Being a compendium of thoughts as we drive and drive and....
Three weeks in
We had our second longest drive today and it took us to the extreme southwest corner of the journey – Big Bend National Park. Food and driving seem to have consumed the whole day! We had a good breakfast at a local spot that was clearly ready for weekend hordes. We counted 10 employees serving and coming out of the kitchen. This was not the first time that we observed that the Texas service industry does not seem to have a labor shortage.
We had to stop at the local smokehouse in honor of Brian, who would have loved it. We would have bought a lot more if we weren’t on the road. No spoon rests to be found in Fredericksburg, and while we are in Texas for 9 more days, it seemed like our best bet.
Most of the rest of the day was an incredibly boring drive across West Texas through some of the least interesting scenery we’ve ever driven through. Straight roads, mostly flat vistas across the hot, stinking desert, occasionally relieved by something like the pyramidal mesa.
Real Tex Mex lunch in Fort Stockton and a stop at the last Walmart for provisions. That’s where we left the interstate and drove the long, non-winding road south to the park. Only in the last 60 miles did the geography get more dramatic, the cacti were in bloom (along with the wildflowers) and we came to understand why we are here.
We are staying at the Chisos Mountain Lodge in the park for three nights, in the room absolutely the furthest from the visitor center and lodge. Long climb to our room, but the payoff is the view.
Another observation…. Many of our fears about the politics of the south have not been realized. The only Trump signs we’ve seen were between Houston and Austin. And except for the 1 star reviews about the smokehouse because they required masks, there is evidence of the remnants of pandemic carefulness everywhere.
4/16/2023 05:29:33 pm
Texas Hill country, the wildflowers--something I've always wanted to see. Big Bend Park too. Is there a way to get there that doesn't involve that long drive? (I'll ask Bennett... his plane is still in Salt Lake!). (BTW. he passed with flying colors, driving to NY to start work on Thursday).
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Laura and Ed