Half Past Texas

Jan 8, 2014.  From an I-10 rest stop 375 miles east of El Paso.

Texas is BIG, ask anyone who’s driven across it.  You think you will have another birthday before Texas is in the rearview.

This time my cruise across Texas is taking longer than ever before because I stopped for dinner with friends Ben and Priscilla in San Antonio.  It was so much fun to see them, hang out, and get around San Antonio, it took nearly a week to get on the road again.

San Antonio has a couple of highlights worth mentioning and blogging about as soon as I get to it.

Riverwalk, the most visited travel destination in the state.

Morgan’s Wonderland, an extraordinary amusement park designed especially for people with special needs. 

Bibliotech

  the country’s first all-digital public library.

Then up to Round Rock, near Austin, to look in on my pal, Vitin.  Vitin and I go wa-ay back, back to Puerto Rico when, as an 11-year old, he was the best sailboat washer I ever had–later to become an ace part of my racing crew.  Vitin came to live with us in Ft Lauderdale, where he spent several high school years before moving on with his own life.  Today, a grandfather himself, he is still the genuinely good human being he was apprenticing to be forty years ago.  We pigged out on college bowl football games and ancient sea stories.

Then a lunch date with my pal, Linda, from Quartzite days.

And on to I-10, the street that starts in Jacksonville, FL and ends in San Diego.

I saw a sign this morning that said the speed limit was 80.  I heard some highway had raised the speed limit to the highest posted speed in the country.  Now we all know about I-10

Speed limit 80

  

Maybe El Paso tonight, but surely Las Cruces, NM by tomorrow, where I might circle the wagon for a day before slipping across southern AZ for my reunion with Quartzite, AZ. 

Quartzite home of t Bare-Assed-Bookseller–(http://wp.me/P11rtv-ex) (http://wp.me/P11rtv-eT) where the town’s population swells in size by 50 or 75 times with RVs from all over the paved universe.  They turn a 100-square-mile patch of desert into an RV rally that is a spectacle that rivaling a combined Woodstock, the Orange Bowl half-time show, and Burning Man.

Quartzite, the place that elevated my expectations about what might be possible for a motorhome tumbleweed. 

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About allevenson

Writer (of stories, journals, email dialogues), Reader (of books written by friends, recommended by friends, and works-in-progress of friends), Hiker (never met a trailhead I didn't like), Biker (more scenery for the buck than hiking) and lately, Blogger (about my Year on the Road at www.allevenson.wordpress.com).
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13 Responses to Half Past Texas

  1. Kathleen L. Orosco says:

    Al,

    I may live in Alameda, California but I am still a Texan. Maybe, you have heard this phrase before? “Once a Texan always a Texan”. My cousin was the first Hispanic to be appointed Ambassador to Costa Rica by President Kennedy. I accompanied my grandmother, his aunt, to downtown Houston on the evening of Nov. 21, 1963 to attend the LULAC banquet. Kennedy surprised us all when he, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, former President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson entered the banquet room at the Rice Hotel.

    Take care and “Go Texan”!

    Sincerely,

    Kathleen

  2. Colleen Rae says:

    I remember my first trip into Texas and it was unusual. Since then, I have visited Austin and San Antonio and enjoyed the beauty and fun of the two cities.
    My first trip into Texas was from SF in 1975. My boyfriend and I were driving an RV to Orlando where we would deliver it and then we were flying to Colombia and S.A. with our earnings. Somewhere in the middle of the state, I cannot even remember the town, but it was small, we stopped at a trucker’s cafe for dinner. When we had sat down at a table and ordered food, I noticed the next table over was occupied with four what I call ‘rednecks.’ They took one look at us, my boyfriend had long hair down his back, so did I, We were dressed in hippie clothes, but to us they were our regular wear, and one of them came over and said… I paraphase here…” Get out of town now, or you won’t be able to walk in the morning.” My boyfriend wanted to fight, but I pulled at his arm until i got us out of there and headed out of town. I had been scared but was ready to take a punch at them if needed. We werer soured on Texas then, and headed for the far away border.

