Waltz Across Texas

The Winnie traveled across ten different states in 2016, the last being the least desirable. No offense to my family, athough Texas is my birthplace, anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan for many reasons. If my Mom and niece would only relocate, I’d be like Thelma and Louise, driving across the four contiguous states just to avoid driving through it.

It’s 500 miles from the state line to the family farm, every one of them flat, dusty, industrial, agricultural…brown, brown, and more brown. Follow the steady stream of 18-wheelers down through the bleak, desolate panhandle, across the barren plain, until you reach the sprawl of strip mall hell that is Fort Worth and Dallas. Chilis, Olive Garden, McDonalds and Walmart…Repeat. Déjà vu all over again. Every day is Ground Hog Day across Texas Highway 287.

Leaving the corner of southeast Colorado, heading for New Mexico.

Leaving the last beautiful corner of southeast Colorado, heading for New Mexico.

The image that conjures up i my head when someone says "driving across Texas."

The image that I conjure up in my head when someone says “Driving across Texas…it’s a B-I-G state!”

Unfortunately, the miles of oil fields don't seem to have done much for the local economy.

Unfortunately, the miles of oil fields don’t seem to have done much for the local economy.

It’s always a toss up on what to do with the Winnie come winter. For the past two years, I’ve put her in storage just north of Phoenix, and flown back to Texas for the holidays. It’s a great set-up, as it typically allows me the opportunity to stop over at nearby McDowell Mountain for a visit with winter residents Jim and Gayle. The plus is not having to winterize the rig, not having to worry about dampness or mold in the desert, and not having to retrace my steps back across Texas come January.

Miles and miles of cotton...

Miles and miles of cotton…

IMG_2350But the down side is leaving my “home.” Figuring out what to pack and dealing with airport pat-downs has long taken the thrill out of air travel.  And imposing on loved ones for rides and spare bedrooms can start to feel like a burden….to me, not to them. There’s just no substitute for sleeping in my own bed, even if it is during the dead of winter when the bitter Texas wind blows across the plain, cutting through the cracks in the windows like a frozen steel ice pick.

"Cadillac Ranch," just outside of Amarillo.

“Cadillac Ranch,” just outside of Amarillo.

Originally a tribute to the Cadillac tail fin, 10 Caddies were buried nose down in 1970.

Originally a tribute to the Cadillac tail fin, 10 Caddies were buried nose down in 1970.

Cadillac featured are rom the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville

Cadillacs featured are from the 1949 Club Sedan to the 1963 Sedan de Ville

A constantly evolving art exhibit that changes with each passing visitor...

A constantly evolving art exhibit that changes with each passing visitor…

But this year, driving back to Texas only makes sense. The Winnie is already winterized after my stay at the Grand Canyon. Free storage on the farm frees up finances to spend a little more on my meanderings through Mexico. And finally, it positions me perfectly to head east this year. After three straight summers in a row in the west, I’m heading back to the east coast to visit some friends and cover some new territory. Yes, bugs. Yes, traffic. Yes, humidity and humanity. But it will only make me appreciate the Great Southwest even more when I return. Besides, I have plans to visit a few more national parks on the east side. After all, “life is what happens when we are busy making other plans.”

Sunset on the farm, where Winnie rests for the winter with her cousin, "Old Bessie," his original RV prior to the Navion. Now for sale. ;-)

Sunset on the farm, where Winnie rests for the winter with her cousin, “Old Bessie,” brother Don’s original RV prior to the Navion. She’s now For Sale. ;-)

Mom's famous Turkey and Dressing Christmas Meal...

Mom’s famous Turkey and Dressing Christmas Dinner…

11 thoughts on “Waltz Across Texas

  1. I feel your pain. With our only two sweet little granddaughters firmly entrenched just seven miles outside of Washington DC, we travel 2500 hundred mikes each way approximately every three months.

    And that includes 5,000 miles across Texas! At least that’s what it always feels like.

    We change it up sometimes, one time through Midland Another time through Houston But always excruciating.

    I routinely do the drive in five to six days (I’m the only driver, my husband is legally blind) and it’s always a big effort.

    Thought about downsizing the RV, but after test driving s few smaller ones, nothing handles like our Freightliner Heavy Duty truck chassis on our 45′ Renegade, which is truly built for long hauls.

    So for the love of family, I continue to be a truck driver!

    We also have a really beautiful location in Tucson at the end of Bear Canyon, right by the trail head, so if you’d ever like to park here for a visit you are most welcome!

    Adios for now.

    • Tina, I just love this comment for so many reasons! I am sorry for the reason you have to be a truck driver, but love your spirit for doing so! Thanks for the comment…

  2. Funny, I was just thinking the same thing today. Although I enjoyed Big Bend, it certainly wasn’t anywhere near my favorite national park and I feel no need for a repeat visit as I have after leaving so many other parks and states. I’ve told my daughter I’ve come back to Texas to visit them for 16 years now. They’re going to have to figure a way to get to me sometimes now because I’m pretty much over Texas.

  3. Glad you were with your mom for Christmas. She is a sweet, sweet lady.
    Have fun on your Mexican travels! I guess you’re meeting up with brother Don? Have lots of beer, tequila and good food!!!

  4. This is exactly why I’ve only been inside a Texas enough to out it on my map. I kerp wanting to go to Big Bend and see the hill country but it’s posts like this and the sincere comments that make me not TOO sorry life won’t let me just now. Perhaps you’ll find like Paul and Nina and TechnomadIa that the East isn’t so bad after all. Stay away from the cities and there us a lot to love. Hope we’ll run into you. Let me know if Acadia is in the plans fir summer or the sunshine state for winter where it really is warm while everyone else isn’t.

    • Hi, Sherry — Don’t give up on Big Bend, and the Hill Country in April when the wildflowers are in bloom is not to be missed. Just don’t make a special trip, or you’ll be driving all week. 😉 Hope you’re hanging in there!

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