Thursday, January 9, 1997
Shamrock, TX to Albuquerque, NM
2:46pm (Central Time): We woke up at 8am to the sound of knocking on our door. One of the girls came over to ask if we were ready to leave – a surprise to us. The original plan was to leave at 9:30am, but we figured that they were ready to leave so early because they went to sleep at 7:30pm and woke at 5am (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration).
Our hotel in Shamrock the next morning after the snow:It’s kind of funny to see the rift between the guys and the girls. We (the guys) keep cracking jokes because it seems like all they (the girls) want to do is drive and sleep. We want to be tourists and see the sights. Add to it that the situation at the hotels is becoming crazy too. There’s 5 girls in 1 room. The room costs $40, and each has to pay $8 for the night. There’s 7 guys in the other room. Same cost for the room, so we’re putting in a little less than $6 each. I can understand that they don’t want to pay as much, but they want one of the guys to come over, sleep on their floor, and everyone will pay the same amount per room. In theory, this works, but let’s face it, 1) One guy in a room with five girls would be a bit uncomfortable for that one guy, and, 2) The guy that would sleep in the girl’s room has to sleep on the floor because no girl would want to share a bed with them. If the seven guys buy a case of beer to drink and the girls buy a case of beer of their own, would they ask us to pay extra money for their case as well? (NOTE FROM 2007: I’m glad that my 20-year-old brain could only compare this to buying cases of beer)
When we got onto 40 West this morning, it was covered with a sheet of ice. Dawn got onto the freeway too fast and hit a patch of ice and ended up skidding off the road and into the grass median. They’re lucky they didn’t get hurt – it could’ve turned into a major accident.
To make matters worse, we all got split up. Patry/Mike and Mather/Bonnie were ahead, while Dave/Andrew and Bryan/I were somewhere behind them. Everyone else was way behind us. The first four cars stopped at a rest area and flagged down the others and told them to meet us at the next exit. (NOTE FROM 2007: I think this is the first time that day we drove the wrong way that Willer was referring to in the comments. As I recall Patry/Mike and Mather/Bonnie had stopped at the rest stop. Dave/Andrew and Bryan/I had passed the rest stop, but spotted them and pulled over. I think we then went into reverse up the exit to the rest stop just to meet up with them. The only reason we were able to do this was that there were no cars on the road due to the snow. Moving on…)
We all met up after getting off at the next exit. But as we tried to get back onto 40, when we got to an intersection, for some reason, Michelle/Jen M. made a left turn towards nowhere instead of getting onto 40 West and didn’t turn around. We got on the highway, figuring that they would turn around and catch us. But Dawn/Jen B. were leading us and didn’t slow down for Michelle/Jen M. to catch us. Dave/Andrew and Bryan/I kept a slower pace so they could catch us, but no luck.
We eventually stopped for gas, thinking that Michelle/Jen M. might stop, but as we watched the highway, Michelle/Jen M. drove right by. Dave was really pissed that Dawn/Jen B didn’t slow down so Michelle/Jen M. couldn’t catch up with us. When someone asked what we should do, Dave shot back, “They know how to get to LA…40 WEST!!!” Our next planned stop was the Cadillac Ranch, so Dawn/Jen B. drove ahead to meet Michelle/Jen M. at the ranch.
The rest of us went to an A&W and ate lunch. All was good except for the root beer. It tasted and smelled like ass. None of us could drink it. The ironic part is that A&W’s slogan on their wrappers was: “Our food is as good as our root beer!” If that were the case, then we’d be all puking from the ass smell.
(NOTE FROM 2007: Now, for some music for the next part of the story..."Cadillac Ranch by Bruce Springsteen". This is the first time Springsteen has been preceded by the words "puking from the ass smell.")
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We got back on the road and got to Amarillo (where we saw a sign for the “BIG TEXAN” with a 72 oz. steak challenge, which Mather wanted us to try). Met up with everyone at Cadillac Ranch, which was cool. We looked at it from the side of the road, but it was still quite a ways away, so we hopped the fence to get a close and personal look. There were some cows grazing near the cars, but as soon as we came near, they all walked away. They must be used to it by now.
We drove some more, stopped to mail cards and for Dawn and Jen to get lunch. We eventually got into in New Mexico, which is a lot prettier than Arkansas or Texas. At one point, Bryan was driving my car and fell behind the group, so he sped up to catch everyone, and at one point he hit 105 mph.
It’s now 8:35 Rocky Mountain Time. Dave and I are hanging out in the hotelroom. Everyone else wanted Mexican, but Dave and I got Church’s Chicken, which sells jalapeno peppers individually. (NOTE FROM 2007: I guess I had never seen jalapeno peppers being sold at a fast food place before. They didn’t have many places like that where I grew up in Jersey)
The hotel controversy lingers: the girls got to a hotel before we did. Two of them went in, but a third followed a few minutes later, which made the woman behind the counter suspect something. They confessed that four of them were going to be in a room, but the woman was really pissed off. They had to pay a lot, so we decided to go to another hotel to get a cheaper hotel room. It’s a 10-minute drive away, so once again, we’ve split up from the girls.
The bad news for us: our hotel is in a shady area. There are a lot of signs warning us about locking doors. That really worries me.
(Note: Patry fell asleep before any of us did, and in the midst of sleeping, yelled out, “Larry!” and rolled over, still asleep. Who is this “Larry?” Funny!)