Making Up Lost Time

Despite the high wind warning lasting until midnight, the wind itself went away around sunset on Wednesday. I decided to make up some lost time.

No, not that way, though that was fun to make while sitting still with time on my hands. Preparations for warp speed were minimal, and I hit the road as the sun went down. It was just me and the trucks out there for about two hours. I made a fuel stop and noticed that ethanol-free gas was available at the same pump. I filled the van with the usual regular, then took my almost empty gas can out of the trailer and filled it with ethanol-free. I’ll use that gas in my generator, and since I rarely use it, it will be good to run some of this through to prevent the carburetor from getting gummed up from sitting. I should pick up some fuel stabilizer as well, which I used to store my motorcycles during the winter back when I had to.

With no drama, I reached the Ozona Visitor’s Center, which iOverlander had recommended to me. There’s a nice park, and four extra-long parking spaces intended for longer rigs like mine to park in. I pulled up next to a semi and a pickup towing a Casita. Lister wanted to go exploring immediately, but since it was dark I declined and settled in for sleep instead. With a little creative timing, I’d safely put myself back on schedule.

The next morning the Casita left, and I turned around to occupy the parking space right next to a large grassy island for Lister to explore while I worked. After using the nice public bathrooms (only open during business hours) and checking out the visitor’s center, I got back on the road for the last leg. This was a great overnight stop, though. I’d recommend it to anyone, especially travelers with dogs since there’s an area set aside for them to do their business.

Slowly, the landscape changed from barren and empty to hilly, which forced me to slow down on the uphills. Traffic picked up as we started to approach civilization. While I was in the left lane behind one truck, passing an even slower truck in the left lane, the truck ahead of me hit a deer. What emerged from under the truck was not a pretty sight. I managed to avoid it (no mean feat while towing a trailer) and took no damage, but the front of the van and sides of the trailer got splattered. I just washed them a few days ago, but I definitely need to wash them again. I’ll spare you from pictures.

Google Maps first failed to reroute me around a traffic backup on I-10, then took me on the strangest rerouting imaginable, taking exits and blasting straight back onto the entrance ramps — after the traffic was gone. There was a legitimate cause for the original slowdown, a semi on its side in the median. The westbound direction was at a standstill as emergency crews cleaned up the mess, but my eastbound side was moving just fine by the time I got there — no thanks to Google.

Finally, I entered civilization. Traffic picked up a bit, but I got through it. The neighborhood was smaller than it looked on the map, but we managed to cram my van and trailer into the driveway. I’m not looking forward to backing it out of here, but that’s a problem for another day.

A clone of Lister appears to rule the neighborhood. He’s visited a few times. They might be becoming friends? Lister yowled and hissed during the first meeting, but he seems to be relaxing a bit. It reminds me of that Spider Man meme.

It’s been good to catch up with Andrea, swap motorcycle stories with Jim, and share critters with Morghann, whose bird Eloise is quite friendly when she isn’t biting you. The dogs are super friendly as well, while simultaneously serving as the world’s best alarm system. No one will sneak up on this house, and four German Shepards barking would likely scare away any intruder.

People keep telling me places I should visit while I’m in San Antonio. I’ll have to break out the motorcycle and check some of them out, as well as visit some other people I know in the area. This is a decent home base for all that, plus they’re having a barbecue here tomorrow. There’s no way I’m missing a genuine Texas barbecue while I’m here.

I don’t care for traveling in Cannonball mode like I’ve been doing. It’s been necessary to take advantage of short breaks in the cold or windy weather along my route. It’ll be good to sit for a few days, then resume traveling at a slower pace. Birgit and Tom, who I did nearly all of Route 66 with, prefer to avoid highways and tolls, which suits me just fine. That’s why I’ve allowed over two weeks to get from Texas to Florida, taking the fun way instead of the highway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s