We set out from Dallas for Glacier National Park at 9:45 a.m., successfully avoiding rush hour traffic and construction gridlock. Once we settled comfortably onto U.S. 287, we started listening to Ron Chernow’s epic biography of Alexander Hamilton. There’s no better way to pass the time of nine hours on the road than by listening to the first four chapters of the book that inspired the Tony and Pulitzer-prize winning musical. Hamilton’s life was not only cinematic but also operatic, so it’s no wonder Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired by Chernow’s description of one of our nation’s most influential founders.
Our first overnight stay en route to Glacier: Ratón, New Mexico. Located just south of the Ratón Pass, the city is situated 85 miles west of Texas and 6 miles south of Colorado. The pass itself has been used to cut through the rugged Rocky Mountains for centuries. It crosses a line of volcanic mesas that extends east from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along the state line, and furnishes the most direct land route between the valley of the Arkansas River to the north and the upper vally of the Canadian River, leading to Santa Fe, to the south.
We arrived in Ratón at 6:30 p.m., local time, although our body clocks had us there an hour later. After setting up and feeding the dogs, we moved quickly to Date Night, complete with bone-in ribeye, grilled to perfection, as well as baked potato and grilled asparagus, all accompanied by our favorite Raven’s Wood Old Vine Zinfandel.
After nine hours of driving through rather uninspiring Texas terrain, we were eager to call it a day and hit the hay for the night.