Monday, July 18, 2011

Travelling to Texas

Heather and I finally said goodbye to Colorado (I'll have to replace John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High" with Marty Robbins' "El Paso" on my iPod playlist) and we decided to make the drive from Colorado Springs to San Antonio in two days, with the bulk of the driving on day one.  Along the way we both fought cases of the drowsies on the first day (not enough sleep), and said goodbye to the mountains we have grown to love.  My love/hate relationship with the GPS continued, as it guided us successfully for almost a thousand miles, but caused a couple of missed turns with ambiguous map displays at some intersections.  I really need more than 3 seconds at 70 miles per hour to read two highway signs for competing roads that are both 4 digits long.  Who makes highway numbers in the thousands anyways?  I digress. 

The biggest excitement came as I made a sudden exit from the left lane in Abilene and watched as Heather's CRV floated past in the right lane - unable to follow me.  After pulling off at the next exit I called her and she made her way back to the correct turn and caught up with me.  I wasn't sure if she had come to the exit I took or had gone down the road and got off at the next exit for highay 277, so I went on, and we called out landmarks we were seeing as we went.  Finally we realized she was indeed behind me, and I drove slowly while she caught up.  I was definitely glad we both had cell phones - made possible by Heather's mom buying her a trac phone with 3 month's service.  Thanks Pat!

As we were driving through one of the many small towns that dot the Texas countryside, we passed by a tombstone company, with a headstone out front with the following engraving: "Drive carefully - we can wait".  I got a good chuckle out of that one.  I also enjoyed the fact that many Texas drivers will slide over onto the shoulder and drive there so you can pass them if you are going faster than they are.  That plus the fact that even rural highways have 70 mph speed limits reduces the travel time across this Jupiter of states.  (Ok, technically Alaska would be Jupiter, and Texas would be Saturn, but who associates Saturn with being the 2nd largest planet in our solar system?)

When we got to the Motel 8 in Abilene they only had handicapped accessible rooms left, and the lady at the front desk (who apparently in her spare time was attempting to "leatherize" her skin by tanning, and was succeeding wonderfully) asked if I minded staying in a handicapped accessible room.  I said "sure", and was rewarded with an extra spacious bathroom complete with toilet handle on the right side (who knew?), pull bars in the tub, and a seat in there as well.  I was tempted to test drive the seat but I'm too OCD to put my naked bottom where someone else has placed theirs, and I don't think 3 strips of toilet paper would have held up well in the shower.

After a good night's rest we did the final four hours and found ourselves in San Antonio.  We are staying in the billeting on base, and luckily our phone and internet (landline only - newsflash Air Force - this is the 21st century!  How about some wi-fi?!) didn't work in that room so they had to move us to another one.  I say luckily because we moved from the 3rd floor to the 2nd floor (less stairs to climb - too impatient to wait for the elevator), and we upgraded from 80s era 20 inch tube TVs to 26 inch(ish) LCD tvs.  Yeehaw!  I don't know how long Heather will find my singing "El Paso" to be amusing, but I really need to learn more than just the first and last lines of the song.  I guess I need to make an electronic trek to iTunes tonight.  "...One little kiss and Felina, Goodbye..."