To back up a little bit, this isn't our first rodeo. We've been getting together since way back when. There is this kind of special energy we each inhabit that only lets loose when we join forces. I think it's all about having these close relationships where you know you can trust the others with your life. This trust tears barriers down and then we are free to have fun. And that's exactly what this trip was about, letting loose and having fun in some of the best barren landscapes.
Hit the Road
Alarms were set for 4:30 that morning but the excitement for the trip ahead proved more powerful than sleep. We woke eagerly and packed the last of our bags up on the roof rack and pulled out of the drive. Peace civilization! And there we were, three beating heart on the road while the world sleeps. Leaving behind the real day-to-day life of jobs and families and bills for a week of pushing ourselves to connect with nature and with each other.
But first we needed food, or maybe Matt needed to pee? Not sure which desire is stronger at 5 am. So I found an exit out west of Fort Worth and thought we might find a gas station... nope! Then we saw it. The giant yellow letters glowing/inviting us to come and sit. And sit and eat and drink coffee we did. The best part of our diner experience was the off-key singing coming from the woman behind the counter. Was is Sharon? Rhonda? Becky? Oh well, can't remember her name, but she didn't give a shit about who heard her. We paid up and out the door we went as the sky began it's ascent into a color myriad of morning.
Fully fed and full of caffeine we continue on our westward pursuit. Google maps gives us an easy 9.5 hours to White Sands National Monument. Our first stop. And let it be noted, it takes the same amount of time to drive from Texas to New Mexico as it does to drive from Dallas to Big Bend (both in Texas). But the best thing about driving a Prius is it's a Prius. One of my favorite pit stops, which we did need gas, was the giant Travel Stop sign. I've driven out this way a handful of times and every time I tell myself one day I'm gonna stop. So stop we did. This exit 235 off the Highway has the best example of saying it simple. You know what they've got. BBQ. Breakfast. Steak. Lunch. Dinner. What else do you need to know?
Lost in Lamesa
Miles of concrete, dust and oil rigs. As the landscape flattens out beneath the sky the wind turbines stand up tall and the horizon is littered with oil rigs devouring the earth. But then you roll down the window and feel the dry air. Suddenly the heat doesn't seem so bad. From the backseat I closed my eyes for what seemed like only a few minutes and woke up in this town forgotten by time. This "blink and then it's over" town on the far Western edge of Texas is a goldmine of sun-baked structures.
I feel like every so often I stumble across something that is able to grab hold of my curiosity so vividly. And it seems like in the moment I can never answer why. But I just feel it deep in my soul. That's what this town did for me. I'm pretty sure we could've spent hours here exploring every dusty back road and abandoned building. Thankfully we had enough energy to spare to keep pushing forward. For we now but just a few hours from touching down in White Sands.