Travelling west out of Texas was magical. Â I had 900 miles to cover in the day and 500 through the remainder of Texas were by far the nicest. Â The state route that constituted the first 90 miles consisted of a landscape I’d never encountered with rock formations seemingly grown and a highway straddled by saturated flowers.
The drive was uneventful except for a part where I came within 2 minutes of running out of gas as driving at 85 had changed the distance per tank of my car. Â I also hit 100 for the first time in a vehicle I was driving and for only the second time in a car period but my speeding (87 MPH) later got me pulled over by a Pecos County Sheriff. Â He asked for my license, saw it was a PA and asked me if I was going home (despite travelling west). Â I honestly replied “I need to get to Tucson to catch a flight to PA to take care of something”, a factually true statement which resulted in me only getting a polite warning from the officer who looked like some sort of train conductor.
The drive held another moment of interest as I’d never really seen the sun set over the actual horizon. Â Normally, the setting sun is obscured by trees, houses, hills, or what have you but the blankness of New Mexico allowed an long uninterrupted view of the setting only impeded by small hills and the curvature of the earth. Â I don’t think I’ll encounter this again until I hit the Pacific.
I also got to go through a US border checkpoint despite being entirely in the US during my trip. Â The rigorous inspect involved being asked if I was US citizen, was hiding any non-US citizens in my car, and had any contraband in my car. Â Whew, that was a tough one.
My Arizona host bent over backwards to have me even proffering his bed for my use. Â I was armed with my inflatable mattress which was so noisy on the wooden floor we’d equip it with a fleece silencer on the second night of my stay.