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First Day on the Road

July 18/Day 1. My first day on the road. The goal is to reach Palo Duro Canyon State Park near Amarillo. At 475 miles the ambition is rather modest, though much of the travel is on slower state highways, not the Interstate. No matter, though. I really want to hold speed to under 65, mostly to conserve what fuel I can. Really, the only memorable time I have is in Lubbock, where I happen to be traveling Interstate 27 for a few miles. In every other town or city I’ve been through on an Interstate, there’s at least one, and often several, gas stations at every exit. In Lubbock I find none. When I reach the far edge of town I know I have to turn around and hunt one down, because I’m running low on diesel. So I run a random pattern up and down streets lined with motels and franchise fast food places—the kind of landscape where you’d expect to find fuel. Only after about 30 minutes do I find a little second-tier station, where I finally top off the tank. Of course during the whole episode my lovely GPS lady keeps “recalculating” and insisting that I turn right at every intersection. Next time I’ll shut her down.

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