First I know it’s been a while since I have written, have you ever had so much to say, but not been in a state of mind where you can say it…

Instead of starting with the hard stuff I am writing about something easy today. Today is about Texas (I hope that is okay?)

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It took me 2 solid days to drive through Texas. Like everyone else, I have seen maps featuring Texas as the bulk of the Southwest United States, but you don’t have a real feel of how vast it is until you drive it. Most other days of my road trip I easily find myself passing through 3 states without even glancing down to check my mileage, but not Texas. I measured it in tanks of gas; it took almost 4. Texas went on forever.  I kept trying to take pictures that showed the sheer vastness of the sky, where you can see it uninterrupted, but no picture ever did it any justice.  It is so flat and so barren that it seems like you can see for miles. I know Montana is known as “big sky” country, but I would say that it is rivaled by Texas.

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Vast Desert and Sky in Texas

Yesterday I spent 10 hours driving through Texas, and maybe found myself in civilization for an hour of that. The rest of my time was 2 lane highways, sandwiched between 18 wheelers…when there was someone else on the road at all. I spent hours alone, at one point I got out of my car in the middle of nowhere just to hear how profound the silence could really be. There was absolutely no noise; the silence wasn’t even broken by the familiar sounds of nature.  How does a country that has 400 million residents have places with this kind of quiet? More to the point how does a country with that many people have places this barren and empty?

Windmill

Windmill

Is it weird that I was charmed by watching tumble weeds cross the highway? It was far more interesting than it should have been; I am hoping only because it broke up the monotony of the scenery a bit. I wanted a video, but of course when I had my iphone all ready to go, I stopped seeing them.

But Texas isn’t all desert, there were carpets of wildflowers in the southern part of the state and actual trees… How is a state so big, that the eco-system dramatically changes between the north and the south?

 

Texas Blue Bonnet

Texas Blue Bonnet

Texans also take themselves pretty seriously, I saw a great deal of religious billboards and more American flags than I had seen across all of other states in the US combined. They are definitely big lovers of God and country, but they do have a bit of a sense of humor…

Gigantic Cowboy boots - right outside of a Saks Fifth Ave store. I was completely unsafe and snapped this while sitting in traffic

Gigantic Cowboy boots – right outside of a Saks Fifth Ave store.
I wonder how they feel about that???

 

Finally!!! I make it to New Mexico and almost miss the transition into a new state. It was so quietly unannounced and the landscape was little changed. I won’t be in New Mexico very long, I am just passing through, but I am more than a little bit happy to be over the hump that is Texas. I feel like I have accomplished something very real. I have left the East Coast and am now out West. I am almost home…