My fellow Terror Dave, David Albaugh, celebrated his birthday just a week shy of our road trip. Since we’re rarely within nine hundred miles of each other during special occasions, I offered to treat him to dinner while we were on the road. My plan was to find something fun and unique; ideally in Roswell, New Mexico. Unfortunately, while the UFO capital of the world was chock full of gift shops they came up decisively short in terms of gimmicky food places. Not to worry because, as fate should have it, there was an alien themed restaurant right down the street from a hotel we were already booked at. And so, just two weeks after David’s special day, we’d celebrate at the E.T. Encounter Diner in Sedona!
The International UFO Museum and Research Center is appropriately nestled on Roswell, New Mexico’s Main Street. Back in 1947 when the famous “Incident” occurred, the building served as a movie theater while likely going on to show many of the science fiction films its city would one day inspire. The museum opened in 1991 and not only features information on the Roswell Incident but the history of UFO sightings and alleged encounters worldwide. After spending the earlier portion of the morning perusing the local gift shops while taking full advantage of any and all goofy photo-ops, we were now ready for a more serious approach.
It was our fifth day on the road when we arrived in Roswell, New Mexico; the cosmic G-spot for all UFO enthusiasts as well as the inspiration for this entire trip in the first place. The three hour journey from Albuquerque was actually kinda bland as we’d leave picturesque mountains in favor of dull flatland. Fortunately we had decent conversation to help carry us through. We knew we’d finally reached our destination when we spotted a gas station (the first one we’d seen in about 75 miles) featuring a flying saucer on it. There were a few other not so subtle hints as well.
It was only our second day on the road when we’d hit our first snag of the trip. The original plan was for us to leave Colorado Springs that afternoon and arrive at a unique attraction in Hooper, Colorado sometime in the evening. Unfortunately, our GPS couldn’t find the listed address no matter how many different ways we tried entering it in. Making matters even worse, neither of our cell phones could get any service unless we were near a metropolitan area. So much for Google Maps! I dug into the glove compartment and retrieved an old school, paper one but, with our eyes crossing from fatigue and unsure where to even look, it wasn’t much help either.
We’d already completed a full day of activities including the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, as well as the May Insect Museum. At this point we were understandably starting to lose steam and opted to just go straight to our hotel in Alamosa (three hours south) with the intention of resuming our search the next morning. Our hope was that the human element would prevail where technology fell short and that one of the locals could point us in the right direction. After all, in the sparsely populated San Luis Valley, surely someone will have heard of the UFO Watch Tower.
Three years ago I wrote a fan piece on the 1993 alien abduction thriller, Fire in the Sky. The film was based on what was labeled a “true story” and based on the account of Travis Walton who, after disappearing for five days, claimed to have been abducted by aliens. We Daves like to keep an open mind and are fans of the film due it’s credible handling of the material and convincing performances from a stellar cast that included Robert Patrick and the late James Garner. The role of Travis Walton was played by D.B. Sweeney who was one of the featured guests at this year’s Days of the Dead Chicago. The 54 year old Sweeney has remained active in Hollywood as an actor/writer/producer and also doing voice overs for Oprah’s OWN Network. He’ll also play the Mayor of Chicago in Spike Lee’s controversial Chiraq opening in theaters this weekend.
On Thursday April 1, 2015 we were scheduled to get a tour of The Tennessee Aquarium but had little else on the agenda. Originally we were supposed to do Rock City & Ruby Falls but managed to take care of both the day before. Now we had some rare time to kill and what made that even nicer was that we were staying in one location without having to drive more than thirty minutes at a time. Still, it was April Fool’s Day, and what better way to celebrate than by having a couple of fools like us seek out one of the weirdest houses known to man!
Going on vacation is fun but, when you’re spending it with someone of “like mind” it’s even better. The Last time we Terror Daves communed was in the fall of 2012 and, in lieu of that lapse, we decided to get together for a two week spring vacation. Two weeks in close proximity to anyone can go one of either two ways…you bond or you get ready to kill each other (for the record, we ended up doing a little of BOTH)!
Fortunately we have a lot in common and I took great care these past 6 months plotting a road trip packed with activities tailor made for our interests. So, in other words, even if we did start getting on each other’s nerves, there’d be plenty of distractions!