Today started like most days. Spencer woke up, got a bunch of stuff done, and let me sleep until the very last minute. At 5:45 the car was loaded, phones were charged, maps were placed within easy reach, and we were out the door. Our last stop in Boulder was to grab coffee at this new drive-through espresso box shop that looked like it used to be Vic’s, but tasted imminently better. Our barista greeted us with a “hey ya’ll” which I attributed to my awesome sombrero and immediately felt prepared for our future entry to Texas. After telling him that we were driving to Mexico he told us that his favorite trip ever was the four months he spent in Ensenada many years ago. Everyone has a good story if you listen. We were off.
The majority of the day was spent driving through small towns and switching between music and podcasts. Have you heard Mystery Show? If not, check it out right now. Like, stop reading this and go listen. It’s incredibly well put together, funny, human, and interesting.
Near the end of our day Spencer requested that we take a detour for a “cool surprise.” I was kind of tired and not totally convinced this was a good idea, but we ended up at this place called Cadillac Ranch and oh my gosh it was the coolest thing I’ve seen since Slab City or China Ranch in California.
Cadillac Ranch is located in Amarillo Texas and it’s one of those totally weird places that you’re often lucky enough to find if you take a risk and leave the main road. Back in the 1970’s a wealthy businessman commissioned this art installation that involves a bunch of Cadillacs that (according to Wiki) have been buried in the ground at an angle corresponding to the Great Pyramid of Giza. This was a very cool diversion and we spent some time taking pictures and walking around looking at the different cars in various stages of paint and disarray.
When it was time to move on we got back on the road to our last destination of the day – the glorious Motel 6 in Lubbock, Texas (glorious it was not). I had high hopes for Lubbock for no real reason other than hopeful optimism. These hopes included – a small Western art district (nope), one vegetarian café (nope), a charming yet vacant downtown area (charming no, vacant, yes), and an invitation to a high school football game (there was a game, but it cost a bit of money and we found it too late).
The one feature of Lubbock that met Spencer’s expectations was the Hub City BBQ cook off event, which included all you could eat everything within a ½ mile radius and all you could drink beer from the two Bud Light tents (Joe, I finally found some Bud Light!). There were rows and rows of tents, tables, and smokers. At our first stop I held out my plate for a helping of scalloped potatoes and my eyes grew wide when the gentleman serving them said “and they’re totally organic.”
“Really!?” I responded, putting all of my cards out on the table. “That’s awesome because I’m actually ---“
“Haha!” He laughed back at me. “Haha.”
Yes, “organic,” I responded. “You really had me there for a minute. Good one,” I said, not really sure if I was in on a joke or if I was part of one.
We walked around talking to people, eating corn, drinking beer and looking for Blue Ribbons that signified winners in the “amateur meat smoking” contest hoping that they also might have a blue ribbon dessert. The sky was beautiful and the air was hot. It was a great night to be in Texas.
Tomorrow we head down to the border. Hasta pronto!
Tomorrow morning Spencer and I will be waking up early (before 6am!), packing our car, tucking Monet into her small, designated spot, selecting our first of many podcasts, and hitting the road for the start of our great adventure.
"Our daily epic" is a reference to a text I got awhile back from a friend who referred to our plans as an "epic," which I totally adore. An epic, a storied poem about a long journey...a noun versus an adjective. I feel like we are about to embark on an epic Epic.
Driving around Boulder today, I realized that the Flatirons are visible from so many places in town. I remember arriving here ten years ago and thinking the same thing. It feels like the end of an era that might have already ended a little while ago. Which is why this is the perfect time to head out of town, knowing that the road ahead will be pretty incredible, and the road back home is equally sweet.