I know I said in my last post that I wasn’t going to have time to make another video today, but what I really meant was, “I don’t think there will be anything worthwhile to film.” We were planning on driving from Phoenix to Roswell, and having just driven an entire day through the deserts, I couldn’t imagine there being anything to see I hadn’t already shared.
The fact that I present a video to you today (and the fact that I stayed up pretty late working on it and got up early to finish it) shows that I was wrong. Completely wrong. Having now been to San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Phoenix, I have no problem saying that our drive through New Mexico was the highlight of the trip. That’s right, I said it. New Mexico was a greater experience for me than San Diego. Hands down.
We drove most of the day, and yet, I didn’t want to stop driving. They were the most “road trip” roads I had ever seen. With wide open highways, we cruised up and down mountains, cut through rolling hills, and glided across a barren desert. And if we didn’t like the scenery, all we had to do was wait two hours and it would completely change. We drove through cactus-laden desert, high rock formations, a white beach-like plain, over a mountain, through a forest (yes, there is a forest in New Mexico), and as it appeared to me, on top of the world through a desolate undulating field. There was a surprise around every corner, and we didn’t want it to end.
Until it did, and we were more than pleased to get out of the car and meet with the friars. Father Charlie Martinez, OFM, took out us to eat and we had a great time. There are few clips that didn’t make it into the short video today but may make it into the documentary at the end are worth noting: 1) our check engine light came on midway through the trip, but luckily it is off this morning, 2) at the restaurant last, the waitress would not accept my NC driver’s license and I was forced to drink water while my brothers enjoyed a refreshing beer, and 3) there was a mixup at the friary, and having “no room at the inn,” Fr. Charlie graciously got us a hotel room around the corner. As with our stop in Phoenix, there is plenty more worth showing, including another interview with a friar about his vocation and mission, but you’ll just have to wait until the end to see it all!
Hope you’re enjoying the journey as much as we are! I know I said this yesterday, but it’s going to be another long day today as we drive through west Texas to get to San Antonio. We don’t expect any more surprises today, but I guess that’s the point of a surprise: you don’t expect it! Keep us in your prayers as we will likely hit a few storms and drive through areas that have flooded lately, and continue to follow us here and on Twitter.
To see the video from email, click here.
I’m enjoying this so much. I’ll look at it over and over.
New mexico is amazing!
I am enjoying this road trip so much. Keep those comments and videos coming! May Father Francis continue to bless you on your way.
Pax et bonum! I’m Giovanni, an Italian Franciscan friar, and I’ve just found out your blog and vlog from “HNP Today”. I enjoyed your first videos and I will travel with you (from Assisi and Rome). Safe trip, Brothers!
Beautiful video today. I especially liked your commentary as you moved through New Mexico. Prayers for continued safe travels! I know you will love San Antonio….I spent a summer there when I was a teenager…truly beautiful city.
Hi, Friar–I am taking a similar trip in two weeks. Which route provides ever-changing views?
The route we took through New Mexico was the southern (and very indirect route) from Phoenix to Las Cruces, then take route 70 from Las Cruces to Roswell. That stretch of route 70 was pretty amazing how it changed elevation, landscape, and culture many times.
Hope that helps!