    • allevenson says:

      You tell a sad tale, Colleen. i want to believe that 40 years and the influx of a lot of good people from south of the border and mixed and mellowed Texas as a whole. I must confess my vision of Texas was lukewarm until my recent passage. Now I know of some islands of calm in the unknown sea of Texas.

  3. Priscilla Ross says:

    Thanks for coming to San Antoine. See ya on your next swing into Texas.

    • allevenson says:

      I wont pass through Texas again without stopping in swingin’ San Antone

      *AL * *Ride with me and Lightnin’ **on our Year on the Road at **http://allevenson.wordpress.com or the new blog at* *http:allevenson2.wordpress.com *

      *Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.

  4. David L says:

    There are priests and sinners, beauties and whores in every town – Texas no exception. My experience there has been grand. One might have problems with the politics – but again, everywhere. How long will you be in Quartzite and will you be taking a post at the bookstore?

  5. Pat Bean says:

    I just drove this route to attend my granddaughter’s graduation on Dec. 13. I made it a two-day trip, stopping both times in Van Horn, Texas. I’ve stayed several times in the RV Park on Highway 10 as you enter El Paso. Not a great place for one who likes a nature setting, but there wasn’t much else nearby. Just west of El Paso, if you get off 10 and follow Highway 11 is Pancho Villa State Park, which I loved. I saw a bobcat and lots of birds there. Happy Travels. I’ll buy you a cup of coffee if you stop in Tucson on your way to Quartzite

  6. karen wittgraf says:

    I have never been in Texas, other than stepping onto a plane on our way to Puerto Vallatra, Mexico. I am afraid of Texas and the mentality there (cowboy) and I’m probably wrong- because Austin City Limits allows to me see some fantastic music….but, still don’t trust that state (country).

    • Karen, Texans always speak well of you. For instance I’ve mentioned you to Walter Cronkite, Ginger Rogers, Shaquille O’Neal, Dennis Rodman, Conrad Hilton, Robert Rauschenberg, Janis Joplin, Ginger Rogers, Kinky Friedman, Rex Reed, Liz Smith, Mary
      Karr, Jack Ruby, Howard Hughes, Lance Armstrong, Larry McMurtry, Barbara Jordan, Sammy Baugh, Sandra Day O’Connor, Roy Orbison, Terence Malick, Freddy Fender, Joan Crawford, Dennis Quaid, Dooley Wilson, Forest Whitaker, Terrence McNally, Willie Nelson, Farrah Fawcwtt, Owen Wilson, Matthew McConaughey, Beyonce, Buddy Holly, Steve Martin, Carol Burnett, Horton Foote, Larry Hagman, Sissy Spacek, Tom Ford, Johnny Mathis, Bill Hicks, Rip Torn, Larry Hagman, Renee Zellweger, George Foreman, Dab Rather, and Bonny&Clyde, among others. They are unanimous in their affection for you. 😉 BB

  7. Karen Goucher says:

    Have driven through Texas and only remember a fleabag hotel on the outskirts – Vegas, Texas.
    I was looking forward to a stop earlier to celebrate and my partner at the time (1987) kept driving
    and driving through the middle of nowhere….barely liked or remember Texas positively – thanks
    for the reminder!

    • allevenson says:

      Texas is wide open country and away from the cities, it seems more like one big rattlesnake farm. But I know there are islands of nice quality of life–San Antonio for sure. I’m told the Gulf Beaches are pretty nice.

      As Dave says the redneck personality is not universal.

      Texas does not appeal to me as a place to park the Jolly Swag for the last time. But I think it may be worth another visit sometime.

      *AL * *Ride with me and Lightnin’ **on our Year on the Road at **http://allevenson.wordpress.com or the new blog at* *http:allevenson2.wordpress.com *

      *Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.

  8. Linda Brown says:

    Loved your description of San Antonio. On your return, let me share special places around Austin including but not limited to the Michner Center, river rafting, the bats under the bridge, Hippie Hollow, and much, much more.

    Austin and UT changed my life–all for the better.
    UT 1975

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