- In OK and in TX, I started to pass oil/natural gas derricks by the side of the road. They look like a spooky form of kinetic sculpture. In Cleveland there's a sculpture of a pink thing with wheels (I don't know what it's called or I'd give you a link to a photo) that's weirdly similar.
- The only accident I had with the truck was in NM. I saw this flash of pinky brown and heard a loud THUMP! above as the poor bird hit the truck. I am a murderess.
- There is a town in NM called Thoreau, but it's pronounced "Theer-oh" and not "THOR-oh." I am amused by regional pronunciations. Back in PA there is Dubois off I-80, but it's not pronounced the French way but as "Dew Boys."
- The Flying C Ranch offered, food, drink, ice cream, Indian jewelry, Indian pottery, fireworks, T-shirts, and just about everything BUT used CDs. Which is what I could have really used at that point.
- At every turn off in NM, there's an Indian casino right off the road. I wish I was kidding.
- Oklahoma is a magical place, and not just because of the musical. It's because you can get NPR from one side of the state to another on I40 and I44. No kidding--totally clear. Heck I started to pick up the signals in Missouri. That's good because they replayed this excellentinterview and performance Joe Doe did in support of his newest album, and it really fit my mood, even if Terry Gross is a twit. GREAT album by the way.
- Also in OK, at the McDonald's I heard a mom shout her daughter's name. "Agatha!" I told her I love it. Cute little blond thing.
- One of the things I should have done to prepare for the trip is pick up a copy of Lyle Lovett's album Step Inside This House, which is a collection of covers of songs by Texas songwriters. I should have also picked up more literature over the summer that covered the West. This trip stressed me out end to end. However, one of the things I found is that the Cline's Corners truckstop referenced in the song below is a real place--there's signs for it for 150 miles before you hit it.
I loved West Texas. It looks exactly like an alien mirror world to ours, just harsher and a little run down. All the Southwest is like that to my eyes.
- Albequerqe paints its highway overpasses in turquoise and terra cotta to cover up for the fact they are all maniacs on the road.
- In TX, off in the distance over the ridge outside Amarillo, I caught sight of the wind turbines in the gray distance. It looked like I was about to be rushed by ghosts.
- My Mapquest directions didn't send me to Flagstaff and then south the way sensible people head south from NM through AZ. Oh no. I went down the Beeline, down the twisty rural roads and through the mountain passes green with pine to Payson, and then into the dust and cactus of the reservation. If I hadn't been so nervous, I would have been in love. There's something about being up there in the roads they cut out, twisty difficult ways that were the best way to navigate the terrain that make you stop and think "Holy hell, what must it have been like to do this?" Just looking up at the mountains you are filled with awe that people could do this in large groups with the technology of carts and horses and guts.
The mountains...they go up and over forever and are so green with pine trees it's like being drunk or stoned and fascinated by Astroturf and carpet. Each tree is clearly deliniated, like an an example of abstract pointilism.