This was a week-long 2400 mile spin back across the country. A few birding stops, usually close to the hotel. Our general schedule is to drive 350 or so miles each day. For us, this is a comfortable pace.
Take out dinners back at the hotel. Not taking any risks with COVID-19, especially in places like Texas.
On a whim, we diverted to White Sands National Monument.
Mostly because it looks enough like snow to cause us endless double-takes. It's white, but sand. It's plowed to create paths.
Thank goodness it wasn't simply shoveled up to make drywall.
We did some proper sight-seeing was Roswell, NM. This is the site of the "famous" 1947 Roswell Incident, in which the US government either found a flying disk in NM, or a crashed weather balloon, or a crashed atomic test surveillance balloon. Or nothing. Or four alien bodies. Or no bodies.
It's either proof positive of aliens or it's the best coverup ever.
It's important to read the "Bogus" Majestic-12 memo. Either it's completely true and the only thing the FBI could do was write "BOGUS" all over it. Or. If it's completely false, why not refute the key points with actual evidence?
(And yes, it's impossible to refute nonsense like UFO stories or anti-vaxx nonsense. Either they're just asking questions, or storm off in a huff because you're not agreeing with them.)
We looked at the abduction stories. They're all hilarious and weird and poorly reported.
CA's big question. Where do the "big eyed humanoids" come from?"
This took some research. It appears that an Outer Limits episode in '64 gave us the iconic alien visage that surrounds Roswell. This, however, is tied to one of the weird-as-all-get-out abduction stories that had surfaced earlier.
(I'm sorry, but I can't see how hypnosis is going to reveal repressed memories. Isn't hypnosis a kind of heightened susceptibility? Isn't that what stage magicians depend on? The "memory" is fabricated to fill in suggestions.)
We left Roswell with Apple Music blasting through the truck's stereo. I'm not imaginative. I have a Grateful Dead playlist that's something like 6 hours. A Yes playlist that's 5 hours. An ELP playlist that's only about 3 hours. A Genesis playlist that's maybe 3 hours. Plus a (very) few other deep-dive bands like Brian Setzer Orchestra. Limited taste in music. I admit it. CA endures it.
What's on as we're leaving town?
Yes' Tormato, which has "Madrigal" ("celestial travelers have always been here with us") and "Departing UFO". Hilarious.
Well. Hilarious of it's a coincidence. It could, of course, be aliens sending messages by controlling Apple Music.
We narrowly missed serious problems heading into Jackson, TN. See this local news broadcast on the flooding that closed I-40. We were lucky to get off I-40 and go around the problem.
Traffic was stopped for miles. Cars inched forward slowly. We had plenty of time to discuss our strategy as we crept the ½ mile to the exit. There are two questions.
Will it be any safer than the interstate? Small highways mean small bridges, perhaps more easily blocked than the interstate.
We're outside AT&T cell coverage. Nothing. No signal. That means no local knowledge. No working map.
We risked it. The truck's compass works, and the local road pointed East. It even had signs for Nashville. So. We followed it until we got enough signal to get a route planned by Our Software Overlords. While people were killed by the floods, we were lucky enough to get through it unscathed.
We'll spend a few weeks in North Carolina before returning to Red Ranger. Then we'll do some sailing around the Chesapeake and head south for the winter.