Saturday, April 10, 2010
We started down the long and lonely path to the Petrified Forest in the face of fierce red dust storms and howling winds. I took it as an omen, telling us to turn around and head back to the main road. The car was weighted down with all the things we were driving back to NYC with us from California, and to top it off, the "check engine" light came on as we headed further from the main road and into the national forest area. After my terrifying experience of almost loosing my brakes as we made our way down from 8,000 feet in Yosemite in the pitch black, I decided better safe than stranded in the deserts of New Mexico.
I decided not to push our luck.
By the time we got back to the highway, visibility was limited and the rain was pouring down in sheets. We managed to stop at the visitor's center off the main road, so we could see what we were missing, but the weather was getting even worse, so we headed into Albuquerque for the night. As we drove into town, the sky opened up and cleared. The bright New Mexico sun greeted us for the early evening, leaving the terror of the open road behind us.
When we settled in for the evening, the storm we had left behind us became even more surreal and dreamlike in my memory. But the sounds of the howling winds and the raw power of the red dust lingered and haunted our dreams.