I’m in a suburban strip mall plaza on the outskirts of El Paso. If everything is bigger in Texas, why isn’t there a whopper this actual size yet? I mean, people would eat that shit up. Literally. Spend all week on their couch gnawing on it like a vulture on a carcass. Maybe even cuddle up with it; becoming one with that processed chemical beef patty. What could be more American than that? Seems about right for the times. But on the other hand, the Family Dollar has their finger on the pulse of the nation and is totes lit. They’re advertising “now serving game blunts” and “now serving beer”. I didn’t get a picture, but I did park in a fire lane.
Anyway. The distances between towns is definitely bigger in Texas. Though I expect the blogs to get smaller in Texas. At least for a bit. There’s less services and less stops. Which means more time riding and less time writing. But we’ll see.
Once I clear the ring of suburbs, the scenery goes back to farmlands, deserts and stupid border walls. Has anyone in favor of the wall ever been to Mexico City? It’s amazing. A wonderful place with wonderful people. I could retire there. I imagine very few people there — if any — want to come to America and deal with all our crap. Shit, my friend from college Loki, relocated from Brooklyn to CDMX; that speaks loudly to how short-sighted and ill conceived an expensive and futile wall is. Eventually the farms and wall give way to nothing…
Yes real nothing. Rolling through western Texas is rolling through a lot of nothing. For miles and miles and miles. Miles and miles. Miles. Damon and I get our chats on. But there’s not much going on around us. So we just ride. Ride and ride. Ride some more. Come into a dusty truck stop that is literally the only thing for 50 miles in all directions. Store. Restaurant. And we can camp here. I eat a burrito before anything.
It’s a getting later in the day, but despite the luxuriously dust flat section of dirt we’ve graciously been granted by Don Julio — I’m serious, the cashier addresses him as such when procuring permission — we make a snap, post-burrito decision to keep going. 22 more miles until the next town. It’s turns out to be uphill and a little upwind. And the first chunk of it puts us back on Interstate 10. My old nemesis. Like a toxic relationship, I just can’t give up the 10 even though I can’t stand it. It sucks once again, two states later. I’m pedaling and breathing as hard as I can; I’m only moving 7 mph as trucks whip by. As the sun begins to sets, we jump off and cruise down a frontage road. The sun, which has been behind clouds all day, dips out below the clouds yet above the mountainous horizon. It yields a spectacularly impressive light show, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. No filter needed.
The terrain declines so I finally pick a little speed and a little steam. We get into what is mostly a ghost town. Abandoned old buildings are falling apart; tumbleweed appears to be the majority of the citizenry. I’m why we pushed on to get to this just as absolute darkness comes in. Fortunately we find a cheap motel with a quirky Mexican-American owner/manager. I really wanted to hang and chat with him more. Butt. Too much tired. Must sleep.