Monday, January 21, 2008

Roadtrip!™ Day Six: Groovy Nuvi

Santa Rosa, New Mexico - Winslow, Arizona

I'm not sure if Groovy Nuvi would be understood as English by someone dropping in on the planet from a previous generation, but anybody familiar with 60s slang (groovy) and 21st cc technology (Garmin Nuvi GPS), will get it.

The GPS has sure paid off. Not just in making it easier to navigate through unfamiliar cities on unfamiliar roads. I pressed one of the map-screen buttons and got a whole dashboard screen of information -- including the GPS' real-time satellite calculations of my speed. Turns out the Toyota Matrix is under-calibrated, and when it indicates I'm going 75 mph, I'm only going 72! This allows me to drive a whole 3 mph faster and maintain a good conscience!

Even more important, I forgot to get gas last night in Santa Rosa and the warning light came on this morning, and we were driving the I-40 Interstate, where the GPS instructions run something like, "drive 400 miles and then turn right"! Yikes! I pressed the Garmin, and press, press, presto! -- a list of all the gas stations both behind us and in front of us with exact distances to a tenth of a mile to each! Turned out there was one up ahead about 25 miles. What a relief to know this. Still, I sweated it out as the Matrix gas guage fell to clear below Empty. I eased off from 75 mph to 65. Good thing I did. When I finally filled-er-up at the Chevron, it took a full 12 gallons and a bit. The gas tank capacity on a 2006 Matrix is... 11.9 gallons.

So, thank you, Garmin Nuvi!

We decided to forego our planned side-trip up to Santa Fe, and instead blew by Albuquerque and stopped at the Big Sky Casino to check out the Restaurant. Not really hungry, but who can pass up a six-egg scrambled eggs-with-sausage-and-bacon-etc. breakfast for $3.99?! We shared it (which means for me it was about a 4 1/2 egg breakfast).

On into Gallup, New Mexico, home of the famous El Rancho Hotel, which housed all the movie stars of a by-gone era, and then to the Arizona State line and on into Winslow, Arizona. The scenery through New Mexico is simply breath-taking. I enjoyed every inch of it. We checked in at the historic La Posada Hotel. We are staying in the Jimmy Doolittle room. I'm not sure if the Lord is trying to tell me something or not. I hope not.

We visited the Standing On The Corner Park and helped the two local businesses that abut it by buying a CD at one and a mug at the other. We went for an exquisite meal at the Turquoise Room that is part of La Posada Hotel.

Tomorrow, it's on down to Phoenix!

Approx. distance travelled: 600 km.

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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"