Another Road Trip Through The American Southwest

I’m not dead, it’s just been an erratic summer road trip. Ever since TBEX back in June I’ve been taking minor treks around the American central / southwest as well as the northern part of Mexico, although the latter was with my buddy Rich. He has family there…but I’ll get to that later.

Why have I been wandering aimlessly through two countries that I already know very well? That is a good question, I’ve been sitting here for five minutes since I finished that sentence, just thinking..and to be honest, I really don’t have an answer. There’s just been too much on my mind and since I don’t have a girlfriend anymore to open up to and never had any family, well I guess I’ve been trying to lose myself in the tranquil sounds of nature and monotonous driving of the highways in between national parks. Of course now that my truck was stolen while I was in Mexico, these last few weeks have been hell…but I’ll get to that.

  Quick clarification: My truck was stolen from Texas while I was in Mexico…no crazy car-jacking from Mexican thugs or anything like that — although that would have made a great story.

The worst part is I feel so drained and so unenthusiastic that I have not even felt the urge to do much writing recently. But I’m going to try and change that between now and the end of the new year, because I don’t want to be sitting here making new years goals like some poor slob.

On A Happier Note, New Pictures!

After all, thanks to that lightning strike that fried my computer and external hard drive while I was out of town (not to mention left lots of other electronics around the house in need of replacement) I now have to work on rebuilding my collection of travel pictures and videos. Anything that I did not have online already has been lost forever — and before you say anything, I’ve been to the techs already. While the computer hard drive was recoverable, that was only because there was lots of other components and circuity to the computer that helped absorb and dissipate the electrical shock away from the hard drive. My standalone 3TB external hard drive, however, was a complete loss by all professional accounts.

So I did at least try and take a few new pictures during my travels this summer, to start re-building the collection… and maybe even improve my photography skills. Take a look! (For the first time I am actually proud to put my name on some of them.)

New Mexico, USA
Random shot in New Mexico, USA (I had to stop to water the grass)


Colorado, USA
Lake Dillon or Blue Mesa Reservoir, cannot remember which…but both are in Colorado


Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, USA
The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah — there is only a two-inch curb so most cars can easily be raced in front of the rest stops. They even provide a handy wash-up area for hosing down vehicles afterwards (note: it may be meant for feet but still works for vehicles just the same)

I really wish I would have taken some better pictures of my truck before we started hosing it off. After tearing around on the salt flats for ten minutes or so at 100mph I avoided automotive disaster but had managed to collect a bunch of salt icicles hanging from the bottom of the truck. Luckily we were able to use the hose-off station and wash it all of, before it could cause any corrosion to my brake pads or undercarriage.

My dirty truck at the Bonneville Salt Flats
My dirty truck at the Bonneville Salt Flats.


San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Taos, New Mexico
San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Taos, New Mexico

It was a perfect cloud-free day too, managed to get some nice shots of the church. Plus the work crew was letting some of the visitors help apply the fresh adobe coating, which apparently they have to do every year. I’ll upload the video of myself soon.

Road Trip To San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Behold, the historic San Francisco de Asis Mission Church!


Road Trip To The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA
Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado — highly overrated.


Road Trip To The Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado, USA
Yup, that’s the extent of it. With this one photo I’ve saved you the trip — and the 20 miles of nothingness between the front gate and this out of place adult-sized sandbox.

Yup, it’s been a scenic albeit unaccomplished summer for me. Originally I had such great plans but they all just fell to shit. Funny how that happens.

Then to make things worse, I return from Mexico to find out that my mechanic, who was supposed to be installing a new engine and tranny in my truck, instead skipped town and left me with no vehicle. I’ve been auto shopping these last couple weeks.

Now as soon as I decide on one then it is time to hit the road again and pick up where I left off…

  Or screw the new vehicle, I’ll just sell the house and live out of a backpack for the next few years!

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

6 thoughts on “Another Road Trip Through The American Southwest”

  1. Love the Southwest but I think you need to hit the road and do some International stuff for awhile. That way you can recharge the best way you know how, writing about new places and experiences. Plus we miss your cool stories. Just my humble dumb ass opinion.

    • I respect and appreciate your “humble dumb ass opinion,” Bob. It has much more credence than the wording alone may suggest to an unfamiliar reader. And I completely agree, it is time for me to go international again — and further away than just 150 miles into Mexico (that hardly even counts).

      The last plans set up were supposed to be with the ol’ missus, but after we split .. well, now I really just want to get a one way ticket and live out of a backpack for a year or so. All I need is to find a family to rent my house in the meantime, free me of the mortgage burden, and then I will be free to roam as I want!

  2. Well, MAYBE you could do a piece on Tijuana or the ‘mysterious border towns of Mexico’ if Mexico is just short term! 🙂 I hate having to wait myself for my next trip to come. The time drags and I get itchy to go.

    • Wow, sounds like you have had some tough times recently. It can be hard when you go through a period with emotional ups and downs.

      I am sorry to hear about your photos – this reminds me that it is probably time we also did a backup of our precious content and give a hard drive to a family member to mind for us.

      Best of luck with deciding what to do next, hope it works out well for you.

      • Thanks for the comment and well wishes, glad you stopped by. Yes, most definitely back up your precious digital memories ASAP! You never know when bad luck can strike. For me the worst part is that prior to all of that I had all of those travel pics/vids stored on three external hard drives in two separate locations. But then after awhile as my growing Blu-Ray collection depleted all the memory my only thought was “well, nothing has happened yet, so I don’t need all these backup copies.” *Famous Last Words*
        I’ll never make that mistake again and hopefully you won’t even befall such a circumstance. Best wishes on your journeys!


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