Because I have to get up at 7 a.m. to finish preparing for class, I can’t stay up all night Photoshopping images … but I did want to share just a few shots from our trip this weekend. The photo above is the view from halfway up Tucumcari Mountain, which Ron and I climbed on Saturday.

The climb was Ron’s idea. He’s been looking forward to it for weeks and even did some training for the hike (which is roughly a three-mile round trip over mildly challenging terrain) by walking to the gym several times a week and walking the dogs up and down a long, steep hill near our house. This is how he looked when he got to the top of the mountain.

The view was nice, but I was more fascinated with the tiny creatures we encountered on the way up. This butterfly — which was about the size of a nickel — left me wishing, once again, for a macro lens…. 

For some reason, this rock reminds me of a wise, gentle Muppet.

Luckiest. Shot. Ever. I was surprised by the number of pollinators we saw on the mountain. I was trying to get this wasp working the flower you see in the foreground, but it decided to take off just as the shutter opened. Awesome.

A wonky shot of the gorgeous U-Drop Inn on Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas. We passed through town late Friday night on our way to Tucumcari. 

Here we are on Route 66 at the Blue Swallow, where Bill kindly took our picture this morning in front of one of the new murals he hired a guy to paint on the exterior walls. Ignore my hair, which is a complete disaster because A.) I’d just gotten out of the shower, and B.) I forgot to bring a hairbrush on this trip. 

The hair situation factored into my otherwise inexplicable decision to purchase a straw cowboy hat for $3.50 at a convenience store on the way out of town.

Ron shot this just before sunset as we were coming through the Gloss Mountains on the way home. It still blows my mind that we have mesas like this in Oklahoma. 

I’m not sure I’m really getting away with that hat, but normal style conventions do not apply to road trips, and it’s definitely not the silliest souvenir I’ve worn home from Tucumcari. That honor goes to a beaded Indian barrette with two huge, charcoal-gray feathers attached, which I bought at the late, great Coyote Moon one evening and insisted on wearing all the way home. (You can imagine how awesome it looked with the screaming red dye job I was sporting at the time.)

Hope your weekend was as much fun as mine.