Sitting here at McDonald's getting my kicks in Grants, New Mexico (Route 66) because the Wi-Fi is down at my hotel, I reflect on the strange coincidence that eleven years ago, I was also headed to Gallup, NM for a meeting with the Navajo Nation. That day I turned around at Rio Puerco as I was listening to the news on the radio and after a few calls from a pay phone, realized the utter futility of holding a meeting on an archaeology contract.
We're politics free today.
New Mexico is a great place. I lived here for fourteen years! And with a name like Grants, this town can't be all bad - although I'm pretty sure it was the inspiration for the fictional Radiator Springs in Pixar's Cars.
My hotel room really is pretty nice - large, clean (the most important quality in hotels), and fortunately remodeled within the last decade as it appears the whole structure dates back at least to the 1970s and may have originally been one of those Holiday Inns with the indoor "fun center" pool and video games, etc. That part's still there. It's just that the wireless is out.
I'm planning on a Blake's green chile cheeseburger on the way back to the hotel. I intended to buy at least a soda here at McDonald's, but there was a long line of girls from some sports team at Laguna Pueblo Middle School.
Flying (twice - having to change planes in Denver) is a sobering experience on 9/11. One feels extra gratitude to the pilots and crew. "Thank yous" mean more. Prayers go out to the fallen and their families who will always be remembered.
The important thing is that travelling west through a pouring rain, I didn't have to stop and turn around at Rio Puerco. I went on.