Tomorrow Allan and I are making a trip to Albuquerque. I need to take a some things to storage, and take a few others out. After that we are meeting with a couple friends for lunch, one friend is his and one mine. After lunch we have a little shopping to do and then it will be homeward bound. Just a short day trip. Well, OK, not necessarily short, but a day trip.
Tomorrow evening an old friend is going to be arriving in the general vicinity, visiting with family in this area. This is my only friend with whom I have had almost constant contact since graduation from high school, forty-four years ago. Yes, you read that right . . . 44 years ago!! Our plan is to get together, and she may even come stay with us for a couple days. If she can't come here, I will travel about an hour to her brother's home and see her there. Actually, I haven't seen her brother since high school, so it would be fun to go there. It all depends on several factors, but we'll probably work out some time to spend in some creative way.
And I recently learned that another friend from high school is living in Ruidoso. She lived down the block from me and we car pooled most of the time we were in high school. I haven't seen her since graduation, but we talked on the phone yesterday for almost 2 hours! What fun to find old friends like this. We have plans to get together later in the week. I'm wondering if it might work out to somehow get the three of us in one place for while. Again, what fun that might be!
I drove into Ruidoso today for the tires (Yay!!) and for the vet's appointment (Yay!!), I hit a small pot hole. It was just about 5-6 inches across, enough to make me feel it, but without feeling the car could have been damaged. It made me remember that one of the really good things about New Mexico is that the roads are well maintained. I didn't realize this until my later teens or young adulthood when car maintenance begins to mean something. I began noticing that other states roads were not as nicely paved and repaired. In fact, moving to the Midwest in the mid-1970s was really a shock. Roads were and still are narrower and poorly repaired and maintained. It took me a while to feel comfortable driving on the streets of KC because I always felt that I was driving in someone else's lane. I'm guessing at the difference, but it seems that the lanes on streets in NM are a foot or more wider. Of course, in older neighborhoods, there are more narrow streets, but generally speaking, the major streets, newer streets, and highways are considerably wider.
Then the repairs to pavement . . . when a pothole occurs or a repair is necessary, street crews are out, do the job and get out of the way here. In KC, the street gets torn up, then a metal plate is placed over it for an indeterminate period of time, until eventually a paving repair takes place. These plates cause unbelievable tire damage. And those pot holes . . . Sheesh! It is not unusual to have a pothole reach the size of a foot or more across before it is repaired, so before the tire damage from the plates, comes the front end alignment problems from the potholes. Oh yeah, one more thing . . . when the street or highway is repaired, it is usually left with a ridge so that for months, cars bump and bang across these uneven places, again causing wear and tear on vehicles, tires, and the nerves of the drivers. Missouri is just hard on cars, period.
Anyway, on my drive today, I hit this small pothole and I remembered all that stuff above. I was driving on a state highway, not federal or interstate, yet the road was broad, well paved with a smooth surface. An excellent road which puts to shame any of the roads I can think of in MO, I-70, I-35, any sate road or city street. I decided to watch to see about potholes on the road, and in the remaining 12 or 13 miles of my trip, I encountered 3 more equally small, not threatening potholes. I might have over looked 1 or 2, but 4 potholes in about 16 miles??? What a concept! I was driving on a really good highway!! A lowly state road, not an interstate!
So this got me thinking about this: What are roads like in your part of the country? Are they more like the Kansas City area where you feel that your are riding on a narrow, bumpy back road, or are the more like New Mexico where a state road is smooth and pleasant for driving, safer because of the good conditions? Just curious.
Here's to old friends, good roads and a trip to the big city!!