we can find a nice ’67-’75 VW Westfalia in the near future. I absolutely adore those lil spitfires of a van. Small, compact and sleeps (feeds as well) up to four people. WIN! But the key is finding one that isn’t exorbitantly expensive or running well. Alas… our eyes will be peeled until we do.

The nice thing about today’s leg of the trip was the time we got to actually spend on location. Since we cut our daily travels in half, we had a few hours to go into town and check out the sites. Sadly we didn’t get to do any tours or hit any major attractions, but then again… I’m not really into the whole touristy trendy bullshit anyway. When we got to Santa Fe, I went into street shooter mode. I don’t think I even went into a single store or gallery. I will save that for the next time we road trip (without the three dogs we currently have in tow).

One oddity about Santa Fe I must mention, every store in town closes at 5pm and apparently every restaurant whenever they fell like closing the doors. Now aside from retirement homes, I see no reason for such. Hell, I thought Cape Girardeau, MO was bad about that and they stay open as late as 9pm. I guess since I am a night owl and insomniac, I like my business to stay in lock step with my un wavering sleep schedule (or lack there of). Oh well… we still got to see some neat sites, Jane bought a skeletor-Travis dog figure and we got to take in some New Mexico burrito cuisine. Which by the way threw my stomach into such a fit, I assumed I would die from internal bleeding before we returned to the cabin. That was hell on earth for at least an hour. Got to love the BC powder my father brought though. Knocked it out quick.

I did run into one of the rare street photography confrontations which someone puts up a stand-offish objection to my actions. Its not everyday someone asks me to delete a picture. Right after I snapped the image he spun around and asked me angrily if I took his picture… Demanded to see my last few images and when he saw his photo, he demanded I delete it. Now generally I have no problem doing this. Will even do it graciously. But to be honest, in America, as opposed to many other countries, I have the right to public space and if your in it… your a subject. Sorry for your luck…. So I decided to go against my usual obliging of request, on principle alone. So just to pay my respects to the situation and cross manner of disapproval, I give to you the picture he demanded I delete. It’s not the best, due to the poor angle and missed focus… but my stubborn stance on the matter was more important than photo sharpness. hmmm… Maybe he was a fugitive from the law. Or not… its no matter, why so objecting if not suspicious? At least he didn’t pursue it further. The trip would have gotten much more interesting.

Don’t walk down a public street peoples, if you don’t want your photo snapped.

After that little debackle, we continued on… me shooting away and the family taking in the sites. Santa Fe is one hell of an artistically inclined town and quite impressive in its displays of this. I commend the beautiful architecture and creative talents that resonate from within these gorgeous black hills. Thank you Santa Fe for the good times, but I do detest you for that stomach destroying burrito I had the misfortune of consuming this afternoon. Blah!

So anyway, we are back at the cabin, another couple of cards unloaded into the archives, a cold can of Beeforoni eaten when I could stand on my own again, the beds are made and its time for a much deserved few hours of shut eye. I know the snoring family around me are equally in agreement.

Footnote: Sorry for the lack of editing and proofing before post. Day was long and my time allocated for blogging was cut short. My dear fiancee, my editor of usual is fast asleep cuddling with our lil pooch at the moment in the bunk below.

OH! We did see a T-Rex in Clayton… Gotta get the photobook to see that one too though 😉 Click Here for your copy, the IndieGoGo Campaign is waiting for you

On to Flagstaff, Arizona tomorrow… er, today… whatever, my eyes are a drooping. lol

Till tomorrow, I bid thee all yet another fond farewell.