Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 33 pt II: Revenge of the Blog

After stretching and putting on a fresh layer of deodorant, I drove to an IHOP I had seen earlier that morning. Normally I would look for a local alternative, but having had only two hours of what can only be very loosely called sleep, I wasn't in the mood to hunt.

I had coffee and some food, the more important part of the meal being the coffee. As a side, I have noticed a definite hierarchy in the world of 24 hour diners. It usually runs something like this: local diner, Shari's, IHOP, Denny's, Waffle House. I do what I can to avoid the bottom half of that scale. I've at least learned my lesson about Waffle House. Yeesh.

By the time I finished eating and had my fill of coffee, there was still approximately two and a half hours until I could check into my motel. My plan was to check in, take a nap, then head out again for the evening/night. But I still had some time to kill. I drove around a little longer, ending up at another mega store; Super Target. Super indeed. I spent an hour or so reading Sports Illustrated about the Olympics, and generally bumming about.

I'm starting to think that this blog entry may be becoming a bit on the boring side, so I'll speed things up.

At noon I headed over to the Motel 6, only to discover that they were still cleaning rooms. I was to return at or after two, the clerk informed me. More time to kill. Fortunately breakfast had done me well, and I was feeling well enough without a nap. When coming to Austin, I decided that I was pretty finished with doing the touristy thing, finished seeing monuments and historic buildings and other such riff raff. I just wanted to get a feel for the city. So I headed back to the university district. I bought a book from a local bookstore (Flatland by Edwin Abbott, I'm stoked to read it), and ate a delicious calzone at a neat restaurant called Mellow Mushroom. The atmosphere was pleasant, staff friendly, and food more than adequate.

Somewhere in this timeline I also visited an amazing beer and wine store to pick up some of the original Keep Austin Weird stickers, plus some Texas beer. It's kinda fuzzy when this actually occurred, though.

By the time I got back to the motel, I was allowed to get my key. By this point, I was tired and smelly and sleepy and grimy. I took a shower, and promptly did nothing else for a long time (although I did watch Fur, a fictitious story about the photographer Diane Arbus, on HBO; it was pretty good). Around eight I thought I'd go find some internet so as to download more work. On the way to Starbucks, however, I was distracted by the sunset and ended up getting myself nearly lost driving around a lake for two hours. Fun with exploration.

At my poetic best.
The next morning I had big plans. First on the list was Prairie Chapel Ranch, aka the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas. I had a bit of a tough time finding the place at first; there are obviously no large signs pointing you in the right direction. But eventually, I was finding the intersection you take to get to the ranch. Unfortunately, that's as far as I was able to get, as there was a checkpoint blocking the road to the ranch itself. Big surprise. No worries, however, as I was still able to perform my democratic duty of expressing my disagreement with the administration's positions and policies, as seen in the photograph.

In all honesty, I can understand why the Bushes like the ranch, the landscape is fairly beautiful (for Texas), with gently rolling hills and various streams running through the area. Also, the house next to the ranch with the white SUVs, locked gate, property of US government signs, and giant antennas adds a nice ambiance .

What kind of doctor is Mr. Pepper anyways? Doctor of
awesome beverages, probably. With a masters in delicious.
From Austin, it was a short jaunt to my next destination: Dublin, Texas. But Colin, you may be asking yourself, what could you possibly find interesting in such a small town in the middle of Texas? Certainly your time would have been better spent in a more well known city? On the contrary, I say. Let me introduce you to Dublin Dr Pepper; only bottled in the town of Dublin, Texas. And, the only bottler of Dr Pepper that still uses real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. I bought a 24 case (of glass bottles, naturally). Bids start at $5 per bottle when I get back.

I finished the day in San Angelo. After driving quite a long ways that day, I felt like kicking back. So I went to the grocery store and picked up a six pack of Broken Halo! Touche Texas, touche. Your selection of beers has far surpassed my expectations. It was a nice taste of home.

This morning after getting up, I spent some time at Schlotzky's (or as Matt would call it, Not Quiznos) eating a delicious sandwich and, more importantly, posting today's first blog. Free wifi for the win.

Today's drive was mostly uneventful, other than almost getting hit by a car merging into my lane. I had passed into the western Texas deserts and oil fields, so the landscape was quite desolate. I did, however, see the largest wind turbine farm I've seen since Europe. And a roadrunner (I think). Oh yeah, and a zebra.

I passed into New Mexico around 4:30, which promptly became 3:30. I must say traveling west across timezones is far superior to the other way around. I tried to go to the Carlsbad Caverns, but unfortunately I missed the last opportunity for the day, so that's first on the agenda for tomorrow.

Oh yeah, one last thing. I had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, which was good in and of itself. However, after my meal I was served sopaipillas. If you are ever offered sopaipillas, the correct answer is always "yes please" (or "si por favor" if you prefer). Trust me.

Vegeta, what does the scouter say about his mileage level?? OVER 9000!!!!
Other things I have been listening to:
Fiona Apple - Tidal
Staind - Dysfunction
Linkin Park - Reanimation
Anberlin - Cities
Alice in Chains - Jar of Flies
Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards
Mae - The Everglow
Jurassic 5 - Power In Numbers


Cate said...

I'm going to call one of those Dr. Peppers. I'll find a way to fund the expenses. Also, waaaaaa: Zebra???

matt said...

haha, I'll slap down $5 for one of those DPs!! I had forgoten all the Texas Dr Peppers! you win everything thats ever been!

g said...

i think you just had the most interesting trip through central texas that any human has had. ever.

ben and bri had to live in San Angelo for a year while she was at training for the air force... yeaah, not much of a town, apparently. What'd you think?