Start: Oklahoma City, OK | End: Flagstaff, AZ
Distance traveled: 864 miles | Time: 12 hours
States driven through: Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Cities driven through: Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; Flagstaff, AZ.
We officially started the second half of our drive yesterday! Oklahoma City was about the halfway point for us so now that we’re in Flagstaff, we’re pretty much there. Today was kind of a big day as we drove through four different states and into a whole new time zone. The time zones are still a little strange for me since I’ve never been off the east coast before, but at least it’s not 13 hours like when Zack was overseas (thank God).
Our original plan was to drive to Williams, AZ and visit the Grand Canyon first thing in the morning before we finish the drive. After a lot of discussion, we decided that was something we’d rather do when we have a whole weekend to explore and the money to stay at a nicer hotel closer to it. We also want to make sure Jack is comfortable while we’re exploring too rather than hanging out in the car. So we’ll plan that out a little better and do it at a later date. Maybe I can convince him to go for our anniversary next month since it’s only 7 hours away. We’ll see.
We made our first stop when we arrived in Amarillo, TX. First off, there wasn’t much in the part of Texas we drove through. Lots of windmills though (right? Do they still call them that?). Amarillo had a huge mix of races and people which I really didn’t expect. SO much diversity. But I really wasn’t a fan of Amarillo. We were both a little disappointed by that one. Sorry to anyone who’s from there but we won’t be going out of our way to go back. Texas wasn’t too bad to drive through but I’m glad we only drove through the top portion rather than the middle. That literally would have taken a whole day. Our attention spans don’t last that long so I liked seeing it for a few hours and then heading into a new state.
Next we drove through New Mexico. For some reason, I was really looking forward to this state. It was probably the biggest change in scenery so far this drive. And although there wasn’t much there, the views were gorgeous. It was a weird change going from endless fields to endless desert but I loved it. Again, I couldn’t live there but it was a cool change of scenery compared to the east coast and mid west.
We also loved Albuquerque. Like all the other cities we’ve driven through, it came out of nowhere. But there was so much to do there. I saw practically every store there. So many shopping plazas, hotels and restaurants. And the whole city is surrounded by mountains too which makes it even better. We detoured from the highway for a bit into downtown to find a gas station and even downtown wasn’t too bad. I’d love to see what it looks like at sunset because during the day, it was gorgeous.
By the time we left Albuquerque, we were pretty bored with New Mexico. The views confined to be amazing but we were ready for Arizona. When we stopped for gas, I made sure to grab my macro zoom lens from my camera bag so I could have it with me to take pictures. I upgraded my Nikon and lenses back in May and really haven’t had the chance to play with my zoom lens much. So I was beyond excited to test it out. I spent a good hour doing nothing but adjusting settings and taking photos. I’m sure Zack is sick of hearing the camera click at this point…and my singing.
It’s been relatively easy to keep me happy on this drive. Everything is new and exciting to me. So even though there was nothing out there, I was happy as can be.
Finally we arrived in Arizona around 8 o’clock. Fun fact: did you know that Arizona doesn’t participate in daylight savings? I didn’t. So going into New Mexico, we entered into Mountain Time which is an hour behind Central Time and two hours behind the East Coast. Well then we entered into Arizona and went back one more hour because they didn’t change their clocks ahead in the spring like the rest of us. Super strange! So we kind of gained two hours. It made the day seem super long even though it was about the same number of hours as the past couple days.
This day of our trip seemed never-ending. I’m not sure if it’s because of the two extra hours or because we’ve literally been in the car all week. But we were both very excited to crawl into bed and fall asleep. As you’re reading this, we are in the car, finishing the last 7 hours of the trip. Stay tuned for the last update!