Readers may recall my surprise upon entering Texas from Louisiana and seeing a road sign inform me that it was a whopping 857 miles to El Paso. After a week in Austin, I drove the remaining 575 miles, and a total of 621 miles to Las Cruces. A long day.
I knew it would be, so before I got on Interstate 10, I was on the lookout for something to eat that would keep me all day long. Passing through Fredericksburg, I knew I'd found the spot when I saw this sign among a sea of tourist places along the main drag.
You can't go wrong in a place like this. And many others agreed. It was filled with older people, younger people, cop people, sheriff people, big people, little people. Food People. I overheard one lady say "I haven't had my fix for a few days. Today is The Day."
It had that old fashioned feel, and was worth the wait.
Last Texas beef for a while. And that's Swiss cheese on there, not hydrogenated American stuff.
Once I got on I-10, there was very little for the next several hours. And I never saw anything that looked half as good as Porky's. I was really glad to have it sticking to my ribs.
Soon the radio wasn't picking up much except static and the occasional Bible show. I broke out my iPod and some over-the-ear headphones and retreated into the world of a random road trip soundtrack. Sometimes the best tunes are the ones that are playing in your head that exactly match what you're feeling. Sometimes they play, sometimes not. On this leg of the journey, it didn't really matter.
It was a weird day because heading to El Paso meant heading next to the most dangerous place in the world, Juarez, Mexico. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the closer I got to El Paso, the more dusty it became until it seemed dark. It was eery and a bit unsettling too.
I took a lot of video from the drive and have put together an extremely rough version -- in the ad & film business these are called "rough cuts" for a reason. But if you've ever wondered what it's like to drive all day long, in the same direction, tank after tank of gas, past nothing but country, with just your music and your thoughts and only a vague sense of where you're headed, you may find this video interesting.
My favorite thing all day was the immediate transition from the darkness of the El Paso area to the clear, pure energy of New Mexico. You don't have to be at all spiritual to feel that there is some heavy energy around the Juarez-El Paso area while nearby, The Land Of Enchantment demonstrates the power of having good intentions and how they even relate to the spirit of the land itself.
At one point as the camera pans, you can see the dream catcher on my rear view mirror that was made for me by my friend's girlfriend who is part Native-American. And as I pulled into Las Cruces at the end of the day, it was relaxing and uplifting to hear the local Spanish radio station playing joyful music as I drove around town and decompressed.
There is much more than meets the eye in our world. For much better descriptions, Behaving As If The God In All Life Mattered and The Secret Life Of Plants are just waiting to be read.