December 8th, 2015

SMOF License

The Road from SMOFCon, Day 2: Amarillo TX to G/a/l/l/u/p/ Grants NM

Our original plan for today was to drive to Gallup, New Mexico, but for reasons described below, we cut that back to make the trip Amarillo TX to Grants NM, 356 miles per Google Maps. Our actual distance traveled was 380 miles including some detours.

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After our brief railfan detour in Amarillo, we set out on I-40 heading west.

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Shortly after 3 PM (MT) we pulled into the Waffle House on Yale in Albuquerque for our final WH meal of the trip. We both went large, and I added chili to my hash browns. (My blood sugar paid for this later inasmuch as there's no time for exercise.) Leaving the Waffle House, we refueled the Astro and, after a brief stretch of rush-hour traffic on I-25/I-40, made good time to our destination in Grants.

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Not only have we changed stops, we also are going to spend an extra night in Las Vegas.

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We'll have to have a look at schedules, but this change may allow us to finally go ride the Nevada Southern Railway in Boulder City.

Meanwhile, back to our hotel tonight. The Holiday Inn Grants is pretty nice, and includes wired (not just wireless) internet connections that actually work (the wired connections at Amarillo last night and at the Sheraton Fort Worth did not work), so Lisa could check her messages on ActiveWorlds. Even though I'm staying on points (and at a huge bargain at that), they still upgraded us to a mini-suite, and one immediately opposite the indoor pool and spa. This led to what Lisa described as a red-letter day: the first time she's been able to go into a hot tub in eight years.

For some reason, Lisa's tinnitus abated for most of today, even while eating. She hasn't been able to swim because she obviously can't swim with the static-making plug in her ear and the radio on her hip. She decided that under the circumstances, she could risk it here. So we put on our swimsuits and went across the hall to the hot tub and soaked out the substantial stiffness of a long road trip. Lisa felt pretty good, but unfortunately, as we were leaving, the tone returned. She dashed across the hall to our room and grabbed the radio to get the white-noise masking going again. That last part wasn't pleasant, but she was still happy to be able to get into the hot tub again for the first time since the tinnitus started afflicting her shortly after Nippon 2007.

Now we need to get some rest because tomorrow is going to be the longest single day of the entire trip. It's a good thing we'll be in Vegas for three days, because I think the first day, we'll have to stay in bed and sleep late. But I doubt that it will be difficult to find somewhere serving breakfast all day in Las Vegas.