chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘Desert

Big Spring, Texas. Put some miles down today, but now I am ever tired. I think we are about 1800 miles. The first 200 – 250 miles out of Deming, through El Paso and beyond were so incredibly windy I stayed on the Interstate. The US route went up through the Guadalupe range, twisty mountain pass. It was hard enough driving, I chose not to make it harder. Blowing dust, tumbleweeds, low visibility besides the relentless wind. Amazing. And who knew there are mountains in Texas? Rough, angular mountains. Texas is big! We all know that. Once the mountains were behind me, it is nothing but straight and flat. Then the oil pumps start. They look like those silly birds that perch on the side of a glass and bob up and down sipping water.

I pushed Bella up to 70 and we’re ok there. The speed limit is 80! I was passing a truck – another truck was behind me but way back, I had time to get past, when all of a sudden all I could see in my rear view was transport, back and side. It must have been going 90 or 100. I just goosed Bella and got out of the way, and thought for sure I would see that truck pulled over somewhere down the road, but not.

Over that long stretch, flat and straight it was easier to drive and time to think. Put on blues, then jazz, then Bach. I am feeling that all this is so right. I am not looking back with any regret or sadness – I feel like I am moving forward embraced with such affection, and no apprehension about what lies ahead. it just feels good and right.

Texas sure feels like another place – not San Francisco. I am just south of Lamesa; some of us know Lamesa. Tomorrow it looks like an easy jump to US 180 all the way across, into Louisiana. Time change tomorrow – I just had one today, into central time so actually am jumping ahead two hours, although I guess it doesn’t matter much. Man, it got dark quickly here though. About six o’clock, it was like the curtain was drawn.
Nice to hear from all who have commented. I don’t think I’m going to get any photos up tonight – another one of those connections that comes and goes. Surprise – Texas rest areas are wireless. Maybe one of those tomorrow. More then.

The Guadalpes

The Guadalpes

More Guadalupes

More Guadalupes

Me and Sally

Me and Sally

It took a long time to finally get on-line tonight. But here I am. Left Arizona today, after visiting so many people I enjoyed being with. Sally and her friend Elaine and I went to the San Xavier Mission before I left this afternoon. It was very beautiful, and a good start to a good driving day. Went through desert and more mountains – the Dragoons, which were rounded brown rock. Long flat stretches, and very windy. There seemed no way but the interstate to get across, and now I am in Deming, New Mexico. Tomorrow will pick up US 180 and hopefully a little more interesting. Found a lovely room at the Grand Hotel, and had a delicious Mexican dinner. Looks like a good breakfast in the morning, and a good stretch into Texas. I think it will take two days to cross Texas. I’m going to try uploading some of the photos now. Let’s hope I can keep this connection long enough.

Mission San Xavier

Mission San Xavier

Kateri Tekawitha

Kateri Tekawitha

In the garden at San Xavier

In the garden at San Xavier

The Dragoons

The Dragoons

This is going to be short – not a very good connection here. Spent yesterday in Phoenix, up and down from Sedona, beautiful green mountains. It was good to have a visit with Linda and spend some time with her. Left this morning for Green Valley to visit Sally. I am moving out of familiar territory now, southern Arizona, which has a whole different feel than central Arizona. It was 80 degrees in Phoenix, and warm today on the drive down. There are huge dark mountains to the south, and more vegetation. Passed many tall saguaro and flowering bushes. We went for a nice long walk – good to stretch my legs and move. Tomorrow morning Yoga and then hit the road heading for New Mexico and Texas. I will post photos of the mountains and flora tomorrow. It is good to be here.

Spent the day in Sedona with Gabe. Got my hair cut. It will be way easier being on the road, and feels great. Another shedding of the old, getting simpler. Did laundry. We took a hike in the afternoon to a petroglyph site. The Sinagua left these pictures 800 years ago. We sat above the trees on a red ledge. It is so very beautiful here, familiar and not. We all know this landscape from cowboy movies. There is a lot of vegetation yet it is desert. Gabe prepared a tasty curry for dinner and we watched “W” for about 45 minutes and got bored, so put on “Wall-e” and enjoyed that. It is a very sweet movie.

Some of the Red Rocks

Some of the Red Rocks

A petroglyph

A petroglyph

Gabe

Gabe

Me with haircut

Me with haircut

For more photos of Sedona

Day two got lost because I never did find an internet connection. This is going to be trickier than I thought. It was a wonderful day, though. I left Bakersfield about 6 am to get to Las Vegas in time for the NASCAR race there. Crossed the Tehachapi pass with a little effort – Bella is a trooper and made it with only a little hesitation. i had forgotten what a climb it is to Las Vegas – elevation 4000′. I love the windmills at Tehachapi, and the desert. I always thought I would live in the desert someday, but I guess there have been other deserts. The race was a good one, beautiful day and wonderful to be there with family at the beginning of this transition.

Today was also a wonderful day to be driving. Took 95 out of Las Vegas, across the Mohave, all brown ringed with brown mountains in the distance, flat and low growing plants – mesquite, sage, who knows what else. Brown, gray, subtle greens, the occasional bird. It was 80 in Needles and a clear blue sky all the way. Took 40 and began climbing again, from 4000′ to 7500′ in Flagstaff. The mountains were no longer brown and distant, but green and I was in them. It is one of my favourite routes, 40 from Needles to Flagstaff. The trees begin getting taller, not just short shrubs, first the junipers and by the time you’re really high, many many pines. There was snow by the side of the road, and by dusk I was heading down the hill to Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona.

Driving down 95 made me reconsider which roads to take. Interstates can be so boring, I think I will stick to US routes. I’m not going very fast anyway; Bella seems to find a groove around 62 and seems happy there. Everything passed me today, except one baffed out old Ford pick-up with a camper on the back – struggling up a long incline. I am just as happy puttering along, too. And on the US routes, I’m more likely to pass through towns and see more than on those long interstate corridors.

Another problem that needs working out is all the things that need to be recharged; camera, phone, computer. I took the camera out today and the battery needed recharging. Can be done in the car, but the phone was on the charger. Hmmm. Everything gets plugged in at night? I am sorry that I missed a lot of photos today – who knows when I’ll be back this way?

The Race

The Race

The Infield

The Infield

The mountains ringing Las Vegas

The mountains ringing Las Vegas