Texas: Study-Butte + Fort Stockton
Back at home most of my mornings were spent negotiating with my snooze button. I go over the deal in my head — If I stay in bed for another 15minutes, I can get dressed quicker for work and get there the same time.
I was reminded how lucky we are to be wanderers on the American road during the day we arrived at Study-Butte. We were in the middle of desert, surrounded by red-rock mountains and our phones had died for two full days. We didn't have the need to check the time nor did we care. We watched the day transform into the night not by seeing the time on our phones but by seeing the sun go up and down. It made me feel blissfully free.
The drive between Study-Butte and Fort Stockton was an interesting one. On the way we were stopped by the U.S Border Patrol who asked us to step out of our van whilst they checked it for 'narcotics and Mexicans' (their words, not mine). They asked us a million and one questions like; where are we from, what do we do for a living at home and where were we heading next. After the officers had finished inspecting, they turned friendly and complimented our motorhome before sending us off on our way.
And so we took off, keen and eager to reach our destination after a long drive under the red-hot sun until we heard a big thump as we were driving along a back country road. We signalled off and thought 'here we go again' after finding a flat tire that forced us to detour into a small town to find a local mechanic.
The one thing we learned from this situation though is this; sometimes a flat tire is not a bad thing at all; sometimes it leads you to a lovely small town where the locals are only too happy to give you a personal tour of their patch of dirt, a humble place where they were born and raised.
The next morning in Fort Stockton was the day of my Father's birthday. It was the third year I celebrated his birthday without him here after he passed. I found it very hard to be away from home on such a day. I found a vintage book full of short poems in a little thrift store in Alpine days before. It's called To My Dad and inside the front cover someone had written 'To my father, much love from Alice - December 1913'. I spent the day reading the book and thinking of all the funny memories we had together.