Morning came early on Day 17, and it's a darn good thing it did, because this is the day our rental car finally decided to stop starting for good.
Nouf had just finished pre-consoling us with one of the best tomato sandwiches I've ever had, and I've had a lot of great tomato sandwiches. As legend has it, I was responsible for introducing Nouf to the concept of the simple tomato sandwich back in 2007 or so via my eGullet foodblog (a concept for which I deserve zero credit), so this was a delicious callback that almost got us through our rental car crisis.
There we are being towed. Of course having your rental car break down on an epic, epic road trip means that you get a free upgrade to a bigger car, right? Yessssss:
A 15-passenger van. I made Nelson drive because I couldn't handle not knowing how big I was that day. Our drive to Gallup was uneventful except for the part where we passed the old historic part of Gallup and drove 10 more miles to our exit ramp Red Roof Inn because someone named VDuck hadn't finished doing his Gallup research and just booked "something".
It was mostly OK, not being in Gallup Proper. Gallup Improper was scary enough. I bought some giant cans of beer at the roughest-looking convenience store I've ever seen, and we took baths and ate the worst delivery pizzas of our lives. And then fell asleep to something apocalyptic on the Discovery Channel, images of the end of the world flickering over every exposed surface until blessed relief closed our eyeses.
This is an often-NSFW, mostly gluten-free kitchen notebook that also occasionally threatens to turn into something else and fails, thus remaining its same old cryptic and superficial self. These posts begin to fail to explain (start at the bottom).