My 2012 Louisiana/Florida research has begun with a bang… literally!  The fun began yesterday as one of my undergrad students began our journey across country.  It still blows my mind that as a little girl one of my dreams in life was to drive across country and holy crap its a dream come true!  We rolled into Phoenix and stayed for the night and began our journey early this morning to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  And that’s when all the excitement started…

The ride was going smooth, nothing but the Arizona dessert upon the horizon.  About an hour past Tucson I noticed a huge dust storm behind me- and I mean huge!!!! Then I realized it was not regular dust storm- a semi-truck lost control and was driving across lanes and in the middle divider creating a dust storm that was engulfing the cars around.  I freakin’ sped up and was luckily way in front of it that we were clear of the chaos.  That was one way to wake me up in the morning.

A couple of hours later we arrived safely in Las Cruces, Mexico.  We drove to the White Sands National Park which was absolutely amazing.  It was being in a Winter Wonderland but instead of white snow we were surrounded by white sand.  It was absolutely gorgeous and a place I definitely recommend to travelers passing through the Land of Enchantment.  This was a special place that deserved a picture with something special.  Considering I don’t have an alligator in my project, I have brought my first berimbau to take along for the ride for special moments like this.

So after a wonderful time in the White Sands, we headed back to Las Cruces for the night.  As we reach the top of a hill I heard a weird noise from my car- my car literally shut down on top of the hill as we were just about to descend!  I had no idea what was going on and my car started to pick up speed going downhill.  Luckily I found a good spot to steer my car and get it to stop on the side of the road.  Considering the research supplies I had in my car, I was freaking out!

So now my car is at a shop where in the morning I’ll find out if I can continue my trek to Florida… or if I’ll be stuck in Las Cruces for a couple of days.  Definitely this trip is starting with some excitement!