Day 13: Slogging through Southwest Texas

Let’s just say it was a very challenging day.  Pouring rain for most of it.  I killed some time in the morning’s downpour by addressing the issue of my left front tire.  Before I left NYC, I noticed some wear on the edge of the tire.  I pointed it out to my mechanic who said it was nothing.  Now 6,000 miles into the trip, it was obvious that it WAS something.  Supposedly, an alignment and a new tire should take care of things.   I hope so — for about $300.

That killed about two hours.   I was about to leave — but then couldn’t.  The mechanic had locked the van with the remote thing without me knowing it.  The side door was open at the time he handed me the key.  I let the dogs hop in, put my key on the floor of the van temporarily while I got the water jug to fill up and returned to find the dogs locked inside.  So that was another half hour and another $30 to get Mr. Pop-A-Lock to come & let me back in.  So I got rolling finally after noon — but it was such miserable weather that I really wasn’t all that irritated by the way the day was going.

Off to Ballinger, then south to dinkier towns — spaced far apart.  And scary driving it was.  POURING and keeping it under 40 mph a lot of the way which barely felt safe.  Gripping the wheel because even though it was a major highway, it was not draining well and the channels of water were kind of pulling you around a bit.   Glad to be settled in one piece!

Here in Alpine for the night — about 4 hours from El Paso.  So, an extremely low volume day.  I think I took about 40 photos total.  Tomorrow, the forecast is not much better.  I’d like to do El Paso right.  I’m just not going to be down that way again for a long time and I have a fairly long list of things to shoot.  So if it means sticking around another day, so be it.  I’m pretty much on schedule so I can afford to be patient.

On with today’s tiny batch — from San Angelo in the morning.  I wanted to get this oldie up closer — but as you can see — major flooding and I wasn’t going to risk it in the van or on foot:


Another sign in San Angelo — boarded up building:


Still San Angelo — on a sunnier day in 2008:

and today — note that they’ve painted over the mural and how dead it makes the building seem now.  At least they left those fins and spiky balls alone:


From Marathon — a fun handmade sign:


So, that’s it for the night.  Better luck tomorrow — with either quantity or weather — hopefully both!

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