Monday, July 03, 2023

Rainbows (a guest post by Miriam)

After our Carlsbad adventure, we realized that we would not make it to the hotel in time for dinner. We would make it there around 11:30 pm, and we were still slightly jet-lagged from crossing over time zones, so it would feel like 2:30 am, so we decided to find a McDonalds somewhere. We chose Gallup, NM, as our stopping place.

[Mom edit: That may have been a mistake.]

We had to stop at a gas station in Albuquerque, because Phoebe was being a pill, but while we were there, it started getting really windy. Like really windy. So all of us rushed back to the cars, and tried to get on the freeway as quickly as possible. It started pouring almost right as we got onto the freeway, and the lightning was crazy. We didn't hear any thunder, because the rain was too loud. 

Also because it wasn't just rain hitting the car, there was also hail. The hail didn't last very long, but it was very loud. It kept raining for a long time, and only lessened about 30 minutes before Gallup. This was a very big storm that stretched across almost all of New Mexico, and it hit Gallup as well, and so everything was still very wet when we got there. 

While Dad and Grandpa were inside getting our food, we were all huddled in our car as it was about 50 degrees outside, and still sort of sprinkling. But we saw a rainbow outside, and had to get out to see it! 

There wasn't just one rainbow, it was a double rainbow! I didn't get very good pictures of the double rainbow as it was very faint. 

The kids seemed to enjoy it:

Mom and I also took panoramas.

The one above is mine. You can kind of see the second rainbow if you look in the top right corner, but it is really hard to see.

[Mom edit: Soon Dad, Grandpa, and Rachel carried out food for everyone. We have still been avoiding indoor dining, so we planned on eating our meal in our vehicles. This was our one stop at a restaurant on the way out to Utah and it was expensive. And that's why we stuck to peanut butter & jelly and mac & cheese. Anyway...we passed around the food and started eating when suddenly a man appeared right beside the driver-side window.

He held out his hands as if he were begging.

Andrew shook his head no. The man wouldn't leave, but instead came closer to the car, looking through the window, seeming to be trying to see how many people (and what) was inside, talking to Andrew, and getting a little aggressive.

Again Andrew shook his head at the man. There was no way we were going to open the door. 

The man continued to gesture at Andrew through the window so I...escalated things. I pulled out my phone and dialed 9-1-1 and showed the man that I was ready to press the call button. 

Upon seeing this he started to walk away from our van, but as he did so, he mimed the act of pulling a gun out of his pants (though it was only a "finger gun," thank goodness, and "shot" at us a couple of times. (So you see what I mean when I say this man was being a little aggressive?) It was honestly kind of scary! 

Around this time, an employee came outside and helped escort the man away from our vehicle so that we could leave...because that's exactly what we wanted to do!

Who knew that a McDonald's restaurant sitting right on historic Route 66 in Gallup, New Mexico, could be so dangerous?!

Well, evidently we should have done a background check on this McDonald's, which has been the location for more than one violent crime in recent-ish history. Gallup itself has a very high crime rate and was hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic (which increased desperation and thus crime).

We are (1) glad that we ultimately were safe and (2) hopeful that we as a nation can better consider the well-being of everyone in this nation (and not only white communities).

Also, it ended up being fortuitous that we stopped at McDonald's (even though it was a very expensive stop, compared to our regular mac'n'cheese dinners) because our hotel in Flagstaff did not have microwaves in the room. I think that was the only hotel we stayed in that didn't have microwaves. We sure would have been sad to pull into Flagstaff at 10:30 PM without any dinner, only to find out that we couldn't even fix mac'n'cheese for ourselves!]


That wasn't the only rainbow we saw on our trip. We were informed of a "Rainbow Cloud" outside by one of Linda's neighbors bursting in through the door, almost yelling that there was a rainbow cloud, and promptly going into Trevor's office and taking some candy. 

The rainbow cloud, also known as an Iridescent Cloud, was there for a very long time. Grandpa saw it on his bike ride with Uncle Trevor, around 8 or 9 in the morning, and it was there when we left for the aquarium, around 10, and was there for a while when we were gone. 

  [Mom edit: What a beautiful phenomenon!]


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