I slept well that night, our first class motel accomodations on US 70 next to the Union Pacific railyard were quite relaxing. We were finally in Clovis- the domain of Ethan. It was actually exciting to really be in the West. (Note to my parents: Pennsylvania is NOT the west) We spent the day meeting up with Ethan's family and friends, and I can report that everyone was very pleasant and much more relaxed than most of us back in New York area. Clovis was an interesting town, I found it very- horizontal- for a 'major city' (Although this is New Mexico, and for them, I guess Clovis is pretty major)

For me, the best thing by far was Ethan's uncle's gun shop and indoor shooting range. It was here we were able to destroy the evil Evangelion LD. Ethan has video of this somewhere- I may put a Quicktime or AVI of it up here sometime. That evening we had a run-in with Ethan's nemesis- a kind of southwestern Darth Vader if you will. Fortunately, he was alone and we were a posse of four. The force was with us that evening. 

Ethan shows off a New Mexico style LART (Luser Attitue Readjustment Tool)
Front of the Eva LD with .44 magnum bullet holes
Rear of the LD cover. Fatal wound in the chest of that purple thing was my shot!
The next morning we were on our way out of Clovis and on our way to Roswell. We stopped along the way and defaced some public property. By an interesting twist of fate, we drove through Roswell during some UFO convention for the 50th anniversary of "the crash". We stopped for ice cream at the Dairy Queen. By the way, Dairy Queens there are full fast-food restaurants and not just ice cream stands like they are around where I am. Ethan pointed out that the temperature on the bank clock across the street was showing 108 degrees. Despite the heat, it didn't feel hot at all, maybe like a typical 80 degree summer day back in NJ. 
US Highway 70, The road to Roswell
Destruction of public property: "AX 97 Riiya"
The evil Ford, avatar of destruction
The main street in Roswell. Dairy Queen is on the right
We left Roswell and were on our way on Route 380 heading towards Datil. The Array awaited us! Unfortunately on 380 was when our beloved Ford began dying for no reason. It'd run for about an hour and then simply stop. Letting it sit for 10 minutes seemed to fix the problem and it would run again. This repeated all day during the hot afternoon. While this was somewhat frightening it did give me the opportunity to take some pictures of the desert scenery. Route 380 literally runs through nothing. You could drive and drive and see no signs of civilization. I remember driving through several towns, which consisted of a post office, a gas station, and a few small houses. I remember seeing in a matter of seconds signs like "Welcome to (wherever), population 13", driving past the post office, and then "Now leaving (wherever)". Definately different. 
Route 380- one of our unexprected stops Route 380 started off in the mountains
Desert scenery Mountains in the late afternoon
Desert plant life at another unexpected Route 380 stop area  
Finally we arrived at the array. Boy, is that in the middle of nowhere! The array is situated on a high plain surrounded by mountains. It's weird to see something like that literally in the middle of nothing. It was interesting to see all those huge radio telescopes. You could watch them move! We got as close as we felt was safe without alerting the authorities. I took my pictures, and we left B1ff the Macintosh behind to help save the world when the aliens come and attack the array. 
The Very Large Array
More of the array
The array on an unusually cloudy afternoon
B1ff, guardian of humanity
On our way out of Datil was when things got interesting. Night was falling, and Route 60 was becoming twisty and hilly. It was about then when we realized that there was no ground next to the guard rail on the side of the road. It was probably a good thing it was dark we couldn't see how big of a drop there was. The road was literally sprialled up and down the mountains. During one particularly long descent, the brakes began to overheat. We pulled over to let them cool off for a few minutes. From where we were you could see the traffic sprial up and down the mountains like something out of a roadrunner cartoon. I did manage to take a few pictures despite the sounds of the rattlesnakes in the nearby hill. We continued onward and on top of the next hill, Ethan noticed something in the sky and pulled over. It was then we got out and looked up at the most impressive night sky I had ever seen. Very rarely am I impressed beyond words, but all I could think of was that what I was seeing was not real. The night sky in the mountains of Arizona is truly an awe inspiring sight that I hope I will see again in the future. 
Traffic spirals around the mountains on Route 60
Long exposure of the milky way
After our trip through the mountains, we were well along our way to Phoenix. As we got closer and closer to the city, the humidity level kept getting higher and higher. When it became uncomfortable, we went to turn on the air conditioner the controls for the air conditioner exploded. Oops. We made it into the city and rested up that night, because we knew tomorrow would be a very big day.

Click here to see a map of the route from Clovis to Phoenix, and here to see the twisted Route 60 pass through the mountains of Arizona.

Well, day 2 and 3 were eventful, but the end of the journey is upon us.

Day 4 begins here