We arrived in Arizona on January 15 and we left today. It was difficult to leave Kristen but we have so many wonderful memories of our time with her. She graciously hosted us for the entire time except our two weeks in California and Las Vegas.
We took a new route this time and saw some wonderful sights. The mountains around Payson, Arizona showed us more mountains and I always thing they are the most beautifiul yet. The steep up and downs took a toll on our van's transmission and when we arrived at Payson, the transmission was whining, literally, and it didn't sound good. Tom saw a Chrysler dealership and pulled in. The service department took us in immediately and they determined that the strain of the mountains was causing the transmission to make the noise because the transmission fluid was a bit low. It was still in the safe zone but getting close to low. They refilled the fluid and when Tom asked what we owed, the service man said, "Nothing, just have a good trip back to Michigan." Amazing and an answer to prayer. We were back on the road in about 20 minutes and very thankful.
We turned northeast out of Payson and were on the Mogollon Plateau for many miles. It was flat yet 6,000 feet high. So we saw snow for the first time since coming out here. It was 60 degrees so that snow won't be lasting long.
We traveled into New Mexico and began seeing some stunning vistas. Western New Mexico has red rocks that are really like traveling through a mini-Grand Canyon. One unfortunate incident-a small rock hit our windshield and put a stone chip right in the sight line of the driver. There was a truck and a car in front of us, but neither was very close. Just a freak accident. It isn't too distracting and hopefully we can get it fixed when we get home.
Tonight we are in Tucumcari, New Mexico. We got our hotel and then walked to dinner down the street. The temp is still in the high 60's.
Tomorrow we will begin heading north through the corner of Texas, the panhandle of Oklahoma and into Kansas. I'll probably have to put the capri pants away and get out the jeans and sweats.