Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Eleven Days Cruising the US Southwest

So here we are back home after 11 days on the road. When I say on the road I mean 5546.4 kilometers or 3 446.4 miles of road. This travel started with an early abort. Last year we went to Kauai, and this I have reserved a flight to Cancun, Mexico. Then the TSA started with more through pat down and scanner schemes. In protest to the potential harassment I called off the reservations and we agreed to take the travel car out for a spin of the southwest and divert the airfare ransom into gas on our own and the nicest hotels we could find. Our daughter wanted to play in snow anyway. We've been to New Mexico before but missed many spots in a different kind of tour. It was time to give New Mexico the time it deserves. Myself, I wanted to see a couple of 'rocket science' things there, including the notorious place called Roswell :) I am happy to report all objectives of this mission were accomplished, including finding the alien - to Filip's horror. The pictures linked above tell the story of the journey. As Seneca said, "Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind."

Here's a few engineering notes. It took 628 liters (166 gallons) of gasoline to complete the trip. About 22 Tera Joules of energy, enough to power a color TV 24x7 for 17 years, lifting a million apples to a height of 1000 meters, or typing 4.3 million 100,000 word novels on a typewriter. On the green side we emitted 1.47 tons of CO2, but I am sleeping well, as I can offset this by planting 14 trees next summer in our family's forest back in Croatia - feel free to ask me about the tree planting party.

We have seen scenes and places, colors, skies, snow blizzards and primeval rock, lava, mesas and sand in abundance. But we have also seen the work of humans. Ancient and contemporary, constructive and destructive, the modern space oriented, the contemporary art, and the old, symbolic and quizzing. The flash of Vegas and the erie remoteness of the Jornada del Muerto. The spicy food of New Mexico the Americana fare on route 66. Most of all, we filled our neurons with new memories that will not fade easily.

Enjoy.

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