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Google Places and Platypie

We’ve Come This Way Before: Driving West Across South Texas…

February 19, 2015

Finally, we are back in southwest Texas - driving towards the Rio Grande - trying to get as close as we can. We are returning to the part of the country that made us decide to leave New York City and live on the road for as long as possible.

As we head south and west, the trees are getting smaller, and the the cell towers bristling with transceivers, are getting taller. There are more closed hunting platforms sprouting out in the brush - we are told they are for deer, but being so close to the border with Mexico we wonder…

For most of the way, there are railroad tracks paralleling Route 90, the trains moving slowly or stopped while men walk about performing tasks we cannot identify. The moans and blasts of train whistles fill the air whenever there is a grade crossing or a need to communicate with the workers on the tracks.

The landscape is empty and barren, and yet we are fascinated just staring out the window and wondering what life must be like living in the little clumps of dwellings we see amongst the prickly pear cactus, dust and rocky buttes.

Electric wires on poles with old glass insulators hug the road for awhile, then veer off into the desert only to return again a few miles later.

We pass a yard with thick metal sculptures sprouting in the brush, Further on, a collapsed  gas station roof resembling a Richard Serra Torqued Ellipse looms.

Every so often a pungent odor wafts into the camper… "Skunk" we utter as we pass another dead one at the edge the road.

Suddenly, jets like hornets are zooming low, above and around us. We count six through our front windshield. A google map check reveals that we are driving through Laughlin AFB - the largest Air Force pilot training base in the country. (Top Gun?)

Ranch names high on gates flash by - Saber Ranch, El Diablo Ranch, Machete Ranch. Single Shot Ranch - We detect a theme.

Green and white Border Patrol vehicles - some dragging tires along the dirt roads that parallel the highway and others driving cross- country toward some unknown destination - appear often. There are also the controversial permanent and tactical vehicle check points where the Border Patrol gets to stop you and decide who you are and what you are up to. The whole scene is a careful tiptoe around 4th Amendment rights.

Only 250 miles from fun, blue Austin, yet we have entered another country…

At last the sparkling waters of Lake Amistad open beside us, and we decide to boondock in the warm sun for a few days along it’s retreating shore.

Very cool stuff reminds me of the open road in the 60"2 and 70's. I love to watch a work in progress. Hope you guys make it back to Maine someday. Don't know if I will be here but I will always have my laptop.


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