It’s been one week since we departed our temporary home and hit the road. We’ve logged over 1500 miles and are just getting started. So far, the trip has been more about catching up with old friends than exploring new areas of the country, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been highly satisfying.
It was great to visit friends in the Dallas area and to see a few interesting sights along the way. Highlights include two birthplaces; one of the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley and the other of Kermit the Frog. Both American cultural icons with lasting impacts; one just maybe a little more kid-friendly than the other. As much as I love and respect Elvis, I have to say hearing Kermit sing the Rainbow Connection while reading about Jim Henson’s creation of the character brought back many memories. Kermit was a favorite of mine when I was a child, and he still is now that I am, ah, more mature.
Our friends entertained us as always, and catching up with them will be a highlight of the trip. If you find yourself in Frisco, TX, make sure you stop by Eight 11 Place for a tasty pizza and an excellent glass, or multiple glasses, of wine.
The trek through west Texas toward our first national park was an interesting one. Mist and driving rain greeted our morning departure, followed in true Texas fashion by extreme winds and the dust storms they create. As we made our way south and west, Texas greeted us with a steady barrage of sand that made sounds no one who cares about their vehicle ever wants to hear. The cars are filthy, and quite frankly, I don’t know where to start. The winds haven’t retreated yet, and the cars are just getting more offensive by the minute.
I will attempt to clean them at some point, but I don’t know when that will happen. To clean them now would be an exercise in futility as the dirt is still flying, and there will undoubtedly be more in the next few days as we work our way out of Texas.
Despite the shame of driving a genuinely filthy vehicle, we have been able to enjoy several aspects of Big Bend National Park. This is a beautiful and hostile terrain and a place we haven’t even begun to discover. What we have seen has lived up to the promise of rugged landscapes and breathtaking vistas. The park is also home to some pretty enjoyable twisty roads, so that helps!
Some of the best sights have been discovered at simple turn-outs along the way, with unique geological formations and the rugged beauty of desert mountains. While we can’t see everything, we are doing our best to make sure we enjoy whatever we explore to its fullest. As evidenced by this fantastic photo Crystal got at the end of the Santa Elena Canyon trail.
The Big Bend area is an interesting place with the park greeting many thousands of visitors each year, yet just outside the park are the homesteads of people who clearly want to get away from everything. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to live in such a remote area only to suffer the constant line of tourists waiting to explore the park. I guess that’s one of the many mysteries of this area, like the mythical Marfa Lights. We haven’t been able to see them yet, but according to many locals, they’re out there…
We’ve got a lot more to explore on this trip. Thank you for tagging along; we hope it is entertaining.