Sister road trips are the best. At the time we all worked at the zoo, (it was a family thing-4 of us worked there!) it had been a busy day for Spring and we could not get that clock to tick fast enough. Finally, the floors were scrubbed and mopped, the chairs turned over, the lights turned out, the mouse traps set (haha! Truth! Mice love cotton candy apparently) -with a final glance, we ran out the door and into 10 days of freedom, aka vacation time. Andrea and I had just graduated from college, and if you have gone to a college far from home, you probably understand that empty feeling of returning home and going from having tons of friends to 2 friends- not to mention one of them is your sister. I could not wait to get to Florida, neither could Katie and Andrea, and we decided we wouldn’t wait. The night before and that morning we packed our bags and had them waiting at the front door. The plan was to head out right when we changed out of our zoo gear and said our good byes to our parents. It was nearly 7:00pm when we finally hit the road. We planned on driving straight through, and with three people we formed a “driver rotation”. One person would sleep in the back, one person would drive, one person in the passenger seat would keep the driver awake. I have always liked starting a road trip at night especially if it is an over 20 hour drive and you don’t want to “waste” an ounce of money by staying at a hotel. When you start the trip you have adrenaline on your side, helping keep you awake and alert and then when the sun comes up you are more than half-way there! My boyfriend and I are total opposites when it comes to driving at night. He says he likes to see scenery. Well there ain’t much scenery in Northern New Mexico!
Back to my story: It was a little past midnight when I started driving on the lonely and barren highway. There were few cars, and just a whole lot of nothing, maybe a few tumbleweeds but it was so hard to see them anyway. I was drinking black Columbian coffee, gross but keeps you AWAKE and singing with the radio. This was SOOOO boring. My driving “buddy” that was supposed to keep me awake, fell asleep! It was just me and the road and the thick blackness of an area with no houses and no cities for miles. I looked out the window and gasped. There was a dark shadow of some kind of rock formation. But what stood out to me was the backdrop-Thousands, millions of stars. I pulled over and woke up Andrea and Katie. We hopped out of the car and stood there with our heads bent upwards, staring at a sky filled with glittering stars. We didn’t say anything for a while. There was nothing to say and too much to say all at once. It was so beautiful. I had never before seen so many stars. New Mexico was meant to be driven through at night.
Where is the spot you have seen the most stars?