Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Southern Comfort

86 degrees in the shade when we pulled into camp in Junction, Texas, to end the fifth straight travel day (out of what should be seven) en route to Arrey, New Mexico. Man- that heat felt good. Sat out late in the shade of the western style shade house after our walk-a-bout when we saw roughly 25 deer of various kinds on the rural roads we walked down. Camp is a KOA and on the river where it flows right through town. They let us do some panning to see if we could chalk up Texas on the Gold Found map but it wasn't to be. But playing in the water on such a warm day was very cooling and comforting. The lady in the office told me she had lost her diamond in the river and asked me to let her know if I found it (wink wink nudge nudge). I was going to get out the metal detector and try out for local hero but it turns out the diamond had popped off the band so there was no metal to search for. Instead, I found some sort of magnetic bead, a weird looking thing that I for sure could not identify; so I turned it into the office and told her it MIGHT be a very valuable meteorite that she could have to replace the diamond. Doubtful. Maybe even impossible. But it made everybody happy for such a find....and all's well that ends well.

Texas crossing gets downright pretty after San Antonio. The Hill Region is spectacular and the buttes and prairies that follow over the next couple hundred miles transition seamlessly and mysteriously. Altitude took us from the flatlands to 2500 feet through the hills and then up to 4500 in the next regions- the rise in elevation happens without any visual evidence but you can feel it in your ears if you're paying attention. My dad's old altimeter is our constant companion of such sections of our trips and it too is "comforting" to have and hold and use to check out the sort of thing that a pilot would be "want to do."

I should report, perhaps confess, that with all my friends with great camera skills, I took the liberty of crapping out early on this special night- looooong before the highly anticipated eclipse of the moon. Special thanks to Harry and Big Bill, neither of whom disappointed, for posting their terrific shots on FB or in e mails...thereby making it possible for me to get a good night's sleep in total southern comfort! It was cold where we came from, it looks to be cold where we are headed, but this night? Oh it was good one!

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