I checked in with the county bond officer in Cleburne Texas. I don’t have any travel restrictions while I am awaiting a trial date to be set for my drunk driving arrest. Trial probably won’t be for a couple months so I loaded my truck with some camping supplies and put my new-to-me KLX 250s motorcycle that I bought this summer in Texas on the receiver hitch carrier and headed off to visit my sister in Arizona for the holidays. Why not spend some time in sunny Arizona while I wait?
I had to finish grouting the tile in the bedrooms and bathroom where I was working at Larry’s house before I left Texas. It took longer than I expected. I finally finished at midnight, loaded up the truck and left at 2 AM. Finally on the road again. I remember smiling as I listened to classic rock on the radio driving through the night in scattered thunderstorms near San Angelo Texas. Music can take you back in time. The places you went and the people you were with when first hearing a song seem to be indelibly etched into your being, only to come back years later as distant memories. A song can trigger the memory of the perfume of an old girlfriend I haven’t thought of in years. Until the beeping of the interlock device on the truck ignition startled me from my reveries. It is like an authority figure. I must blow into it every 40 or 50 miles on this 1000 mile journey to make sure I don’t have alcohol on my breath. I had heard of these devices before but never knew how they worked before having one installed in my truck in October so I could continue driving. I thought you had to blow into it once in order to start your car. But no. Drunks are clever I guess. And to keep them from gaming the system the device continually needs to be blown into every 30 minutes or so to make sure you didn’t stop at the liquor store somewhere. Although annoying, it is a small price to pay to be able to drive through the night.
I stopped for an hour at a rest stop just before sunrise for a short hour long catnap. The wind was howling and ocassionally blowing tumbleweeds and plastic bags across the highway as I started out again at dawn. It was still raining hard as I took the entrance ramp onto interstate 10 heading west. The north wind was blowing so hard that the spray from the trucks was heading straight south across the passing lane practically blinding me even with fast wipers as I passed them. Climbing into the west Texas hills just north of Big Bend the rain turned to horizontal snow. I slowed down and followed the truck tire tracks through the slush for 100 miles or so before dropping down to El Paso. The highway was backed up with Christmas shoppers madly blocking the exit ramps to the malls in El Paso. The lines of exiting cars were streaming out onto the freeway and totally blocking traffic.
I have made a concerted effort to avoid giving or recieving birthday or Christmas presents for the past couple of decades. It doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends and relatives. I just don’t like making people feel obligated to send me a gift. The way to avoid this is to stop sending them holiday and birthday gifts. You might have to take some heat in the beginning, but believe me you are doing them a favor by letting them cross a name off their list. I feel sorry for these people who are stuck on the hampster wheel of holiday gift giving in El Paso. Christmas is for children.
After another 10 hours of driving I arrived at my sister’s house in Arizona. She had never been to Baja, so it seemed like a good idea to load up her truck with camping gear and spend Christmas in Baja. It’s changed a lot in the last 8 or 10 years since I last rode my motorcycle down to the tip. I’ll tell you all about it in the next update.