Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Stage 9: Deming NM to Tucson AZ

Today was (relatively) easy, because we gave ourselves an extra two hours by pushing to Deming last night and because we got an extra hour when we entered Arizona. (That's our last zone change for this trip.)

We made several stops, as is our wont. At Wilcox, we went into the visitor center to get Arizona maps, and talking to the person staffing it, mentioned that we were bound for "near Reno." When he asked where, I said, "Fernley," and he knew where it is, saying that he'd gone to high school in Bishop.

"So did I!" I said, "1980 and 81."

"No kidding! I graduated in 1980."

"Well, how about that! I was a freshman when you were a senior. I was with the Computer Club." He remembered us and our film festivals and other ways of cadging money out of the other students to pay for our end-of-year barbeque. Small world and all that.

The ex-Southern Pacific mainline parallels Interstate 10 along much of our route. While driving along, we spotted the eastbound Sunset Limited/Texas Eagle at one point, which is somewhat rare given that the train runs only six times per week total (three each way).

Because we couldn't get a seat at the place at which we'd planned to get lunch at Willcox, we stopped at a roadside tourist trap called The Thing? because it had a Dairy Queen. Lisa had been there before. We had lunch, and she paid the admission ($1 each) for the oddball assortment of exhibits, including The Thing. I won't tell you what it is; you can find it online if you want to know. The whole exhibit might possibly have been worth the dollar.

As we arrived in Tucson early enough (we thought), we went first to the Amtrak station to see the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum. When we came through on the Sunset last year on the way back from Chicon, we saw the museum adjacent to the station and decided we could have a look this year while we were driving. Unfortunately, we didn't know they close at 3 PM on Thursday, and thus missed it. It's not a large museum, and we might stop by on our way north tomorrow.

Going back south — our hotel tonight is near the airport — we saw a big accident being cleared northbound. We were very lucky; had we come along twenty minutes later, we might have been caught in it. As it was, it was only a minor problem to work our way back down to the Airport area.

Checking in to the hotel, I got online and found that Day Jobbe stuff I expected was there waiting for me. I had previously committed to work on this in return for an extra day off (next Monday), so I got to work on it while Lisa started working through the laundry. Fortunately, nobody else was using the single machine, there was a soap dispenser, and the laundry room is only two doors down from our room. Furthermore, one of the front desk people, when we asked for quarters, ran next door and got us a roll when it turned out that they didn't have enough quarters in their own till.

After several loads of laundry and after I had done what I could for today (the rest will have to wait for tomorrow, and I told them so back in the office), we walked to the Waffle House about a kilometer away. I like Waffle House, but there aren't any on the west coast, so I tend to eat at them when I find them along my travels elsewhere. Alas, I tend to overeat at them, and the extra helping of hashbrowns did bad things to my blood sugar.

Tomorrow is the shortest leg of the trip, as we've set aside half a day to go to the Pima Air & Space Museum before heading up to Tempe, where we will stay near, but not at, the location of the Tempe Westercon (and the proposed NASFiC). I'm glad it's going to be a short day, because I have at least four more hours of Day Jobbe to do tomorrow night.
Tags: hotels, trains, travel
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