Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seasonal Exchange - Day 1, to Springerville, AZ

We thought that instead of taking the fast way, which could have had us in Tucson in about 12 driving hours, we'd take a more scenic route, straight south on Highway 191, which would take us to places we'd never been, and take however long it took. So an hour-and-a-half west on the Interstate, we turned south.

Surprising amounts of snow in Moab, Utah. Piles and heaps of snow in Montecello. A quick tour of Bluff with its historic sandstone block houses. Some excellent desert scenery along the way. Then what seemed like an unflattering view of Reservation land which left me wondering if there is a flattering view of it.

Near dark we crossed the Little Colorado River and rolled into Springerville, Arizona. Still snow around. Still cold. We didn't have any urge to camp out, or to continue onward in the dark into the colder mountains ahead. Found a cheap and homely little motel room; peeling paint, stained carped, missing lightbulbs, barely flushing toilet, sulphur-smelling shower water, and only slightly stinky. Pretty much perfect for us and our dogs, which the hairy desk clerk was happy to oblige for a small additional fee.

From AZ Travel

The joy of having this small pack of dogs in my life comes at a price. I'm not talking about the motel's fee. I'm referring to my refined sensibilities, which over the years, have trended toward an overindulgence in personal sanitation, perhaps aimed at a future neurosis of compulsive behavior. The (germ-free) platform I had elevated myself upon has been knocked to the ground -- or perhaps even into a thick sludge of contaminated mud -- by my association with these dogs, who, being dogs, have, essentially, no sense of such things. This night offered an example.

Bella, the geriatric brown-black dog is old and creaky enough that she isn't always in control of her bodily functions. Sometime in the night she must have accidentally pooped. And, Sprocket, the red Moth Hound -- who has few qualms -- must have eaten it. We didn't know about any of this until Sprocket vomited it back out onto the carpet at 4:00 a.m. We cleaned up this poop/vomit as best we could, and tried to flush it down the toilet, which almost overflowed.

There would have been another spot on the carpet if Bella hadn't then taken to compulsively and noisily licking that spot for the rest of the sleepless night. By morning that spot was the cleanest part of the whole carpet.

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