Sunday, November 23, 2014

uncharted territory

I stayed in San Antonio for two days.  I had a very nice time visiting with family.  Time to go and I know I am traveling farther west on I-10 than I have ever travelled.  The rolling hills through the Fredericksburg area are lovely to view.  The vegetation is low and very green.  I am hoping that this topography will last a longer time and distance but it slowly gives way to the wider expanse of flat desert conditions that will take me into west Texas and further into New Mexico and Arizona.  My destination for the night is Van Horn, Texas.  For some reason I was thinking my drive was going to be about five and a half hours but I was mistaken.  The distance covered between these two points is about 450 miles so at that rate I would have to drive 90 mph to accomplish that time schedule.  I didn't, of course, but I must say it was easy to hit 80 mph (the posted speed) without any trouble.  The driving was fine with just minor buffeting from the wind but the loneliness was creeping in since vehicles were few and far between.  I dared not think what would happen if I had car trouble out here.  I had a full tank of gas in the car when I left San Antonio and I made sure to stop in Fort Stockton to refuel when the gauge started to dip below half.  I had another 120 miles to go at that point and I really didn't care to "chance" it.  I have never driven through a total radio dead zone before but now I was in one.  I popped in some music to keep me company.  The road was very straight and level and the desert terrain stretched on forever (or as far as I could see).  There is beauty in starkness.  There is also an overwhelming feeling of smallness.  For all the times I think I am in control of whatever I am doing at the moment,  I now feel like a very tiny part of something.  Very tiny, indeed.  As daylight gave way to darkness I began to see lights dotting the landscape.  I was not alone out here.  In daylight, although I could see everything, I saw nothing.  I was by myself (or so I thought).  But at night I could see lights and movement and this gave me comfort.  I saw only the road before me, the lights beside me and the stars above me.  And I was comforted.  And contented.  I was a part of something.  There was beauty in the light and comfort in the dark.  Both were welcome.

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