114. It’s All About Color

Not an exciting travel day. Well maybe it was!

I left this morning from Van Horn, TX – about 140 miles east of ElPaso and the New Mexico border and ended 508 miles east of ElPaso without leaving the confines of I-10. But I’m now only 315 miles from the goal. What happened besides miles and macadam?

WHITE happened!

In New Mexico I would strain my eyes to see something other than brown desert soil and grey barren mountains. Maybe that’s a trace of white snow on that mountain top! Entering TX I read news reports of a snow storm that occurred a day earlier stranding traffic. Van Horn showed some traces of white snow on the ground when I actually arrived. This morning my black car was completely frost etched in white.

About 50 miles into today’s trip, it was no longer a patch of snow here and there in heavily shaded areas. It was the Michigan white that I grew up in and work hard to avoid. For 200 miles the ground was a white blanket left from the earlier storm. Multiple times per mile there were tracks of vehicles crisscrossing the median, from some vehicles presumably pulling of, others skidding of and others just trying to reverse course. I enjoyed the humor I’d see every 1o or so miles of snowmen constructed along the roadside with stick arms waving me on. Not so numerous were the sights of overturned cars in the median, a flipped pickup and cargo trailer, large trucks at the roadside while machinery uploaded on them remnants of what appeared to be at least two semi trailers down in the gully. No sign of the tractors. All remaining of a snowstorm that passed 2 days prior.

While the roads had been (relatively) cleared, rest areas, entrance ramps etc not so much.

After about 200 miles, things changed rapidly. Snow rapidly disappeared from sight. And then I saw something I could barely describe much less name. I consulted my friend Dr Google and my iPad screen was filled with a color wheel! I saw it!

GREEN happened!

They call that color ‘green’. It’s been so long!! Large vistas of greeeeen trees. Not just coniferous but deciduous as well. Amazing treat for the eyes. And these were not trees planted like soldiers lined up a grove. These were planted 40 yrs or so by nature’s own breath distributing seeds all over.

Terrain changes. AZ and NM and far west TX were home to barren craggy mountain peaks. Then it seemed, in the space of miles, I no longer saw the peaks but a hundred or so miles of mesas and buttes. And now those have disappeared as Kerrville is in the large TX area called “Hill Country”.

One other sight of note today. In about a 15 second snippet of driving time, I received a history lesson on a hundred years of change to power and verticality. To my right I saw the stereotypical view of a ranch windmill that last drew water from the ground probably 100 yrs ago. One vane left and it looked like it might fall off tomorrow. Behind, stretched across the vast basin were at least 50 oil wells, some still pumping, others retired with a lone derrick in my view. Further, atop the distant mesa, lined up like an army of soldiers, were phalanxes of the new wind turbine windmills waiting for Don Quixote.

My thought for the day: While there’s always change, nothing’s new.

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