Sometimes, the best way to begin something is to simply just begin, the act itself enough to create the momentum needed to set events in motion. Since we had loaded the car the night before, and had already dropped off our Siberian Husky with friends, the only thing we had to do was to get into the car, shift into drive, and start down the road.
Taking the loop that bypassed around our town of Del Rio, we soon crossed Lake Amistad and ventured into west Texas. Having checked the extended forecast, we knew that there’d be nothing but sunshine on our trip, but with grey clouds closing in around us, I was starting to be skeptical. As a photographer however, I love the lighting and interest clouds give, and when we approached the pulloff overlooking the Pecos River, I had to stop.
Having been on the road for barely an hour, I was excited to have already come across something unknown that worth stopping for. But the clouds continued to close in around us as we resumed our trek and soon the rain began to fall, the drops plopping against the windshield and making me thankful I wasn’t on the bike this time around.
We passed signs for Big Bend National Park and commented to each other about how close it felt to where we lived. We turned north, and after awhile the skies began to clear. Every good road trip should have some weather in it and, for this trip, we could now check off that box.
Hours passed with the miles and before long, it was time for lunch. Alyssa asked to stop someplace nice, so that we could have a picnic. I manipulated the GPS and saw a place that looked promising: the Red Bluff Reservoir.
A short drive down a dirt road found us at an isolated, and antiquated, picnic site. I messed with my cameras a little while she made lunch, and soon we were enjoying our meal at the table, while looking out over the lake. A few minutes later, we cleaned up after ourselves, hit the road, and crossed into New Mexico.
Despite having a car with a built-in navigation system, I had been using the small Garmin device that had worked so well for me in Through a Bug-Splattered Helmet. By being able to program a route on the computer, and manipulate it to travel exactly how I wanted, I had felt it would provide a better experience than what Ford had put into the Fusion. And as the GPS’s purple line branched off from the main road, I wondered where it was taking me, only remembering that I had “seen something cool on the map.”
It turns out that the “something cool” was New Mexico’s Bottomless Lakes State Park, a series of nine small lakes surrounded by cliffs. With the exception of the parking lot at the park entrance, there weren’t many places to stop for viewing. But the roads made for great driving!
We left the park and made our way into Roswell where the main street running through town was littered with little green men and mockups of flying saucers. We had arrived too late to visit the UFO Museum and Research Center so instead we grabbed dinner at Farley’s, a bar and grill featuring movie posters from all the famous alien B-movies, including Plan 9 from Outer Space.