Almost Amarillo

Wednesday, 03 November 2010 08:26 AM Written by 
ALMOST AMARILLO, TEXAS -- I-40 Picnic Area

I don't know if I'd want to picnic here. I haven't seen this flat dark piece of this big dark flat land in the daylight.

It's 5:20 a.m. Too bad Ansel Adams isn't here. A sliver of moon is slowly rising over the twinkling lights of Almost Amarillo. Actually, it's only Vega, Texas. I'm still 37.3 miles shy of Amarillo.

When I pulled in to this mercifully unlighted picnic area last night at 10:30 there were about 12 trailer trucks parked nose to tail. As trucks do, they were idling happily/noisily.

I drove well past them into a wide empty parking lot and went to sleep quickly in the cozy back berth of my RAV4. In the night some bum in a big rig hauling new VWs parked right behind me. He's idling happily/noisily.

When I pulled down my blackout curtains I saw I was penned in by four other monster trucks, all idling happily/noisily. I put on my shoes -- I still haven't worn socks on this trip -- and fired up my engine and managed to escape.

Now I'm traveling east on I-40. It's 6:08 or 7:08, depending on whether I believe my cell phone or my car radio. I'm parked at an exit ramp. The temperature is 44 degrees. The eastern horizon is starting to glow.

Overnight America supposedly underwent historic change. Republican Tea Partiers seized the U.S. House and an era of limited government is allegedly on the way.

An ex-Pittsburgh guy is the new governor of Ohio. The son of an ex-Pittsburgh guy is the new senator of Kentucky. And, best of all, Gov. Moonbeam is back in charge of California.

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