• brandenfugate

Road Notes: Day 123

Today we left Camp Creek. Glad we got to properly enjoy it but sad to go. It’s beautiful and we had a fair amount of solitude. We had coffee and then packed up and hit the road around 2pm. The drive was gorgeous, wildflowers absolutely everywhere, but we were driving through what is formally called Texas Hill Country and that’s not at all a misnomer. It may have been pleasantly bouncy and winding were we not towing a 5,000lb load but in our case it was a lot of strain on the engine and a lot of bare-knuckled turns. We were at a pretty high elevation for most of the drive with no barriers to keep us from falling off the edge. Add to this the ten or so vehicles following close behind for which I was setting the pace. It was one lane in each direction and solid lines for nearly 20 miles. I was mildly sympathetic but not enough to go any faster and put my life at risk.

Once the worst of the hills were behind us I pulled into a small gas station to check the truck’s fluids and give the engine a little rest. Our truck (Marge) has been well maintained but she’s got a few more miles on her than most would recommend. This gas station had an air pump that was perfectly situated to fill our coach tires (something we’ll been on the lookout for some time—we haven’t touched them since Ohio). We pulled up and were surprised to find that they were still perfectly inflated. Whatevs.

A few miles down the road and we pulled into Emma Long Metropolitan Park—our home for the next several days. It’s a gorgeous park, large and well maintained. Our site is practically waterfront. Today is Sunday so the park was full of people squeezing out the last few drops of the weekend. I cherish peace and quiet when I’m “home” these days but I also love to see outdoor areas actually being used. At risk of making too stark of a generalization I will say that one of my favorite parts of living in and visiting communities with large immigrant populations (from nearly anywhere) is their fondness for and utilization of parks and public green spaces for recreation that almost always includes food and family. It is a practice that I find particularly lacking back home in some of the more homogenous areas of the midwest (despite the fact that we have some of the most beautiful public parks in the country). Just a few sites to the left of us a Mexican family was purchasing some elotes (grilled, seasoned corn-on-the-cob) from an old woman in a van. The site just across from us was playing loud Middle Eastern music from an old boombox and everyone was dancing. I was particularly interested in the teardrop trailer they seemed to have built from scratch (complete with a residential air conditioner). If the parties are still going on tomorrow maybe we will try to ingratiate ourselves with a few beers. Today though we needed to unpack.

We haven’t been in a “utilities” site for some time so we were excited to plug in and have a water connection. Unfortunately, our shore cord was misbehaving and wouldn’t receive any juice from the outlet. Lauren made some lunch while I examined the problem (after disconnecting the batteries, of course). I figured out what was wrong (loose connection which overheated) and, over lunch, made the utterly stupid mistake of saying out loud that it should be a five minute fix. Naturally, it became a forty-five minute fix because of some unforeseen snags but I shouldn’t have tempted fate like that and anyway now we’re juiced.

In the evening we drove to the bathhouse for some long awaited showers which were disappointingly lukewarm but showers nonetheless. Then we had a simple dinner, caught up on some emails/social media and watched a little Star Trek while enjoying a thoroughly unremarkable bottle of pinot noir. We’ve got a lot of writing/editing to catch up on tomorrow but we just might make it into the city for dinner. We’ll see.


Road Notes are timed entries—written in thirty minutes or less at the end of each day. Considerations are made for spelling/legibility but not for grammar.

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