We both awoke early this morning, at around 5:30am MST. The fact that it was MST is relevant, because until we checked out, I wasn’t sure what timezone we were in. Arizona forgoes the DST drama, so we were living basically in PDT. That meant Texas would be 2 hours ahead of us, instead of 1.

Anyhow, Helen had a great idea. We were up before dawn, and she thought we should drive back to the Grand Canyon (about 10 mins) and watch the sunrise before heading off to Amarillo. So we quickly showered, packed and checked out. We arrived just after 6am, and there was already a small crowd gathered. The sky was pretty bright, but because of our altitude, the sun had not risen over the canyon yet.

I set up my gear, and prepared for an incredible experience. It was a beautiful sunrise, and we enjoyed the cool morning air and the spectacular site of the sun rising over the canyon, and bringing to life the rich colours of nature’s greatest canyon.

It was time to hit the road. This was going to be one of our two long driving days. The route would take us pretty much east across Arizona, New Mexico and northern Texas. One side trip I had planned was to visit the Arizona Meteor Crater. It is just a few miles south of I-40, and Helen agreed it would be neat to take a look at this magnificently preserved crater. When we stood on the rim and took in this spectacle, it was difficult to imagine how a chunk of iron about 150′ across could create this kind of devastation. Issac Newton had it right with mv^2 because that chunk of rock must have been really moving!

It was back on the road, and pretty much easy driving. We stopped for fuel and bio-breaks and watched the scenery fly by. Helen has been keeping a written record of all the different state license plates she’s seeing on the drive. It would be amazing to see all 50, but so far, we’re very close to 40, including Hawaii (we saw that in Vegas). One other fun thing we’re doing is waving out the window/sunroof when we pass a car/van/truck with Ontario license plates. The other drivers probably think we’re just some kooks, because we’re typically passing them at about 35mph faster than they’re going. We’ve had a few waves though!

The “big thing” in Amarillo as far as I am concerned is the Cadillac Ranch. Someone (a farmer I believe) half buried 10 Cadillacs in the ground in his field. They’re buried at an interesting angle, and it’s a bit of a tourist trap. I’ll have to read the real story behind this. In any event, I told Helen we were going to stop here before hitting the hotel. I assumed (incorrectly) that she know what this was. When we arrived, she was quite surprised. She thought I was taking her to some hill with a lots of Cadillacs on it because she heard “everything’s bigger in Texas”. We wandered out to explore, and had the place pretty much to ourselves. I think putting graffiti on the cars is welcomed, because there were cans of spraypaint, and it was clear lots of others had left their mark.

After the pictures, we set off to the hotel, which was nearby. We checked in, then headed to the Japanese Steakhouse next door (think Benihana). We ate, and now we’re ready to crash.

Tomorrow is the longest leg. Amarillo to St. Louis. Straight through Tornado country. I’m counting on the competency of the BMW aerodynamicists to keep us on the tarmac.