Saturday, June 26, 2010

Texas, New Mexico, and Soccer

Today Mitch and I licked the wounds inflicted on us by the mean cowboy and continued west. Our road (I-40) took us out of Oklahoma and into the Texas panhandle which is flat. I mean flatter than a frigin pancake. By far the most desolate sight we've seen so far on the trip was looking out from the highway and seeing one lone barn probably 3 miles away as the road stretched forever onward. Weird being from New Hampshire and not being able to see a single tree on the horizon. This isn't to say that Texas is ugly. I found it to be pretty peaceful, in-fact the past two days have been fairly pleasant drives discounting eastern Oklahoma, which apparently is in a competition with northern Maine to see which will make you want to kill yourself faster. One weird thing about Texas though, the welcome center is 100 miles into the state. I'm not joking. When you cross the border there's a big sign that says, "Texas state welcome and rest area, 97 miles." What the hell is that?!

We stopped in Amarillo and we're immediately sorry. I can't understand how a city allows the ugliest portions of itself to border the highway and then hide all the nice things deeper in. This was the case with Tulsa, Oklahoma too. Plant trees, put up sound barriers something, anything to block the countless McDonalds and crappy Motels.

I don't want to talk about the USA soccer game we stopped in Amarillo to watch, though I will say that the Texas Fireside Bar and Grill is an awesome place to watch a sport.

It was then onto New Mexico which has to be one of the most beautiful places in the entire country. The views are amazing and unlike anything you will see on the East Coast. The one problem with these views is that you won't have many other things to look at. There is absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing for 99% of New Mexico's highways to distract you. What's worse is that the small towns that you will pass seem like they only exist to sell gasoline. There's maybe two houses and three gas stations for every town in New Mexico. Albuquerque on the other hand is absolutely beautiful. Let me say this, if you are for whatever reason passing through New Mexico westbound on Interstate 40, try to enter Albuquerque at sunset. You pass through a mountain valley and can see the sunset over mountains to the west of the city as you drive through. It's amazing. Though I will say this, unless you are stopping in the city to rest, driving in the desert at night is not easy. There are absolutely no lights on the highway and the darkness seems to swallow up your own headlights. If you find yourself in this situation I suggest you do what I did and cruise the AM radio channels and find a good call-in show for conspiracy theories (did you know the government is irradiating our food supply? It's true!).

Anyway, tomorrow Mitch and I are off for the Grand Canyon which I've heard is beyond belief. Then the next day is Vegas where I hope to have better luck than I did yesterday, and then it's LA!

Happy Trails!

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