We ended up leaving Dallas far later than we intended. A customer had created a ticket and was trying like crazy to get after hours support. I’m the on call guy, so I had to let them know that what they wanted to do was technically a special engagement since it wasn’t our product crashing or anything like that. After I let them know that they would have to pay, they suddenly became unresponsive. Unfortunately I still had to wait until about Midnight EST before we could get going. While I was waiting to hear back from the customer Matt and Jake did the brunt of the packing up of the bus and getting us road ready. I also helped schlepp some of the stuff back to the bus while watching my phone and laptop for a response. After waiting for 3 hours we got out on the road around 11:20 CST. Our goal was to get outside of Dallas and get to Abilene and sleep at a rest stop.
We were sitting around 1/2 a tank of diesel before we left. So I figured we would get outside of the traffic before stopping for a fill up. Unfortunately the route we took, they had the freeway shut down for a portion for road work. We ended up spending about an hour in a traffic jam before we were able to get moving again. After we started getting low on fuel I stopped at the nearest gas station. None of us had eaten dinner so we had 1 option. Whattaburger. Not bad. Not great either, just food. Eventually we made it just outside of Abilene near a rest stop. Pulled in behind 6 other semis and called it a night around 3am CST.
Woke up earlier and later than I wanted, but whatever. Previously in Dallas, we hadn’t emptied out our toilet. It only has pee, but if you let pee sit around in a hot vehicle and you forgot to put Bio Blue in (in this case it was added late with not enough water) it brews some serious funk. Quick note about Bio Blue. If you add it correctly it absolutely helps with the nasty smells that develop. Anyways, Matt was the brave one and emptied it at the rest stop. Good god. The smell. After dumping that and washing hands (and adding Bio Blue with enough water) we got under way. First stop was some small town in west Texas. No breakfast for any of us, but there was a Taco Casa right next to the gas station. Matt got us a nacho and a taco salad. I really wish we had taken a picture, but it was a mountain of food. Not the best way to start a day, but we weren’t hungry for a long while.
We had talked about our route earlier. Jake suggested going through Roswell as the spot we were going to stay at in Norman, OK wasn’t really going to work out. We ended up taking a lot of smaller interstates to get through west Texas. Although, we mainly took US 380. We passed a lot of wind farms. I think Matt and Jake got photos of those. I drove the majority of the way to Roswell. We passed a gas station when we were around 1/2 a tank and thought, ah whatever.. there’s this ‘Caprock’ town just another 30 miles ahead. We get to Caprock, and it’s just a diner that also advertises Fresh Water. Uh oh. No filling station in sight. Okay, whatever. So I keep driving and watching the fuel gauge get lower and lower. The GPS kept telling me to take a right on Atkinson Ave. 30 miles away. 20 miles away. I kept hoping that Atkinson was in Roswell. It was the longest 30 miles I’ve ever driven, watching the gauge go lower and lower. We hit E before we made it to Atkinson. Fortunately the gauge isn’t too accurate. We made it into Roswell! The first spot only had gasoline. No diesel. Shit. Up ahead I see some farm equipment shop. I figured they would know a station that would have diesel. The lady inside pointed us a little further down the street. Saved!
I was pretty excited to see Roswell, unfortunately it just turned out to be a little town. All of my visions of X-Files-esque adventures dashed. We would have stopped and taken in some of the sights but all we had time for was dinner. Matt looked around on Yelp and found some place called Margaritas that had some decent reviews. It was a combination Chinese/Mexican food place. We all got some tacos and margaritas and dug in.
Along the drive, I really got to take in west Texas and New Mexico. I’ve never been in a desert before. Watched the vegetation continue to dwindle and the dirt get redder and redder. West Texas is actually fairly pretty as well as New Mexico. Although New Mexico felt more open and barren.
We made it to American RV Park around 10:30 PM mountain time. We had called ahead earlier and they had dropped our lot and park information into a box in front of the park. Pulled into lot 101 and got everything hooked up and settled in.
Sunday. Matt got ahold of our friend John and found out what he was up to. We decided to meet up for lunch at Filibertos. We all thought, “Hey why don’t we bike there?”. Holy shit. Wrong idea. It took us about 30 minutes to bike there. Unfortunately it was all downhill. And when I say downhill, I mean that I didn’t have to pedal for a solid 15-20 minutes. Just apply brakes to keep speed reasonable. I was already not looking forward to biking back.
We made it to Filibertos and hung out with John and his roommate. We ended up shooting the shit and eating too much food. (Apparently the green chili/salsa is a big deal here) They had to head back, I think John had to go to work. We said our goodbyes and we started on the trek back to the RV Park. Although we had the bright idea to get some groceries beforehand.
We made it back after our long uphill battle. One thing I noticed was how damn dry it was. My eyebrows were like salt licks. I could have seasoned some food with how much salt they were holding.
The next day started out fairly uneventful. We all had to work but John ended up picking us up and taking us into the city. We stopped by Dion’s Pizza for some dinner. We ordered a large pizza with pepperoni and green chile. Pretty good pizza and the chili was a nice touch. After that we headed over to Marble Brewery for some drinks. It’s a local brewery that has a pretty decent IPA.