I finally got on the road Monday around noon. Like most road trips, this one started out innocent enough. My car was packed full of what few remaining items I wanted to hold onto; some clothes, some memorabilia, important documents, etc. Ahead of me was 2000+ miles of road to cover at the end of which where my kids and grandson, behind me was a life I had grown accustomed to, people that I’ve grown to like and love, and my house, which someone else will live in. To say I was awash in a jumble of emotion would be an understatement if it were true. Truth is that I tend to avoid emotional turmoil by concentrating on the task at hand. So, as I drove away from my house, my friends and loved ones, my adopted city the only thing on my mind was deciding which podcast I was going to listen to first.
That single mindedness lasted almost until I reached the Mississippi border. (I know it’s odd, but enjoy spelling Mississippi.) The first crack in my shield against emotions came with the thought that there were so many things I had intended to do after retirement. Then there were thoughts of places I wanted to visit and people I wanted to visit those places with. By the time I crossed into Louisiana all that stuff I talked about in the paragraph above was flooding my mind. There was nothing to be done really, like the highway I was on, my life’s path has been laid out in front of me and there was no turning back.
Funny thing about roads, they take you places, but what you encounter along the way is what makes the journey interesting, or not. I saw a lot while driving I-10. Spectacular sunset in Mobile, beautiful sunrise in east Texas, and indescribable scenery no matter where I looked. Mid-Texas had gotten some rain and everything was green, not what I expected.
One thing I will say, driving through Texas on I-10 SUCKS!!! It seemed like it would go on forever! Its only saving grace, at least while I drove through, was the varied weather. Fog in in the morning in East Texas, overcast and breezy in mid-Texas, and a dust storm in West Texas.
That dust storm was the freakiest thing. There was a storm front moving through west Texas. As I approached the outside temperature dropped from 90 degrees to 80 degrees and the wind started picking up. Off in the distance there were several sizable dust devils. One had to be a thousand feet tall.
As I drove further west clear skies grew nasty looking clouds and the wind blew even stronger and the temperature to the mid 60s. The wind blew so strong that several trucks had to pull over or risk being blown over. I drove on and ran into the rain part of the front. Ahead of the rain clouds at ground level was a huge orange cloud. The rain clouds where pushing dust clouds ahead of them. I drove into that dust cloud and it was so thick that I could hardly see 100 feet ahead of me and I had to slow to 20mph and turn on my flashers, as did other vehicles around me. As quickly as the dust cloud formed, it dissipated. But the wind was even stronger and it rocked my car. Tumbleweeds streaked across the road. What rain that did fall was dust colored mud drops that splattered and caked on my windshield.
I’ll admit to being a little concerned.
By the time I reached El Paso much of the storm had passed and there was spectacular sunset. A great way to say goodbye to Texas. The rest of the drive was at night and pretty much smooth sailing, though it was windy.
I arrived at my daughter’s house at 2AM local time. I was beat.
More to come.
Wow Vern, that sounds scary! We drove through Texas on 1-10 years ago and I thought the same thing…it would never end. How many days did it take you? God bless you on this grand adventure!
It took me 38 hrs. I didn’t get a hotel, I slept in the car in two, two hour stretches. I wish I chanced taking photos from inside the storm, but doing so seemed like too great a risk.
Thanks for that well wishes. I’m sure it will be amazing.