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Westward Ho: Day Two

Current time: 12:43pm (Mountain Time) Current song: “Paper Wings” by Gillian Welch Current snack: a bag of unusually fresh and crunchy CornNuts, Spicy Hot V8 Current state: New Mexico

This morning mom and I compared overnight notes and came to the agreement that we each slept really well. I’m pretty sure I didn’t budge — woke up in the same position as when I fell asleep. I suppose that is owed partly to the fact that I was on a tight top bunk in the cabin and partly to the fact that we woke at 5am yesterday and I was quite sleepy. While we were loading the car we were listening to Robinella and the CC String Band. She sings a song called “Morning Dove” and in the chorus she imitates the sound of a turtle dove’s cooing with her warbly voice. At the very same time as she did this in the song, a real dove in the tree outside our cabin was doing the same. The real bird must have felt upstaged and I’m guessing she thought she needed to show that human broad how it’s really done. It was pretty sweet. Sweet and hilarious. We cleaned up, packed up, had thick coffee with cream and English muffins with sliced tomato (eggs and all other accoutrements went out the window when we woke a bit later than we ought’ve) and hit the road. I took the morning shift because I like early driving best. Fresh-faced, wide-eyed, and lead-footed.

We just passed a billboard for a truck stop that boasted “Lotsa Rocks!” Really? People get off the interstate to buy rocks? Well now, this next billboard for the same place is also touting the fact that they have a “Flame Thrower!” and “Peanut Brittle!” there, so I suppose there are many unexplored virtues at the Flying C Ranch. Add “Agate Bookends!” to that growing list of goods. They’ve also got “Ample Parking For Your Big Rig!” Whew, that’s great news, because my big rig usually presents a problem.

There is a long train snaking east to our right at the present. From where I sit, it looks like it’s going the wrong way, and fast. I think it’s carrying coal and oil, if I had to guess. Maybe some bananas and some immigrants. The bright yellow Union Pacific engine, painted with an undulating, ragged American flag, is making quick work of these red mesas and green valleys. Just one more snapshot of Americana. There are so many reasons why it’s called the Heartland, and I’ll add that mental image to my list.

Signing off for now. I am itching to get to the end of the line, get out of this car and off my sore rear, and have a good long mind bending stretch. I can almost taste the pool. It tastes like a freshly laundered towel, sunscreen, the pages of my book and maybe a little nap. Oh, and a lot of chlorine. Yum.

ADDENDUM: SUPPER #1. making the black bean ‘stew’ #2. frying four, count ’em, four, perfect eggs #3. ahhhh, sweet perfection: black bean, green chile ‘stew’ with leftover flank steak, cheddar cheese, fried eggs, tomatoes, and of course, the universal utensil, the chip

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