From Oklahoma City, we aimed to cross the Northern square part of Texas and stay the night in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 540 miles away. A good night’s rest, a hearty breakfast, and we were back on the road. We witnessed the green, woody landscape in Oklahoma open up in to a vast horizon as we traveled across the dry, flat fields in Texas. It seemed as if the sky opened up as we drove through Rte40 (parallel to Route 66). I was hoping we could get in to another adventure in our drive through Texas, but there was nothing much going on in northern Texas except for cattle ranches and wind turbines.
We were eager to get to Albuquerque, until we saw a sign for a dinosaur museum. Two miles off the highway, we found Mesalands Community College’s Dinosaur Museum and Natural Sciences Lab. The museum had various exhibits from the time of the dinosaurs with many interactive stations so Nyima and Rizzy could touch, jump and play with some of the exhibits. There was even a kids section where they dug for dinosaur bones. This place was truly a diamond in the rough as the drive towards the museum was lined with broken down, abandoned buildings and hotels/motels, some of which looked like the perfect setting for a horror movie. We left the museum just before sundown and continued on to our next destination some 3hours drive away.
The kids are usually good about the cross country trip during the day especially with stops like the dinosaur museum, but when it begins to get dark, they start to show exactly where they are in the transition process. Nyima has now stopped asking to go home, and has begun asking to “sleep at my friend’s house.” A statement that reminds me of when I would sleep over at friend’s house and wake up slightly disoriented when I couldn’t recognize the ceiling above where I laid. As for Rizzy, little things would sometimes cause him stress, for instance all the different ways to turn on the shower. I realized a good night’s rest was a great way to lift the spirit and Owen and I have made a point to maintain their bedtime routine as best we can. I found a deal online for Nativo Lounge and booked a room there instead of a hotel chain (like Best Western and the like).
We pulled up to an entrance lined with modern totem poles when we arrived at our destination. The inside looked more like a Native American art museum than a hotel as Nativo Lounge celebrates Native American art and design. The room was cozy and the bed comfortable with dream catchers overhead. Halfway through our road trip, we couldn’t have found a better place to rest our heads and process our transition.