bottle caps, alien cows and a holiday road

Remember last August when I had to make the massive road trip from Toronto to Las Vegas because Mr. Enthusiasm had decided, on impulse, to purchase a 23 year old convertible? We delivered said convertible to Vegas because it seemed we would get more use of it there than in Toronto. Reasonable logic.

Unfortunately we couldn’t keep two vehicles down in Vegas because we only have parking for one. And, as simply as that, one massive road trip became two: one to deliver the convertible down and one to bring the Vegas-based monster truck back to Toronto.

The plan seemed reasonable until after the swap had taken place, and I decided to go hiking during the next trip down. It seems many of my favourite hiking destinations require a high clearance vehicle to access trails. Hmmph. Inconvenient but not the end of the world.

But then there was that one time when this car tried to kill me. That was more than just an inconvenience.

So I decided the time was right to return the monster truck to the land from whence she came.

We have spent the last 3 days covering 3,800 kms. But now I’m home in Vegas, and I have a vehicle here that will safely deliver me to any destination my heart desires.

Next we’ll deal with that stupid convertible. I vote for pawning it off on some unsuspecting schmuck without disclosing its past demonic possession. Mr. Enthusiasm may take some convincing.

While I spend today getting caught up on all the stuff that I neglected the past 3 days, I wanted to share just a few highlights from the road trip.

Sirius Satellite Radio is a must have for any long drive through rural areas.

Many long drives through various states over these past few years have taught me one thing: Murphy’s Law dictates that when both the AM and FM bands deliver nothing but static, the only clear stations will be playing one of: country music, Christian radio or Mexican Top Ten. And since none of these are in my wheelhouse, this can mean long quiet stretches.

I was actually singing this song (a capella) while we were still loading the car up, so you can imagine how excited I got when I heard it playing on 80’s on 8 channel. Jon Cryer was hosting a segment on music from 80’s movies. Of course this one is from National Lampoon’s Vacation. I dare you not to sing along.

A road trip requires the junkiest of junk food.

Iphoto 2 picked bottle caps. I don’t think I ever even ate Bottle Caps as a child.

I am sure that bottle caps contain nothing resembling real food. I am also sure that they are very bad for me.

I’m not sure I even like them.

But I know that a couple handfuls, over the course of three days, made me happy. Even as I winced when my teeth crunched on those foreign (and not entirely pleasant) flavours.


Jesus loves me all over the country, but He really loves me in Kansas.

BillboardI don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bumper stickers, hand-written signs on front lawns, posters on the backs of transport trucks, marquis signs in parking lots, all telling me the good news.

My favourite one dismissed evolution in its entirety.


The aliens are no longer after the humans. It’s our cattle they want.

photo 3We had been driving along one particular stretch of highway in New Mexico for about an hour. At first we couldn’t make out exactly what was on the sign.

That couldn’t be a UFO, could it? Nah, we thought… Why would the state government/roads department have a UFO on a cattle crossing sign.

We questioned it because EVERY single cattle crossing sign for a 50 mile stretch had this bizarre graphic. We finally pulled over so I could investigate.

It turns out the UFO is a sticker.

But think about the commitment, time and effort it took for someone (or many people) to do this. It made me smile!

Much of Route 66 disappoints, but Seligman, Arizona never fails to entertain me!

Unlike a vacation four years ago, where Route 66 (the journey) was the primary vacation experience, this road trip was about getting to the destination (home to Vegas) as quick as possible. Still, one can’t pass by Seligman, AZ and not take a few minutes to pull over and experience a small taste of Route 66 in its former glory. This town is kitchy and silly and super fun. Anyone with kids who enjoyed the Disney movie, Cars may see a few familiar faces.

Tomorrow I’ll consider sharing the story about my near-miss bathroom emergency story. ‘Til then…

Keep moving,

xoxo nancy



81 thoughts on “bottle caps, alien cows and a holiday road

  1. I thought it might be a UFO sticker…but I really wanted it to be a real sign!

    You can never tell with aliens after all!

    I love the way the whole of a theory (almost a theorem but not quite) can be dismissed by reading one line of a book (and it is on a billboard so it must be true…)… I’ll have to remember that…right…next thing to do write a book…and get people to believe it…

    The photos are awesome 😀

    • Jhanis, I love driving topless in my jeep, and especially in my fancy BMW (back when I had a big car allowance courtesy of that fancy job), but this stupid “antique” death trap has to go. I like modern amenities: air bags, air conditioning, cup holders. The stupid Saab has none of those.

      ps Bottle Caps are actually kind of gross. 🙂

    • Since we had previously done the most direct route last August, and the most touristy route (66) four years ago, we kind of made up our own little hybrid – trying to see as much new stuff as possible. Mostly the new was the state of Kansas. Not sure it was worth the extra mileage. 🙂

  2. Root beer bottle caps used to be my favorite but I’m not sure if I would still like them today. 😉 You’re so right about the only radio 3 choices during the longest drive stretches! I’m glad you made it to Las Vegas and can’t wait to hear more about the trip!

  3. Tell you what, Nancy, that was one fun-ass post. I’m taking five days off of work, and this was a perfect start. Thanks, sister. John

  4. Maybe the folks in Kansas dismissed evolution because they haven’t yet evolved?

    Maybe aliens put those stickers on the signs with embedded GPS tracking so the mother ship can come down and gather up the cows?

