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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind

New Hampshire to Arizona

By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/23/2024
Posted: 1/26/2016
Page Views: 1223
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #EdnaMaeCilwa
All about the move we made from New Hampshire to Snowflake, Arizona.
Arizona or Bust

By September, 1997, I was living in Manchester, New Hampshire, with my fiancé, Michael. Michael had quit his job and Manhattan life to move in with me; but we'd both wanted to move to Arizona for a long time. After a preliminary trip on which we found and bought property in the town of Snowflake, he and I packed up our stuff; and he and I and my Mom (who stayed with me during the Summer) hopped in the Toyota SUV (purchased for the occasion) with trailer attached, and headed westward. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Cross country map

Granville, NY

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/14/1997
Posted: 1/11/2016
Page Views: 1292
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #Granville #NewYork
How my worst fears of how my older relatives would treat my boyfriend were shown to be false.

Although we hadn't actually asked in advance, we were hoping Malcolm and Mary would allow us to spend the night. I had warned Michael that we might wind up in separate rooms, if Malcolm wasn't comfortable having a gay couple sharing a bed. And, in true Brown fashion, not one word was spoken publicly about Michael's and my relationship. But when bedtime came, Mary insisted we stay until morning, and Malcolm escorted Michael and I to a room.

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Mammoth Caves National Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/17/1997
Posted: 12/16/2016
Page Views: 1375
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #MammothCavesNationalPark #Kentucky
The photos from a tourist stop along our way.

The next two travel days were long, eight and nine hours driving each day, hard on Michael and me so I can only imagine how my mom could take it. It took a full day to drive from New York state to Reston, Virginia (a quick visit and free lodging with my kids), and another day to get us to Kentucky. But Mom had always wanted to visit Mammoth Caves, which she'd heard about since she was a kid. So this was our chance.

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Memphis, Tennessee (The Titanic)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/18/1997
Posted: 12/16/2016
Page Views: 2282
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #Memphis #Tennessee #Titanic #MemphisPyramid
Another tourist stop on our way west: The Titanic exhibit in the Memphis Pyramid.

After sightseeing, we drove a realtively short time to get to Memphis, Tennessee, another place Mom wanted to see. After we settled into our motel, we went for an evening walk and discovered there was a huge, glass pyramid nearby. Of course, Michael is totally into pyramids, so we had to check it out; and discovered it contained, among other things, museum displays, including one of the Titanic, the ship that so famously sank in 1912…the year my mother was born. (Although, whenever this was brought up, Mom hastily clarified that her birth "had nothing to do with the sinking.")

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By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/18/2016
Posted: 12/16/2016
Page Views: 1347
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #Oklahoma
Photos taken as we crossed the state.

It took us almost nine hours to get through Arkansas and most of Oklahoma, before we stopped for the night at the historic West Winds Motel in Erick. Although we didn't stop for anything touristy—we were getting tired of the trip—the scenery along the way was entertaining enough.

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Last Stretch: Texas, New Mexico, Taylor

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/20/1997
Posted: 12/16/2016
Page Views: 1286
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #Holbrook #Arizona
Western scenery galore, shot from the windows of a moving car.

We managed to make it all the way to Snowflake on this day; after an almost a 10-hour drive, plus bathroom breaks and times out for meals—plus, we would have to unpack in order to sleep in our trailer. So, exhausted, we stopped at a Best Western in Taylor, the small town adjacent to Snowflake.

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Snowflake, At Last

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/21/1997
Posted: 12/16/2016
Page Views: 1309
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #Snowflake #Arizona
We arrive to an unlivable trailer and no water.

So it was with a fair level of excitment that we left our Taylor motel. Another short drive, and we'd be home!

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Grand Canyon Quickie

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/22/1997
Posted: 12/17/2016
Page Views: 1396
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #GrandCanyon
How we took Mom to see Grand Canyon for the second time in 53 years.

Whenever I am in the Southwest and need something to do or a place to go—my first thought is always toward Grand Canyon. And so, needing something to occupy our time while we waited for Mom's air ticket to Florida to ripen, I of course suggested that as our first destination.

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Bryce Canyon Quickie

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/22/1997
Posted: 12/17/2016
Page Views: 1355
Topics: #Places #Cross-Country #NewHampshiretoArizona #BryceCanyonNationalPark
My first visit to Bryce Canyon National Park, and a helicopter ride for Mom.

So, here we are, on this impromptu extension to our cross-country trip, wondering what to see next. Michael and I had just been to Zion National Park a few weeks earlier (on our reconoitering trip) and wanted to see something different. And it occurred to me that I had never seen Utah's Bryce Canyon, a place I'd fallen in love with while pouring over library copies of Arizona Highways as a kid. And so, we decided that's where we'd go.

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