Two Lane Gems Tour Day 6: Experiencing the Journey

This morning I woke up just as the black of night was fading to the cool gray of morning.

As the hues changed to streaks of ever-so pale pink and blue I gathered my tools for my morning coffee and journal ritual. Before I could fill the pot I heard a rustling behind me. I turned around to see a gentle doe curiously surveying the campsite. She came closer, almost close enough to touch, and when she finally realized that neither I nor Mae had any food, she sauntered off to find another friend.

Her presence was quickly replaced by a rafter of turkeys, followed by three garrulous toms. They surrounded me, then moved to the campsite across the road (insert fowl joke here) before leaving to gobble and peck elsewhere.

I couldn’t just go about my business when these creatures came to call. I picked up my camera and tried to capture the moment, my journal forgotten and my coffee cold.

Yesterday was similarly filled with interruptions. I stepped outside the tent to a deep blue sky grading to a sliver of red and orange, with a bright crescent moon tucked in the corner of my view. As the sun rose it glittered and sparkled on the lake. You don’t know what “dappled” means until you see butterscotch rays on a rippled surface.

I set down my camera and heard a rustling, just like this morning, as three does tiptoed through the empty campsite next to us. They would stop, pose, and then move on.

How is a woman supposed to write when Mother Nature keeps knocking?

She doesn’t. She experiences now and writes later.

When Jim and I drove Route 66 in 2011 we had the ambition to record podcasts every night recapping our journey. The idea was good, but the execution meant that we spent time in hotel rooms recording instead of out there experiencing. This time we’re grabbing every opportunity we can to Do. I’ll write about it later.

As I write this we’re in New Mexico, on our way to Santa Rosa Lake State Park. This will be the third night in a row that we’re just showing up at a campground and hoping for the best. If the last two nights are any indication, it’ll work out just fine. I’ve never been comfortable with a dart-throwing method of planning, but when on a road trip…

It’s Day 6, and we’ve put 1500 miles on Mae and snapped about the same number of photos. I’m grabbing moments like this to record what we’ve seen. Tomorrow the plan is to hike, as we’ve done the last two mornings. Then we’ll spend two nights in Albuquerque. exploring Old Town one day and a craft brewery and a vineyard B&B the next.

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