On the road again heading through Arizona.

Photo: Natalie Menacho

In the first half of June Natalie and I got on the road again for our first big trip of the year. We were headed to the Southwest, land of painted deserts and amazing canyons. Our plan was to get to Taos, New Mexico, as quickly as possible, then head slowly back to Sonoma County and see what we could along the way. On our first night we made it to Barstow. We asked the woman at the motel what drove the Barstow economy. She said, “People trying to get to somewhere else.”

The next morning, on our way to do just that, I didn’t fill up the tank, thinking gas would be cheaper on the highway. I was wrong. It kept getting more expensive the further into the desert we got. And then, after a while, there simply weren’t any more gas stations. Just as I was about to reduce our speed to make the most of our dwindling fuel, a gas station appeared like an oasis — I think it was even called Desert Oasis. Saved! Except that gas was $5.00 a gallon. OK, half a tank then. $50 later, we were back on the road. In Needles, California, right on the Arizona border, I filled up the rest of the tank at something like $4.89/gallon. As soon as we crossed into Arizona it was something like $3.89. D’oh. Read the rest of this entry »