12.4.20 The final push through the Southwest

The final stretch through El Paso, Las Cruces and Phoenix… then the greater Los Angeles area.

Sunday 11/22 – 550 + miles

We knew that we would gain an hour in El Paso so we opt’d for an extra hour of sleep and started the day a little later than the last few days. We made the short haul to El Paso where we would stop to grab more dry ice, fuel up and grab something to eat.

Joe had taken the reins on making decisions on where we would eat. Normally I wouldn’t trust anyone else with my food… but Joe is different. That dude can sniff out a good meal anywhere on this planet. It is a true gift and we will follow his nose anywhere. His latest recommendation took us to this incredible place that makes gorditas… not the Taco Bell kind. This place smelled like fresh tortillas, smelled of grandma’s delicious stews and meat goodness and no one spoke English. La Gorda… WE ARE AT THE RIGHT PLACE!

After figuring out which meat concoction we wanted to sample… we placed our orders and watch them go to work. A few minutes later we had our gorditas and the three (3) of us started a familiar cycle of sounds and sayings…

“This is bomb” – Pop’s

“Holy shitballs this is good” – Me

“Joe, try my meat” – Also me

“Only sounds and no words” – Joe

“Thanks Joe” – Pop’s and Me

After we finished stuffing our faces… we pushed on to New Mexico where we would make a pit stop literally to get gas and to drain the main vein and low and behold… we find the firework motherload.

Like two (2) little kids with their parent’s credit cards… Joe and I loaded up on some fireworks. The people that worked there were so helpful and encouraged our bad financial decisions. The next time the earth shakes… it was probably us.

From there we just kept pushing until we hit Glendale Arizona, part of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. My Dad left his toiletry bag at the Best Western on our way out and wanted to get it back (it was my grandfathers bag). Luck was with us and they saved it for him. We un-hitched the trailer for the night and grabbed some dinner at Bobby-Q’s again. The first time we came was such a hit that we had to do it again. We avoided a lot of restaurants on our trip back due to high COVID risks… so it felt good to enjoy a proper dinner.

Monday 11/23 – 360 miles

Our final run was our shortest run… so we slept in. We were highly motivated to get home and see our families but with any true California story you have to mention something about the traffic. Heading into the Coachella Valley we hit some “put the brake on and turn off your car” traffic. Of course… we are so close.

Fortunately it was about an hour delay… once we got past the obstruction we understood why. A semi was overturned with hazardous materials and no more to go. It looked bad… we could only hope that the ones involved were OK.

Some fuel and breakfast stop later… we were on the final run to my house in Diamond Bar. I got a bit emotional thinking this whole #shitshow was coming to an end. I loved just about everything we did… all the good, the bad and the yummy. What a treat. This will NOT be our last road trip as we loved the discovery aspect of it and the opportunities it provided us.

Keep an eye out for a full trip recap with intimate details about our trip and what I got out of it…

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