First Winter Away - 2005 travel blog

big sky


After the University of Illinois beat the University of Arizona by one point during the NCAA tournament, we thought it would be wise to drive expeditiously to the NM border just in case anyone was harboring some bad feelings. We had been down by 15 points during the second half and they could have felt entitled to that berth in the Final Four. New Mexico went by quickly, and then we found ourselves once again in El Paso, the location where we began our caravan adventure into Mexico in February.

Montana is referred to as big sky country, but this moniker could apply equally well to Texas. I had heard there is nothing in West Texas, and having just gone through it, I would heartily concur. We paid $15 for our campground there which seemed like a great price until we noticed the motel next door was only charging $20. I couldn't imagine why anyone would stay for more than one night.

Someone must have noticed the birds soaring on the wind currents and was inspired to erect large wind farms to produce electricity in the vast emptiness. Only after about 150 flat, sandy miles did we begin to see our first oil derricks and cattle. After about 450 miles, the land began to roll and many wild flowers bloomed in the expressway median. I suspect this is Lady Bird Johnson's handiwork.

We are camped in an amenity filled campground in San Antonio and plan to spend the week sight seeing and getting organized for that final long drive home. This is the warmest weather we've had since leaving Mexico and we're noticing lots more Illinois license plates now that we are back in the Central Time Zone. When we go on Daylight Savings time this weekend, we will have lost four hours during the last two weeks. Driving through west Texas made me feel like I had lost a lot more.

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