    Maybe Seligman Arizona would like to adopt your convertible? 😎

  5. Since hearing about the Saab story, I thought this was a long term relationship. I now question why Mr. Enthusiasm would buy an old Saab given the propensity to problems. Good luck selling the red demon.

    • It was really just a matter of time before I got rid of that thing. 🙂

      Mr. Enthusiasm’s goal (I think) was to keep it around until it turned 25 years old so that he could participate in an antique road rally. I think the minimum car age is 25 for those. Oh well, I’ll be responsible for yet another dashed dream. 🙂

  6. I’d never heard that song before but I was singing along by the end! Also love the UFO stickers – some people have way too much time on their hands, but if it entertains… why not!?
    You should visit Latvia – Jesus probably wouldn’t love you so much… 😉

  7. I can’t imagine taking long car trips without my Sirius satellite radio. Guess that admission makes me sound pretty pampered. I signed up for Sirius when they first came out (actually, the hubs got it as a gift for me–one of the best gifts ever). At the time, they offered life-time subscriptions, so he only paid one fee, and now I don’t have to make monthly payments. Of course, we only get a certain number of transfers to new cars so it will eventually run out. But I’ll pay the monthly fee when the time comes. I love it too much to part with.

    Looking forward to the bathroom story. I think…

  8. LMAO the cow/UFO stickers…that’s ambition I can get behind. Wow. Fucking hilarious.

    And TRU TRU TRU about Sirius radio. How would we have made it home from Colorado without the comedy station, or Howard Stern????? We wouldn’t have. Period.

    • We alternated between Stern (which was into repeats by that point), comedy, the sex channel (how many fake orgasms can one person listen to?? <– turns out, many. many.) and 80's, 90's and Alt Nation. 🙂

  9. Hey Nancy….welcome back to the US….How’s the temps in Vegas these days….we are hovering near 100 in our desert but I don’t mind this weather at all. Hope you enjoy your visit.

    How does Sirius compare to Pandora? We listen to Pandora at home AND in the car and like it a lot. And YES I agree that you can never rely on the radio for a cross country trip!

    Have you ever driven through the South? That billboard you saw was TAME compared to one I saw down there. A red Satan with horns and flames and the whole hell thing proclaimed that we’d all go to hell without Jesus! He might love you in Kansas but he’s VERY DIFFERENT down south. :-O

    • Hey Kathy, the heat is AWESOME!! I forgot what this kind of heat feels like – but you won’t find me complaining. 🙂

      Sirius is basically AM/FM RADIO, but paid for/subscription. So unlike Pandora, which is just a pure music service, Sirius offers talk radio channels: lifestyle, comedy, sports, etc. it’s like regular radio, but with programming that isn’t subjected to FCC regulations. (Howard Stern without the bleeping. :-))

      And yes, I’ve seen the less loving messaging – and not just in the south. Didn’t want to go there. I was already worried about poking fun the way I did. 🙂

      ps I finally made my over to your last post and left a comment. We share the 23rd of May as a special day! Happy Birthday to you!!

  10. Glad you’re back in Vegas safe and sound.

    In South Carolina, there was an outbreak of red noses painted on highway signs that featured deer. Now, those signs are tall, so it meant dragging a ladder up there to put up reflective little red noses. Hundreds of signs had them, and I still miss seeing them.

    The UFO sticker is pretty inspired, too.

  11. Omigosh, Nancy. This post left me chuckling and considering all the weighty issues of God, Aliens, Evolution, Cattle, “Cars” and convertibles. My head is spinning with all the metaphysical possibilities and, admittedly, a bit of irreverence which I will refrain from indulging in here. 🙂

    However, I do know that if I saw an alien driving a convertible somewhere in Kansas with a cow in the backseat and a bumper sticker that said “Jesus loves you,” I’m pretty sure my heart just might skip an “evolution” or two on the spot!

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  13. Sorry I am late to comment on this post. It’s been a crazy week of care taking! I enjoyed your pee-pee post and now the before the pee-pee post! Great adventures, Nancy! Glad Jesus loves you too.

  14. Ok, I admire and want to meet whoever put those UFO stickers on the cow signs. Love!

    Funny and sad how people who can afford to pay for billboards can deny evolution, but then, that is probably only the start of what they deny…like someone else said, it is even scarier in the deep south.

  15. I absolutely must get to Seligman! I wasn’t aware of it. It’s now on my “must see” list. I work on Route 66, but of course all that means is road signs and a name. I have wanted to take a true Route 66 road trip for such a long time. It sounds like you’ve done that. 🙂 I hope the demon truck is behaving himself. He might need to be put down!

    • It’s such a fun Route 66 stop, Debra! Definitely try to see it!

      The truck is a rock star. It’s the STUPID convertible that has the soul of satan. 🙂 I haven’t gone anywhere near it. Hubby was out taking photos of it, presumably for a sales ad. Fingers crossed. 🙂

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  17. It’s a well known fact that Zoldar from the 12th planet Nibiru loves burgers. I love Lindsey Buckingham, and that song just screams summer to me. Thanks for sharing the photos, makes me want to jump into an RV and head out on Route 66!

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