Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On The Road Again-Little Girls in Big Trucks Part VI

This is the last in the series of Little Girls in Big Trucks. We hope you've enjoyed Claire's adventure on the road. If you enjoyed the blog, please share a comment with Claire.


Our tired eyes didn’t want to open the next morning but the excitement of being on the road again energized our bodies from sleep mode.

Most of our belongings were already in the truck. Once ready for the day and travel mugs filled with coffee we resumed our trip that took so many years to begin.

The morning was gray and wet as we made our way to the trailer scheduled for pick up and transport to El Paso, Texas.

Jan checking out the rig
Hooking it up was quick but thorough in the rain. Soon enough we were headed east on I-10.

Once out of Phoenix the sky dried up. The rich and colorful desert became various shades of browns, ochres, taupes and tans. Sporadic prickly green vegetation dotted the landscape.

The mountains looked prehistoric. They could be right out of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. One couldn’t help but look for ancient animals peeking over the sharp angles of the brown mountaintops or soaring above the dry desert floor.

It was like driving through a time warp to the tune of the Twilight Zone.

The primordial looking mountains continued on through Tucson. There you can visit the not nearly as aged Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park near the site of the gunfight between the Earps and the Clantons at the O.K. Corral.

After that the landscape changed once again. Green made the first impression on the eyes while hilly scenery replaced the flat desert floor that included small mesas made of brownish/reddish soil.

Next along the route came hills that looked more like large piles of boulders. The heaps were each solid mounds before erosion and plant life cut through all that stone in various ways making them look like rock piles while smoothing the rough edges. In some cases the corrosion was so complete that whole boulders have broken away and rolled down to the base of these hills.

Some are giant smooth slabs set at diverse angles while others are monoliths standing as testaments to geologic time. Interspersed between the rocks and crags are huge Yucca plants and lots of green shrubbery.

It’s an incredible sight to see.

Soon we crossed back into beautiful New Mexico where the mountains rose high off in the distance once again. The desert floor was very green with vegetation while the sharp massive peaks were neutral browns and taupe.

The blue sky was wide with a few clouds that made interesting dark shadows on the ground. The scope and expanse of turf and blue was such that human vision can’t take it all in at once. We savored every bit of it.


It was a short ride through the Land of Enchantment and soon we were back in Texas. Green and brown mountains on each side of the highway welcome visitors to the Lone Star State. Jan calls these, “Claire’s Mountains,” in honor of crossing into my home state.
It was my first trip to this part of Texas. I had never seen my state as a flat desert with peaked mountains in the distance before. It has five different climatic areas and I’ve been to four of them: Piney Woods, Hill Country, Northern Plains, and South Gulf Coastal Region. The last is Big Bend Country where we were now traversing.

And even though this state line is six hundred miles from Fort Worth it felt like we were almost home.
Driving through El Paso was interesting in that Mexico lay just south of the interstate. I’ve never been that close to another country before.

The interest became irritation when the city decided to change out a highway sign during rush hour. Jan was concerned that the infrequently moving bumper to bumper traffic was going to make her late to deliver the trailer.

Pretty Boy
And it did by twenty minutes. The shipment went to a department store so once the business was done we went in, shopped, then finished the trip to Swift’s El Paso terminal.

The terminals are set up basically the same. The continuity makes it easier for drivers from sea to shining sea.

Once in the truck we feasted in our pajamas while watching Frasier and laughing our heads off.

Claire and Jan Best Friends
It was our last night on the truck and tomorrow night my body would snuggle in my own bed. Although home sounded wonderful I was going to miss being with Jan on the road too. Even without all the amenities of home.

Jan checking papers for the trip
The morning sun greeted us as we hit the road once again with yet another trailer for delivery.

Not far out of El Paso with coffee still in hand we met the Border Patrol. Thankfully the officer believed we were American citizens and didn’t think the truck needed inspecting so he waved us through. It was another unique encounter to put on my Experience List.

The road took us from Big Bend Country to the Northern Plains of Texas. By dinner hour we made it to Weatherford just west of Fort Worth.

Since my neighborhood doesn’t allow big trucks of any kind my husband met us at a truck stop there where Jan would spend the night. However, we found out that there was no water in the city due to a broken water main.

We offered to follow her to another truck stop about ten miles north of our home but she was tired and wanted to stay put. Fortunately Jan keeps extra water aboard the rig for just this kind of predicament.

 The sun was setting as we  hugged good-bye and I was grateful for Jan and for our time on the road. We grew even closer if that’s possible after forty plus years of friendship.

sunset in Texas

Jan says she’ll come get me any time I’m ready for another adventure. All I need to do is call.
That should be in the not too distant future.

If you like Claire's blog. Leave her a comment to let her know you stopped by.
For Claire Hickey, writing is a newly realized passion. Read more of Claire’s work at Feed The Mind, Nourish The Soul in the Communities at the Washington Times as well as her blog Sustenance For The Mind.

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