Spring has sprung. It’s official, and after two months in the Arizona desert–cactus, sand, rocks… more cactus, sand rocks, oh, and perhaps the world’s most amazing sunsets–I’m on my way east to catch it. Spring, that is.
Today finds me in Wichita Falls, TX, and tomorrow I’ll land for the first time in Oklahoma. It will be a new state for me, another I can scratch off my 50-states list. Last night I was in Lubbock TX. The night before, Roswell, NM, where–and everybody knows this–an alien spaceship crash landed in 1947. Google it if you don’t believe me. Everything on the Internet is true, isn’t it? Before Roswell I was in Pie Town, NM where the official calendar goes Wednesday, Thursday, Pie Day. OK, I made that up, but Pie Town is a real place and it is named after, um, well, pie. That’s true! Why not?
Before PieTown I spent a night in Payson, AZ. This lovely little mountain town reminded me of similar resort towns in the Sierras in California. At 5,000′ elevation it was the first relief from the day after day 90º temps that had become the norm during the last week or so of my time at Imperial Dam LTVA. Before Payson I was a night in Phoenix where I stopped to have my printer repaired, and the day before that I left Imperial Dam near Yuma, AZ, but it’s actually in CA.
It doesn’t feel like it, but I’ve been on the road for a week since leaving Imperial Dam and I’ve covered something like 1,100 miles. Much of the way I’ve been avoiding the Interstate highways in favor of secondary roads and it’s been great. There’s been terrific scenery with lots of local color of the small towns and long stretches of road with nothing but open country on either side. Turns out there are mountains in Arizona. Maybe not as high as the Rockies or the Sierras, but I was up near 8,000′ in the Pie town area. Pie Town, incidentally, sits on the continental divide. Oh, and today my jaw dropped at the beauty of the orangy-red earth of northern Texas. I’ve seen similar in the Sierras, but not this rich in color.
So, tomorrow, it’s a hundred and something miles to the first campground I’ll have visited in a while. Most nights since I left Imperial Dam have been spent at the Chez Walmart chain. In Pie Town I spent half a night in a campground but moved to a roadside location at 2 A.M. when I was afraid of getting stuck in the mud due to the rain. After a few days in OK it’ll be on thru Arkansas again, west to east this time instead of north to south as was the last. Then another new state: Tennessee and after that more of the southeast. That’s the plan, anyway.