I am currently typing from the comfort of a Holiday Inn Express, in Tucumcari, New Mexico. (I may not be an expert, but tomorrow I can say "I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night...").
For future reference, if any of you happen to be passing through Tucumcari at 11:15 PM and think that the Travel Lodge might be a good place to spend the night, think again... After witnessing a man with a Pontiac Grand Prix filled with about 15 computers packed into the back seat argue with another man driving a GMC Envoy about who got to park closest to the rattiest apartments I've ever seen, and then having to contact the night manager 3 times because the key card wouldn't open the door, and then trying to determine the origin of the funny smell pervading the room, I was ready to cough up an extra $45 dollars to spend the night somewhere where I wouldn't have lay out my sleeping bag on top of the bed and wouldn't be starring in a "snuff film" a la "Vacancy"
Anyways... I drove almost 800 miles today - the Yaris did well. I bought 10 gallons of gas in Monticello, Utah at $4.48 / gallon (what a kick in the crotch). I later paid $3.88 / gallon in some little town in New Mexico, and did the math... the Yaris got 43 miles to the gallon!?!? Wow!
My good buddy Cody Shepard called me and kept me awake/alert for a little bit - thanks Cody. I tried to talk to a few other people, but for the most part spotty cell phone coverage made it difficult if not impossible to talk for too long.
I'm almost done listening to The Hero and the Crown, by Robin McKinley, and tomorrow plan to start The Blue Sword by the same author.
Good night! Or morning...
PS - tomorrow morning I'll be passing through 'Amarillo by mornin'