I was all prepared to write a raging bitch rant about how much it sucked to drive 500 miles from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Abilene, Texas – known forever in my head as Hwy 20 from hell across west Texas – but then I thought, what would Pollyanna say?
Me, I’d be sarcastic and impatient while Pollyanna would play the glad game to find the good in the situation. So even though I’m about as far from a Pollyanna as one can be, I’m going to write my version of the glad game.
We left Las Cruces, NM after a 2-night stay and hit the road at 8:30 a.m. It was 18 degrees outside, by the way, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining so it was all good as we headed east toward Texas. See? That’s a positive start, right?
There was a highlight in the day when we stopped in El Paso at the Concordia Cemetery; and I know how odd that sounds to say a stop at a cemetery was the highlight of the day, but this was not your average cemetery. There is a story to tell about the cemetery but it will have to wait for another day so I can do it justice.
Another odd tidbit about the state of Texas; it has the best roadside rest stops. Of course I didn’t think to take a photo because I wasn’t planning a Pollyanna moment, but they are large, clean and very well-maintained. You know Texas, go big or go home! At the first rest stop I stood in Texas and looked out at Mexico – that was pretty cool.
We drove Hwy 10 southeast along the western border of Texas and Mexico. It was interesting to come across this inspection station pretty much in the middle of nowhere and be asked, “Are you both U.S. citizens?” I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if the answer was, no.
Remember I told you if we had to drive Hwy 5 – the length of CA – ever again it would be far too soon? I’d like to amend that statement and add in, if we ever have to drive Hwy 10 and Hwy 20 across west Texas again, it will be too soon. If the weather forces us to do so on our return trip I’m pretty sure I will break down and cry. Okay, that’s not a Pollyanna attitude but it’s the truth.
I’m the first person to find beauty in the desert, I’ve said this before and I stand by it, but, O.M.G. this drive was 500 miles of zip, nada, nothin. The occasional blink of a town – kind of – and a few of those large truck stop places, but other than that, nothing. Until… we reached Pecos and then we saw lots and lots and lots of oil drills and these…
I don’t know what Pollyanna would say about oil drills and refineries, I suppose she’d be glad that we had the natural resources, but what I would say is that the
smell stench of crude oil in the air is beyond description. I was wearing a turtle neck sweater and I kept pulling the collar up over my nose in an attempt to squelch the smell.
I suppose Pollyanna might say that the lights make the refinery look a little more festive.
We had enough by the time we got to Midlands so we pulled into a Hampton Inn but pulled right back out again when they said they wanted $219 for the night. Excuse me?! So on we went all the way to Abilene, which is where we are now. We still have nearly 200 miles before we reach Dallas. Beyond Dallas we will make our way northeast through Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia to Washington, D.C.
Pollyanna and I are both glad the freeze that gripped the midwest has passed and hopefully will not return. And sunsets, we are both glad for sunsets because they bring a beautiful ending to a less than beautiful day. And Pollyanna and I agree that tomorrow is another day and for that we are glad!