u.s. road trip…day 31

leaving texas was a bit of a culture shock…for the first time in 6 weeks we’d been able to put our clothes in a closet, to wake up in the same bed and bathe in the same shower for several days on end…being on the road is one of the most incredible sensations i know, but after a while, a sense of the familiar is like a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy day…

but we pressed on, and a lovely drive it was.  the initial plan, as many of you will recall, was to go to roswell…in the end, it was not because it is a crappy town with nothing interesting except area 51, which is totally inaccessible anyway, but because it wasn’t logistically sound to do so.   instead we just kept on a-drivin’…about that drive…

it really was nice, but i’m telling you – texas just goes on forever!  along the way, on this really really long, straight, flat, wide highway, when chris was clearly not paying attention to my speed or our surroundings (seriously.), we happened to get…er…pulled over.  and i’m sure that my dearest would want me to inform you all that i got pulled over – not we.  but that’s what happened.  so.  here’s how it went:

me:  crap.  oh crap…we cannot afford to pay a ticket right now!!!

chris:  what?  what are you?  seriously?  are we getting pulled over?

me:  crap. crap crap crap (edited for my mother’s sake)!  he’ll never let us off!  this is texas!

(i pull over.  cop walks up.  and i cannot stress to you just HOW texan this cop was.  in fact, he was so quintessentially the quintessence of  texas cop, i was sure i would be able to get a picture off the interweb to show you just how serious i am.  alas, i have failed.  perhaps you’ll have more luck?  think:  slightly overweight – mostly in the belly; mustachioed; those glasses; that hat)

me:  crap.  crap crap crap.

cop:  afternoon.  can i see your license and registration?

me:  of course, officer.  (scrambling furiously to get it all out)

cop:  california, huh?  not a good idea to speed in texas if you’re from california.  i could putcha in front of a judge for that.  you know how fast you were going?

me:  no, officer.  but i’m so sorry i wasn’t paying better attention (i’m really good at this, actually, huh?).

cop:  well, you were going 78 miles an hour.  i can’t give you a ticket as there’s no agreement around traffic laws between california and texas.  so that means i’d have to putcha in front of a judge.

(yeah.  got that.  side note – the speed limit is 70.  i was going EIGHT miles over.  somebody likes his job]

[he goes to run my license and registration.  i’m saying ‘crap,’ or something along those lines, over and over again now.  i can’t rightly remember what chris was doing, but i’m sure it was something along the lines of trying to keep me from having a hernia.  after what felt like 20 years but was more like about 3.5 minutes, the cop comes back]

cop:  what are you folks doing in texas anyway?

me:  visiting my family before we move to the philippines.

cop:  i’ve been to the philippines.  it stinks.  why y’all goin’ there?

me:  to volunteer.  working with the poor (yes, i milked that.  just in case it could keep my ass outside of a texan courthouse.  i realize it is profoundly pathetic).

cop:  well, imona letcha off with a warning this time (YES YES YES YES!  i’m so doing the happy dance in my head right now!), but you drive safe now, hear?

me:  thank you so much officer.  i totally will.  i’m so sorry and thank you again.  you have a wonderful day.

whew!  that was close. but we were free!  and we were off!  driving out of texas as fast (but not that fast!) as we could, we continued making our way toward the canyon.  we got into new mexico and decided to just drive as long as we could.  we knew about a couple of campsites near the border…bud did NOT think it would take so long to get there…along the way we stopped only once, and you’ll agree it was 100% worth it…

while we did not go inside, we did go into the gift shop, and we did take pictures outside…of THE BILLY THE KID MUSEUM!!! the one in new mexico – not texas.  but then i think you might have gotten that bit.  i digress…

we finally decide enough’s enough and we can’t go any further in blue water lake state park…do NOT let those pictures deceive you!!! at night the place is PITCH BLACK!  and COLD! seriously – we arrived, started to unload, and within a total of about 3 minutes had decided that this was just foolish, ate cold veggie sausages in the car in our sleeping bags and went to sleep (ish).

but the truth is, next morning we saw that it really was a beautiful campsite.  no time to linger, though…we had driving to do!


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