Monday, December 31, 2007

Day 3: Albuquerque, NM to Kilgore, TX

7:45am: No vampires hiding in our truck.

10:22am: Just listening to The Pelican Brief. The landscape has evolved in the last 3 hours. Mountains after Albuquerque, very vast open spaces, a brief stint of trees, beautiful layered red bluffs, endless miles of dead grasses and brush, patches of snow hiding in the shadows of the brush, dry river beds like small canyons with steep walls cut sharply in the dirt, the occasional cow, rolling hills, then back to long flat stretches. We have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery while we listen to our book. Can’t wait to rent the movie when we get back home. I can’t believe I’ve never read this book or seen the movie.

10:51am: Just went over a red river. It was a shallow, muddy, slow-moving river dyed with the deep red-brown of the soil. In the distance we can see rain clouds with streaks leading to the ground. It’s interesting—I can almost imagine living out here and watching a storm roll in, grateful for the rain. I can’t imagine, however, what it must have felt like for the people fleeing the depression, driving west on Route 66. It’s not the most inviting drive. I’m sure it would be absolutely stunning in the spring, but in the winter it would look like you were driving off to a pretty harsh life.

11:15am/12:15pm: Just crossed the state line into Texas! And crossed into the Central Time Zone. Sucks losing an hour just like that. The sky is now quite cloudy. It’s nice for a change. It’s flat for miles in every direction, and the landscape is beautiful up against the clouds. Every landscape is more beautiful with big clouds filling the sky. Especially when the rays of light stream down from the clouds.

12:34pm: Passing a town called Adrian. That is my grandmother’s name (on my dad’s side). Brings back some wonderful memories. I loved spending time with Grandma Adrian. Sometimes I look at my hands and see the small ridges in my fingernails. Grandma Adrian had ridges in her nails and seeing mine always remind me of her. I like the fact that my nails look like hers.

2:43pm: B-o-o-o-o-ring!

2:57pm: Cotton fields on all sides. White cotton on red dirt. Beautiful! And instead of trash blown all over the shoulders of the road, there’s cotton! We’re on a smaller road now. Can’t quite go as fast as on the freeway. We’re in Memphis now. Nope, not Memphis, Tenessee. Memphis, Texas. Just passed the high school—the Memphis Cyclones. Hmmmm. I think I’d rather stick with earthquakes over cyclones any day. To our left is Hollis. Ha! Hollis. And instead of bales of hay, there are semi-truck sized bales of cotton. So foreign to me.

3:04pm: Lots of people die in The Pelican Brief. Crazy. Just passed a field full of donkeys. Two of them needed to get a room…

3:29pm: Gas price in the tiny town we’re passing: $2.02 per gallon. I could handle that.

4:56pm: Bored out of my mind. The end of The Pelican Brief is dragging out longer than the Nile. I think I’m going crazy in this truck. And we just passed a field full of camels. A herd of camels in the middle of Texas? Yes, I’m sure we’re going crazy.

8:00-ish pm: I actually exercised in the truck. Sit-ups with my feet tucked under Christian’s butt. Leg lifts, more ab work, tricept work using our CD cases as weights, bicep curls, more abs. Not bad, if I do say so myself. You know what’s funny? We didn’t have Mexican food in New Mexico, and we didn’t have BBQ or steak in Texas. We really suck at that whole making the most of the places we’re visiting, huh?

10:23pm: Yes, we’re still driving. Technically, Christian is still driving. Another 50 minutes or so and we’ll be in Kilgore. Where’s Kilgore? Good question. Just past Tyler. (Six-shooter Molly’s Trading Post, Ashley’s Furniture Store, a city named Iyan??, a city named Adrian—it has definitely been a family trip—still looking for an Amy so I cover all the kids). Anyway, Kilgore is almost to the Louisiana border. We were going to stop in Wichita Falls, but decided to press on to Dallas. Just a couple hours further. We got to Fort Worth and decided we’d just keep going. It was dark out and we were just fine in the truck. Ok, technically I was going crazy, but once The Pelican Brief finally ended, I was fine. I called ahead and we have a hotel room waiting for us in Kilgore. I’m looking forward to laying down in a bed.

Can’t say it’s going to be much of a New Year’s Eve. We’ll probably just check in, wash our faces, brush our teeth, and have just enough time to have a quick New Year’s kiss at midnight before we collapse asleep. Yay. What a way to ring in the new year. Maybe we’ll go to ice cream tomorrow to celebrate.

10:53pm: We can tell that there are trees everywhere. The terrain is hilly and there are thick trees on both sides of us. It’s killing me that it’s dark outside. A full day of driving with practically no trees, and now we know they’re there, but we can’t see them. I can’t wait to get up in the morning and see what it looks like.

12:00am: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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