Kansas... We made a bunch of small kine errors to get here... Just passed through buttermilk, Kansas. It is Sunday morning (noon actually so we are late for our Dodge City drop at noon), so it's been a pretty quiet morning all around. Everybody entered to church in these here parts and that's about it. I am hoping that after this drop that we will fix this window as the noise is deafening and the wind blowing in my ear is driving me mad. Not to mention the wasps and yellow jackets that have been flying inside the cab...
All these small towns that we have been going through this morning are like out of a 50s picture book. The highway will run right through the downtown center of whatever little town that dots the map.
Back at the RiverWind Casino- where we were last night... The day ended on a high note after pretty much sucking- haha. Let's see, the window wouldn't roll up for a few hundred miles, the right blinker wouldn't work, we took a few missed turns, uninvited wasps and various insects flying at high speeds into the cab, and at one point the engine wouldn't turn over... It was like waking up in a parallel universe today where everything set out to destroy us. We prevailed though and suddenly everything came together.
The shuttle driver from the semi-truck parking lot to the casino was another interesting sort. He was talking to me about immigrants coming into Ellis Island back in the day. He said I needed to go to the East Coast to do my interviewing of truckers- where the "real" stories were. He thought I would have a hard time figuring out if the stories I would hear are real or not.
2:30 pm Monday somewhere in central Texas off of 35 south.
Just passed through Austin, Texas. Looked like a cool city, and very green with full growth trees, etc. San Antonio is next up and then Laredo. In between? Just a bunch of flatlands.
People are definitely talkative and friendly here. Men open doors for me and I'm still 5-10 seconds away from the entrance. And then they take a little mini-like bow. The cashier lady just called me "mama", "that's $1.49 mama." Heh heh.
W're right on the border with Mexico again. What an interestingly strange town. Everywhere you look, it's a sea of Kiawe (Mesquite) trees. I mean a seriously impenetrable FOREST of Kiawe Trees. The landscape of Central to south Texas is flat. You can see forever. A pale blue sky with swirling clouds that follows you around.
We stayed in the TA Truck Stop. It's the Wild West out her folks. I mean, long, hungry eyes followed me around everywhere... Prolly wasn't the best nig to be wearing my "hippy" pants- although a young, hip Mexican-American woman complimented them in the bathroom as I was brushing my teeth :) she complimented my ass as well... Heh heh. What does one do but blush when encountered with this?
Back at Truck we ran into some major (minor) functional logistics problems- a small fuel leak that prevented us from running the air conditioner. Imma just say that it was sweltering hot inside the rig. My eyeballs were roasting. Because Laredo is a trucker hub, it was packed full and so we were out on a waiting list for mechanics to take a look at the problem. Our estimated time for inspection was 2am. It was 7pm...
The top bunk was mercilessly hot. It was hot outside with a slight breeze though. The rain gods/goddesses were not complying with my whining, whimsy-ass requests... Mr. J.S. figured out it was an easy fix though and once the crescent wrench twisted everything back into a tight fix, we were ready to rock with full, frosty air-con. Feeling like King Fudd, he sat back in his lower bunk in Regal fashion and turned on the tv. It was about 10 pm and we were giddy. Seriously, I'm usually freezing and all bundled up in Truck, but I was so happy and shivering in the arctic zone that I was ready for some frostbite!
We watched "Ender's Game" first. Great sci-fi movie and I'm sure the book series is even better. I gave a thumbs up on that one. Next up was "Barefoot." Thumbs down from me on just that one. I hate rom-comes, generally speaking. Last up was a classic: "The Big Liebowsky." You can never tire of that movie.
Noon Tuesday. We just got a run into Palmyra, Pennsylvania so we head out now into the South! We are headed straight for the "Heart of Dixie", which makes me swoon. I've never traveled through the South so I'm excited to soak in the scenery- and tell you guys about it. I'm thinking it will take us all day to get through East Texas and hit the Louisiana border tonight.
Once again I'll say that people are souk nice, gracious and friendly that I encounter on this trip. As well, Mexican-American folks are beautiful people with large hearts- as big as Texas actually. I had to turn back around upon laying my eyes on more than a few men here... It's always nice when they turn back around as well :) I got to brush up on my Spanish a bit here in these parts as well.
Every truck stop had these huge Mexican siesta/fiesta hats that Mariachi band members wear. I wanted one so badly... I'm still on the hunt for a cowboy hat... As well as more Mexican silver and turquoise jewelry :)