Monday, August 22, 2005

In The West Again

The Wonk family arrived home in California's "Imperial" Valley Sunday evening at around 11:30 PM. It seems like we've made this trip across the southern tier of states so many times that we feel like we've gotten to know the small towns through which we pass so well that we can tell when someone has painted their house a different color recently. In fact, we noticed that someone in the west Texas town of Van Horn has done exactly that. Here are some other observations:
  • The price of gasoline was surprisingly stable at about $2.45 gallon along most of Interstates 20, 10, and 8. Naturally, the highest price ($2.85) is to be found in our hometown here in California.
  • The Georgia Highway Patrol continues to enjoy its well-deserved reputation for "efficiency."
  • Who would have thought that Alabama has mountains? They have some pretty ones near Birmingham.
  • Rest Areas in the state of Mississippi are annoyingly rare, but the view of the river from the bridge at Vicksburg isn't to be missed.
  • Folks in Louisiana remain as friendly as ever.
  • The WifeWonk drove across almost all of Texas single-handidly, which is an accomplishment not to be treated lightly.
  • There was little Border Patrol activity visible in and around El Paso, Texas, and several checkpoints on highways 10 and 8 were closed.
  • There were no Border Patrol checkpoints at all in New Mexico, but we did see that amusing sign (near a prison) which advised motorists against stopping for "hitchhikers."
  • One of our favorite stops, Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch near Picacho Peak, Arizona, will probably close sometime around the first of the year as the owner, D.C. Cogburn, will be retiring to his native Oklahoma. (Listen to NPR profile right here.) All of us will miss feeding those birds, but it will be especially tough on the TeenWonk...
We are already looking forward to our next cross-country adventure sometime during winter vacation.
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