Been there, done that
Canyon Rat Road, Cibola National Forest, just southeast of Albuquerque, NM
A glorious day of driving, driving, driving, through the Reservations of Arizona and then New Mexico. We see the craziest rain and rainbows, not on our road, but hanging above the ranch lands, somewhere between us and the horizons. We see two rainbows today, the last one at sunset in Albuquerque, the dark square clouds battering at the setting sun, making it squeak out a rainbow through the moist tissue of cloud. Amazing.
We spend the night down a dirt road on a small highway MILES off of the Interstate (we avoid the Interstate like Babtist church, but we've felt pushed to make some time and we've had the most amazing tail wind since Flagstaff) in the middle of national forest, high desert style, which means more rocks than trees, rushing creeks and a high moon to show us the small roads where we won't get rousted.
There are bear warning signs everywhere, and although we know they mean black bears, for some reason we're extra ancy tonight. We're pushing east as fast as we can, so we're sleeping up top in the small, barely padded crawl space we think the Germans meant for small children. (With new padding, to be fair, it would absolutely be comfortable enough). If we sleep up top, we don't have to move all of our stuff from the back of the van to the top of the van and then make the bottom bed...much faster, less fuss, but it does leave you feeling really exposed to bears. And mountain lions.
We're not easily frightened people, you may have figured out by now. Not sure why we're so jumpy tonight, when we've left the BIG scary animals in the far north. Strange. Maybe we're really scared of the end of the journey, of where we'll be and what we'll do when we have to stop driving.