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Travel Letters To Home

As we drove across the country from Traverse City, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona, I wrote a series of letters to family and friends. Actually they all got the same letter, as it was easier that way. I hope you'll find our typical and not-so-typical travel experiences entertaining.

Travel Letter #1

Saturday, 12/13/03

Good morning and welcome to our vacation form letter. We are in Arizona now. The sun is shining and it will be 62 degrees today, which should melt the ice on the windows soon. Ana's foot is better (we thought she might have broken it), so we took a long walk in the desert last night. We saw a coyote, possibly the same one I chased the other day, and we saw javelina tracks everywhere.

The library in Safford has a good collection of books in Spanish, so Ana is enjoying reading now that her eye-patch is off. The doctor said the "divot" left by his golf-club-like blade will heal soon, and we learned that eyeballs have many nerve endings. Near as we can guess, the object in her eye might have been a fiber from a yucca plant.

Our uncontrollable coughs seem to be under control now, and so far we aren't among the dozen or so people in Arizona that died from the flu this week. Oh, and the antibiotics from the clinic in Safford seem to have helped with Ana's abscessed tooth.

Maybe I should start at the beginning. The first day out, after dealing with the usual rudeness of the people in the INS office in Detroit, we made it as far as Kansas. It was there that we hit a traffic cone at high speed, and then heard a horrible sound coming from under the van. The sound was from the cone, which had been dragging along underneath. Nothing was broken until later, when the bright light switch stopped working.

Fortunately, we drove during daylight after that first big push. In the mountains of Colorado we went from 16 miles-per-gallon to 20, which confused the sensors and caused the "check engine" light to go on. We successfully ignored it until it changed it's mind.

In Farmington, New Mexico, we spent a few days resting and coughing. We were also about an hour away from buying a house when we discovered that it needed all new wiring, and there was a garden hose attached to the natural gas line, and it had other problems we had missed on our first walk-through. Despite the old man begging me to buy it, and calling our motel room to tell me he needed the money for open-heart surgery in three days, and calling again to lower the price, we moved on. (For the record; we aren't moving. It was to be a winter project.)

Monument Valley was beautiful, the Christmas parade in Holbrook was cute, and despite the various problems and illnesses, we are having a great time. You see, I didn't want to make you all jealous, so I left out a lot - the constant sun, the beautiful sculptures in Grand Junction, and the nine times we've been in hot springs in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Next week we're going to Mexico for lunch. Hope all is well in Michigan.

Steve and Ana

TRAVEL LETTER # 2


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