Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Notes from the Road: A Guest Post by Meredith

So far: we are 9 cups of coffee, 5 tanks of gas, 3 states, 1,132 miles, one historic landmark, 2 plums, a bushel of peaches, and two closely-averted disasters into our roadtrip. We’ve driven through two rainstorms, and hit traffic once (although surprisingly not in Dallas at rush hour).

Day 1, a mere 3/4s of a tank into our trip: we began looking for a gas station. As the needle dipped another 16th of tank with no exits in sight, we began to get a little edgy (Jessie: “What if we run out of gas?” Meredith: “We won’t run out.” 5 minutes later: Jessie: “But what would we do if we did run out? Meredith: “We’re ok. The empty light’s not even on yet.” As if on cue . . .) As the needle dips further and the yellow gas light stares us in the face, we begin to get desperate: we take an unmarked exit into rural Louisiana figuring wildly that “people who live here must need gas” – a mile down the road, we pass a man on horseback, and truly panic. That panic, however, quickly turned to elation as we rounded a bend and approached a blinking stoplight – 2 people have never been so happy to enter a town comprised solely of an Exxon and a Sonic. Hell yeah, Mansfield.

Day 1, evening: a single dramatic moment became an hour long spectacle as we drove continually west into the sunset (and movie watchers waited in vain for the credits to roll – it got awkward. From Jessie: “Wow, what an amazing sunset!” to Meredith, an hour later: “Is the sun still setting? It’s been dusk for a really long time.”).

Day 2, West Texas: Yesterday morning the hotel clerk seemed suspicious of our somewhat routine “Good Morning," ("Is it?” he responded with a meaningful look) and in the afternoon we unwrapped silverwear from cloth bandanas before chowing down on our country fried steack, okra, potatoes and cornbread (and what Jessie described as “Beanie Weanies – mainly weanies – in ketchup sauce”).

Day 3, and all is well: The bike hasn’t fallen off the car yet, and those 2 police cars that pulled us over for the egregious crime of going 76 mph in a 70 mile zone? They were kind enough to let us go with a mere warning. Santa Fe has greeted us with a glorious morning in honor of Jessie's birth . . . we'll have to get back to you about the adventures this town holds. For now, wish us happy sightseeing and good luck with the uphill driving as we approach Denver.

- Meredith

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