Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Day Eleven

Well, best-laid plans and all that… I’m in Fort Stockton tonight, of all places!

We got up around 8:00 and got fixed up for a day in El Paso with my cousin Chris. I had thought we’d have to find a way to occupy ourselves for awhile, but he was able to clear his day for us, which was a very pleasant and gratifying surprise. So we went for coffee, then for a late lunch. He took us up into the Franklin Mountains to see the city, and he drove us around a bit so we could get some idea what El Paso is like. My biggest impressions were how chain-store oriented it is, and how narrow it sits along the Interstate and the Rio Grande. It’s a strange little city, without much apparent culture, but busy and with plenty of excitement just across the river in Juarez, if that’s what you’re after.

We got back to Chris’s house around five and pondered our options. We liked the idea of heading south to Big Bend, but with it already Wednesday and us wanting to get back to Houston by Friday night, it just wasn’t looking too good. From El Paso to Houston is nearly 800 miles. So we decided to just head east and see how far we could get before we got sleepy. We made it to Fort Stockton and almost couldn’t find a room. We got the last room at the Comfort Inn, and it’s a smoking room. But they let me check it out before paying, and it doesn’t smell bad. And it’s got high speed internet, microwave, fridge, huge TV, laundry facilities and fitness center down the hall, etc, etc, all of which we probably won’t use because we’re off to San Antonio in the morning.

We figure we’ll be in San Antonio around noon, where we’ll get a room on the Riverwalk and have a little fun. We both know the town’s attractions pretty well, but some of them like the Mercado and the Riverwalk can be enjoyed over and over. If time permits, maybe we’ll try to find my old neighborhood and elementary school. That would be fun—I haven’t seen it since a visit we made when I was in high school.

I forgot to take my camera with me on today’s tour of El Paso, but I took a few pictures on our way out of town today. I’ll do better tomorrow!

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