Sunday, May 13, 2007

Day One

Although I was up until 3 am, I was awake at 7. I would’ve gladly gone back to sleep, but Dan was up, so I started getting doing all the last-minute things that can’t be done until you’re practically walking out the door. Throughout it all, Tidbit was so sweet and curious, tagging after me and begging for attention, that it was hard to leave. But finally we were ready to go:

We had a clear shot out I-10, which was pretty amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen I-10 between downtown and Katy drivable in daylight hours before. We made good time, and once we were outside Katy, the landscape started getting hillier, and full of wildflowers:

We reached San Antonio around noon and skirted it on the Anderson Loop, on the recommendation of one of Dan’s friends at work. Yuck. It took us through some very disturbing bedroom communities of all pre-fab McMansions, strip centers and chain stores. I could feel my soul being sucked out of my body as we drove through that sterile wilderness of endless roofs of conformity. The denizens must feel the same way, because on the northern part of the loop we came upon a series of about half a dozen mega-churches all in a row, each with its electric marquee flashing blessings to the cars speeding past on the freeway.

It terrifies me what America is turning into. When God has become a commodity on a par with cheeseburgers, something is deadly wrong.

Anyway, soon we were past that particular circle of Hell and back out in open country.

We stopped at a rest stop near Kerrville and had a picnic lunch of hummus, crackers and grape tomatoes in a gazebo overlooking a valley.

It was quite a nice little rest stop.

We arrived in San Angelo around 4:30 and got a room at the Fairfield within sight of Angelo State University. While Dan tried to figure out the hotel’s internet connection, I went for a run around campus. It’s quite a small campus compared to the one I work at. But with only 6,200 students, they don’t have to be very big. They just had commencement exercises yesterday, so the campus was quiet, except for some families enjoying the tennis courts or letting their children ride bikes around under the trees. It was nice.

After I got back to the hotel and showered, we went for dinner at a steak house up the road that had been recommended by one of Dan’s co-workers who grew up here. I was disappointed with the non-steak options, which were all either fried or distressingly unoriginal. So I went for the grilled tilapia, my first attempt at fish since my disastrous bout with scrombid poisoning a few years ago. I knew logically that tilapia shouldn’t be a problem, but when you have a reaction that very closely mimics anaphylactic shock, it makes you a little gun-shy. But I had no problems with the meal, and Dan enjoyed his steak. We drove around the campus a little after, but I couldn’t convince Dan to get out and walk.

In the morning I intend to use the exercise facility here before we head out. And the breakfast room here is great! We initially thought of trying to make Santa Fe, but given the distance and the fact that we don’t want to spend another full day in the car, we think we’ll go as far as Roswell instead. We can go see the Bottomless Lakes.

And that’s it for today!


Crabby McSlacker said...

Thanks for sharing your road trip with us--love the pictures.

Glad you survived the fish dinner. Jeez, I'd be gunshy too if I'd had that kind of reaction. And sounds like you're being smart not to rush too much.

Love being on a vicarious vacation; thanks for posting.

Vickie said...

Beautiful pictures. A part of the country I haven't seen yet. Some day! Enjoy your next day.