Thursday, March 14, 2013
|Arizona touch me not. At the Robinson's front door, Tucson|
Tucson, Arizona. Thursday, 3/14/13: I have arrived; a little tired, dusty and hungry, but I have arrived indeed. And I got a big welcome, too.
|Another day, another sunrise.|
So again, I raced the sun westward...a futile exercise; it always wins.
One of my favorite rest stops (I have many) is at Cage, NM. I pull over there whether I need to or not just to see the sign below. It warns you that
no matter how beautiful this all may be, there is need to be respectful. Some
But I paid mind to my manners and managed to keep pace with the interstate traffic yet another day. Yesterday, the speed limit in Texas' Permian Basin was 80. Today's was a sedate 75.
At that rate, it takes about 4 hours to cross the distance from Las Cruces to Tucson. You know you're getting close when you reach Texas Pass..a park at the very top of the last mountain range before dropping down to Benson, AZ, for the final approach to Tucson. This rocky overlook offers a view in three major directions, but the peak itself is the attraction--a jumble of honey-colored rock straddling the cresting road..just magnificent. I always stop there, too.
|Racing the sun, chasing my shadow.|
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
But this is Texas where the main chance is never ignored. The competition is there, overlooking the great basin, up on the mesas and down in the fields as well. There's a lot of wind on this vast flatland, and the mills rise like cornrows, churning electricity while the little pumps suck oil. It's vast, exciting and on the go..and when you drive it, you think it will never end.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
|Noah would have loved Kentucky this morning.|
Sunshine is better.
Whenever I go to Cowboy Country, I never feel I'm in the zone till I cross the Mississippi. I went over it at Memphis today, marveling at the grand river while thinking reasonably deep thoughts about Mark Twain, Huck and Tom, the pioneers and all those good things. I'll push into Texas tomorrow, making it all the more official.
|Mark Twain's Mississippi .. out the window at 70 mph.|
But you get a lot of time to think when you're driving long distance. Some of
it isn't very productive. For instance--
Notes scratched on an old road map:
- Euphemisms bother me. Why do they call it a "Rest Area?" How about Stop and Go?
- I have noticed that you never need one of those places until the instant you have passed one by.
More interesting place names..all in Tennessee:
- Bucksnort. That's what the sign said..Bucksnort, TN.
- Mousetail Landing. At a state park. I can't begin to imagine how that happened.
And for those who remember Minnie Pearl: Grinder's Switch Winery. It's on I 40 between Nashville and Memphis. If there really is a Grinder's Switch, it makes you wonder whether she was only kidding all those years.
Ah, well. Texas tomorrow, Tucson Thursday.
Wow. It's neat out here.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Lexington, Kentucky. Sunday night, 3/10:
At Charleston, I grabbed a road west, I 64, and was really on my way to Tucson, Arizona In a total of five hours, plus or minus, I made Lexington, KY and called it a day. There is a Marriott hotel here and it has a restaurant and bar and .. well, tomorrow's another day. Who knows where I'll be this time tomorrow night? I'll just take it it one scenic mile at a time.
The temperature was just about 70 when I left Morgantown, WV around noontime. The sky was bright and there the illusion of a light green haze around the mountain treetops, a promise of even better days to come. The beginning of an Appalachian
|Mountain winter is brown and gray. |
Springtime is lush and green with blossoms everywhere.
This time of year, you can see the forest floor and the shape of the ridges through the barren woods. Soon, if the promise is kept, leaves will cloak it all, giving cover to squirrels, deer, bear and the occasional fox. I love it.
I 79 cuts vertically through West Virginia, running from the Pennsylvania state line to the state capitol in Charleston. You pass places with names like Jane Lew, Flatwoods, Polemic Run and Muddlety...names that always make me wonder how they came to be. A better traveler would stop and ask. Today, I didn't have the time.
|I 79 South on a bright new day.|