Volume I : Chapter XVIII
It's true, everything is bigger in Texas; big sky, long stretches of highway, huge expectations. I had a list a mile long of all the things I wanted us to see and do in Texas. The problem was that Texas is huge, geographically, and getting around to all these places seemed impossible in the time frame we had given ourselves. The weather was extreme too, it would go from from freezing to blazing summer heat in a matter of hours and somehow we were always prepared for the opposite scenario. Cutting the legs off my pants was maybe a rash decision.
Marfa was very much out of our way, you don't go to Marfa by accident, there is very little before and after it for 100s of miles. It's worth the drive though and we're always looking for a break from the I-10.
The town fits a lot in the few square blocks it has, it feels bigger than is it. We couldn't afford to stay anywhere so we parked the trailer on the main road and walked around. The city hall is beautiful and from the top you can see the entire town and out past where it quickly turns to flat emptiness for miles straight on. We checked out a few bars, stumbled out late and someone bought us a grilled cheese. We fell asleep on the side of the road (in the trailer of course). The next day we had to get back up to the I-10, my second most hated stretch of road (parts of the I-5 place first) and head east. We had a lot of miles ahead of us.
Things kept going wrong and I was noticing a pattern with the moon. Every time the moon was full something bad would happen and this time it landed on a big driving day. We had a place to stay in San Antonio but didn't quite make it on our own. A few miles from where we needed to be we broke down in the centre lane, at rush hour in 100 degree heat. The moon was rising soon.
We stayed in San Antonio for over a week after we seized our alternator. Luckily a Sister on the Fly came and scooped us and the trailer off the side of the road and put us up. We even got to attend their families thanksgiving dinner (we sat at the kids table). Their dog was a retired Sea World show dog with bad joints.
After San Antonio we were headed to Austin. We didn't know anyone in the city but friends of friends suggested we meet Matty, one of the guys behind Flattrack Coffee. He ended up letting us live on his front yard and on the colder nights we camped in his living room and drank cinnamon whiskey.
Matty was the first of many incredibly kind people we met in Austin. I had assumed Austin was going to be a lot like Portland, interesting yet unfriendly. Austin was the opposite and I loved it. Almost every day we would go down to Flattrack and see Matty, have a coffee and make a plan. From sitting on those stools those mornings we made new friends every day and soon we had ourselves more than enough people to keep us busy with while we were in town.
Here we celebrated our 100th day on the road. We wanted to do something ridiculous to celebrate. We brainstormed with our friend Nina, she mentioned her Evel Knievel costume and we knew we had to use it. We ripped through our tickle trunk, we had amassed a pretty impressive one while we still had money to spare, and picked out our most American gear. A few hours later in a mess of exhaust and smoke bombs we were skitching around the neighborhood behind her. Of all our 100 days so far, the good ones were outweighing the bad by a long shot.
Time was passing quickly again, as it tends to when you're having fun and Jen had asked us if we wanted to house/dog sit for her over Christmas in New Orleans. She lived right in the French Quarter and there seemed like no better place to go.
Words by: Kyla Trethewey