Saturday, July 12, 2008
1,770 miles and 220 songs later....
After being on the road for three and a half days and 1770 miles it feels good to be home again. Our trip back from California went very well considering that we were traveling in 2 vehicles, me driving our car and husband driving the Ranger we acquired in Sacramento (long story, don't ask). I was very apprehensive about driving for such a long distance without being able to share the drive as we usually do. But once I got on the road, me leading the way and husband following a few feet away everything felt good. The first day we drove from Sacramento to San Bernardino along highway 5. This highway runs just outside the LA metro area, a nice curvy road but the smoke and smog we saw around that area was overwhelming. The air quality was the worst I have ever seen in the States, you couldn't even see the mountains or homes in the distance.
After a sleepover in San Bernardino we headed for Tucson, Arizona where we began to notice the clouds and the clarity in the air. What a difference from California. We stayed overnight in Tucson where we had a chance to go to the Saguaro National Park. If you are ever in that area I highly recommend it. The park is located just a short drive from Tucson, there is a museum that unfortunately closes at 5pm and we missed but the park is open until 7 PM. It is my second visit to the park and it is just breathtaking to see the size of the saguaros and other cacti.
On the third day we drove from Tucson to Fort Stockton with a stop in El Paso area for lunch. We had planned to stop in Fabens at Cattleman's steak house at Indian Cliffs ranch, approximately 40 minutes from Downtown El Paso. Once you are on Interstate 10 east, if you make a left turn at Fabens Exit 49, then go 5 miles north into the desert you will find the place in the middle of nowhere. We (husband, daughter, dog and me) were all excited about the idea of getting off the road for a little while and also having a good steak and baked potatoes. Well, we arrived at the ranch/steakhouse to find out that the restaurant doesn't open up for lunch during the week. By that time we were starving and not in our best mood, it was almost 3 in the afternoon and we were not about to turn around back to El Paso to eat if we wanted to arrive in Fort Stockton before nighttime. If you have ever been in that stretch of I-10 highway you know there is almost nothing nearby, maybe a small gas station where you can get snacks or greasy food if you are lucky.
Luckily for us, I remembered that somewhere in the car I had a grocery bag with a jar of peanut butter and some leftover sliced bread in case of an emergency. Being in that place at that moment qualified as an emergency so we ended up munching on PB&J sandwiches gulped down with water. Not exactly what I had envisioned for lunch, but at least the scenery lived up to my expectations.
After our fabulous lunch we got on the road again towards Fort Stockton where we spent the night. I felt by then that we had been driving forever and ever but I knew we where so close to Austin I couldn't wait to be on the road after a good night sleep.
It never fails, when I have been away from Austin for a few weeks coming back feels sooo good. I missed the oaks, the clear skies, the bridge on Capital of TX. Highway, the entrance to my subdivision, the sound of the cicadas and the smell of cedar. My own home, my own bed and pillow. Home sweet home....
Until I get the traveling bug again.