Unfortunately, I had no camera with me on this trip, and I've not yet managed to snag my dad's phone so I can filch his, so this shall be sadly picture-free. Someday I'll go back to the caverns with a really awesome camera and shall upload many pictures to make up for it. Instead of taking pictures, I contented myself with thinking up ways I could incorporate what I saw into my stories. Needless to say, by the time I'd walked ten paces down into the opening of the cave, I'd already figured out how my protagonist in Dark Dawn (my fantasy novel) would be getting to the home of the Dwarves. There's going to be a massive cave mouth and a very steep ramp.
Story inspiration aside, I discovered that fairyland exists (it forms a very large portion of the "Big Room", and is situated conveniently by the Temple to the Sun God, which must be the place said fairies worship), and also marveled at the clearness of the water. It's all filtered through tons of rock; it's so clear it looks as if it's not there.
Once we left the caves (after a two-hour wait for the elevators; only two of them were working and there was a huge line. It moved quickly though, with my sister and I playing rock-paper-scissors-with-a-twist all the way), we drove toward Roswell. Where we stayed the night. And counted aliens. In Roswell, New Mexico, there is a McDonald's that has a UFO parked in it. No joke. Their play area is shaped like a UFO. It's pretty awesome.
The next morning, dad had the bright idea to drive toward the mountains, so we could do something that hadn't been specified. Basically, we drove through a bunch of very craggy, very yellow, very windy mountains and stopped in a small town that looked more like a tourist trap than a town. On the edge of this town there was a small visitors center; we stopped and found that it was a tribute to Billy the Kid, a notorious outlaw or something who roamed New Mexico. My brain wasn't quite working by that point; it was very fuzzy from having to process being sick, sore, and tired, not to mention seven younger children who weren't at all happy about their lack of clean clothes.
Anyway. This small visitor's center was staffed by two dogs and an older lady, plus an older man who might have been her husband or just a lazy park ranger who couldn't be bothered to button his shirt. He was lazing back in a chair behind a table that was, in its turn, behind the desk, when we arrived, gray shirt unbuttoned over a white t-shirt. I think he was drinking a cup of tea. The woman and the dogs were quite pleasant, though the man disappeared halfway through our visit. We wandered through the center, admired some scale models of old pueblos, plus a cross-section of a pueblo great-house, picked up a few brochures, and got back on the (very windy) road.
And we stayed on the road.
And stayed a bit more.
It got pretty windy as we reached the plains again; a huge dust-storm had been kicked up, which understandably wasn't quite comfortable. This was compounded by the fact that everyone was a bit cranky from having been in the care.
And the fact that if we hadn't made a detour into the mountains, we would have been home three hours earlier. Not that any of us were bitter. But still.
The dust was having entirely too much fun, swirling 'round us. When we stopped at a little Allsup's in Nowhere-Land, New Mexico, we were told that it was only supposed to get worse. Also, the power blinked out twice. And there was only one stoplight. It was swinging from a wire that had been suspended from two opposite light poles. For a moment, I had a vision of Cars, and sitting next to the light, peering up at it and insisting every third blink was shorter.
I blame my wild imagination.
Eventually, we got a tailwind and rode it all the way home, only stopping once, in Santa Rosa. I now detest McDonalds, and will until the next time we go on a trip--by which time I will have forgotten how much I hate it and will gladly scarf down whatever I can get my hands on. To be honest, I really don't pay much attention to what I shove into my mouth. I should probably work on that.
So, after a whirlwind trip that began at 11 am on Friday and ended at 8 pm on Sunday, we arrived back home, thankful to sleep in our own beds. The end.
- Kyla Denae
- Kyla Denae