Thursday, August 11, 2005

Roswell or Bust

Today I finished the last locations on my novel research loop ending up at the rest area north of Roswell that I had scouted out on the first days of the trip.

Driving to Show Low, Arizona, I passed within a stones-throw of Petrified Forest National Park. It was tempting, but my characters didn't stop, so neither did I. Scouting Show Low was difficult. There were three locations I wanted to review, but I could only get to two of them. The first, the airport, was easy, and looked much as I had expected from the aerial photos. They even had rental cars, which eased a minor plot point.

The second location was the Thunder Raceway, a stock car place I needed "Our Heroes" to drive into. The problem had been that fences never show up on aerial photos. Luckily, on weekdays when no racing is going on, the place is mostly deserted and the parking lots are wide open. I took some photos for color when I write that scene.

The third location is where the main character is captured, and I would have liked to have driven up that road, but the highway crew were re-paving the highway, and using that very road. It's the entrance to a gravel quarry in the aerial photos, so that's not very surprising.

Exiting Show Low, I took highway 60 east, and a couple of hours later realized another feature that should be in the story, but was missing from the outline -- the Very Large Array radio-telescope. That will be corrected.

North on I25 a few miles, I stopped and photographed a rest area, and then continued on 60 east. I don't think I had ever taken this route before, and was pleased that it provides just the right color for that sequence in the novel.

Ending up here in this rest area. Now all I have to do is worry whether the NM state police will come and bother me. It's confusing. It is clearly marked with camping features and areas, and also warns that there is no overnight parking in the truck area. I'm in a Jeep. I think I'm okay, but who knows. I'll be posting this in the morning -- no internet service here, so if anything interesting happens I'll add a postscript.

- Posted from the UFO themed McDonalds in downtown Roswell

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