Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Texas Road Trip

Since it involved delivering my Father-in-law to his final resting place, I can't say this was a welcomed vacation. It had to get done, we did it, and now I've got another cache of memories for the brain file...
along with a few observations.

Abilene, Texas: that place is old. Everything in it is even older than that. I kinda dig the old school cemetery, though. One of those who spoke for Daddy was a lady he grew up next door to, attending the same Church she still does, after 88yrs.
The wife says: Traditions die hard in these parts.

New Mexico: short of a few Indians selling cheap cigarettes and baubles, nothing is there.

Phoenix is a larger city than I thought it was. The surrounding mountains, barren and grand, are strikingly beautiful.

Texas is definitely not California: not one public restroom was equipped with seat gaskets. In California, you'd be hard pressed to find one that isn't.

No matter where you are in Texas, you're still three hours from any place else.

I-10 through central/west Texas is a real-world Highway Of Death... littered, splattered and smeared with carcasses of deer and other critters... an uninterrupted, 500 mile slaughterhouse.

We ended up with a flat tire in Van Horn, TX. A small town three hours from anywhere with little to show for itself. It looked like a movie set. For this life long California dude, it was surreal.
Upon advice from the waitress at a locals-only cafe (where we had lunch, great homemade food, btw...), we rolled up into a tire shop several impoverished blocks down the street.
The proprietor's sons removed the tire, checked for leakage and replaced the valve (where the leak was).
It took all of ten minutes.
The whole time I'm thinking... yeah, they see those California plates on a Nissan Murano and it's gonna cost me....
Total price: $5.
Yeah, Five Dollars!!!!
If I was in Orange County, I'd be looking at $50 minimum.
I gave the kid a Twenty, and thanked him, saying "Keep it."

Sonic Burger: You drive up to the stall, park, push the button on the menu board, place your order through the intercom, and several short minutes later your food is delivered by a local high school hottie with a change belt. The burgers are good. Fries and onion rings suck.

Watch your speed in New Mexico. I hadn't been ten minutes across the border when I was met by the local tax collector/welcoming committee. He didn't issue a citation as much as an invoice.
In California, I'd be looking at more like $250.
Maybe I should just take that into consideration, but I'm still pissed off enough to ignore it and just wait 6-7 years before driving through New Mexico again.


RobertDWood said...

The thing to get at sonic are the tater tots, they are much better then the fries or onion rings.

And that high school hottie is all fun and games until its a dude.

$74 for a ticket??! I'm hard pressed for anything less then $250 in Texas.

Brian said...

You gotta get north of Las Cruces (and ideally well off of the interstate) to find the good parts of New Mexico. The Gila National Forest is lovely.

I thought Texas between Abeline and El Paso was what the end of the world looked like...until I drove South Dakota end to end.

RW said...

Obviously New mexico is doing it right. Arizona doesn't like people coming in from Mexico, and New Mexico doesn't like people coming in from Texas. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Gino said...

RW: i was entering from AZ. my lesson was learned for the return trip.

Brian: the wife spent her coming of age yrs in alamogordo, and various colleges in other parts, lived in cruces for a while, and some other place while her 1st hubby was in med school.
she wants to plan a vacation to the 'good parts'... i'm not so sure they're real.

Gino said...

Robert: is it just me, or are the onion rings really made with aunt jamima pancake batter.

RobertDWood said...

I am reliably informed that the batter is in fact an off brand of Bisquick somewhat past the expiration date ;)

RW said...


Night Writer said...

Yep, the Reverend Mother and I made the drive from Phoenix to Las Cruces back in '09 and it was depressing until we actually got near LC. I swear, it was as if some bomb blast had come through and somehow cut off the top of any plant above 3-foot high. The most visually interesting thing was a rusted-out 1920s-era pick-up truck about 100 feet off of the highway.

Gino said...

i think i saw that truck.
it was easy as there was nothing else to block the view.

Brian said...

I gotta tell you I would just about kill to be in the middle of the desert right now.