Saturday, August 21, 2010

Houston - Waco/Ft. Worth

Chinita's interpretation of my trip.
Day 1 - I just helped Mia move in at Baylor for her first year at college and said goodbye to my parents, who are now empty nesters.  After much anticipation, I have officially set off on my long awaited journey to Alaska.  Originally, I was offered an education position in Malaga, Spain teaching English on the beautiful Medeterrainian coast, but due to a finicky program and a lagging European economy, Spain could not afford my lousy wage.  Instead, I have chosen to take this time in my life to seek adventure.  

I plan on driving my 1997 Toyota 4x4 4Runner, which has 240K miles on it (because its a beast) all the way to Mt. McKinley in Denali National Park.  The route to Palin's land will connect the dots of the most scenic and best fishing spots throughout the Rockies, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, and everywhere that the Alaskan Highway (and some ferries) can take me.  If you have seen any of the Trout Bum Diaries or love Ansel Adam's photography, you'll understand why I am doing this.  Although much of my route is technically planned, I have left some room for utter spontaneity.  There are friends and family to visit both on the way up and back, but for the first leg of the trip (nearly 4500 miles) I will be exploring solo. 
Cool physical plant near Ft. Worth, TX
But back to the trip, I left Waco to stay the night with Ben Swinney at his apartment near Ft. Worth.  He hooked me up with some cooking related "must haves" that I forgot like salt, a can opener, a Walmart gift card and the sorts, thanks. 

Day 2 - I departed near 10AM and drove on 287 (N) until I got to a random rest area near Santa Fe, NM.  On the drive I listened to Life of Pi on audiobook, stocked up on groceries at Walmart, and I tested the capacity of my fuel tank with the weight of my car.  I ran it dry which maxed out at 350 miles, so that I would know my approximate limit.  By the way, North Texas reminded me of the Big Lebowski because there were true rolling tumbleweeds and eight foot sunflowers.  
I arrived at my rest area about 9PM and there were New Mexican style stucco huts with picnic tables under them.  I filled up on water and broke in my cooking stove and lantern.  Even though there were trucks pulling in all night, I was relatively comfortable in my car and the temperature was nice and cool.  
Rest Area #1
**No part of this blog, whether the stories or photos, can be used without the written consent or permission of Ansel Orr.  

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