TRAVELS IN AMERICA. Toto, I’ve a feeling we are not in Canada anymore.
GAS. No enroute service right on the highway. You have to exit to fill up. Gas is still cheap, from 2.71/gallon in Arizona to 3.59 in California. Food on the gas station strip is still terrible. That’s why I carry the essentials. For me, that’s bread, cheese, wine, a thermos of real coffee, and a tin of home baked cookies.
MOTELS. Either I’m getting deafer or the AC/heating fans are quieter and the fridges less shuddering. Breakfast is still prepackaged and consists of what is known in the trade as food products (as opposed to real food) and served with a hot brown liquid they insist on calling coffee. I stay away from it.
TV. I no longer own a TV, so here was my chance to find out what I’m missing. Nada. Same old prevalence of trash. I think I’ll go on living without newsy news, cute animal stories, talent-less people singing and dancing and the rest of the depressing fare.
ART SURPRISE. Marfa (near Pecos in Texas), an artists’ colony. One Marfan has a sly sense of humour. There is a “Prada Store” by the side of the road, well, actually an installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. It's a concrete building with plate glass store front. Inside: nicely arranged stiletto heeled shoes and Prada bags, but no one to serve you of course. There is also a fish-like blimp tethered near a farm house. No bill board advertising blimp rides, so I naturally assumed it was another installation. Turns out it's an Aerostat Radar site. Who knew the US Air Force had such artistic potential?
HIKES. fantastic, but you need pathfinder skills to find trail heads. My favourite hike (well marked) is out of Tucson: Bear Canyon to 7 Falls. You see Saguaro and other cacti, boulders, a picturesque water fall, and have the thrill (for someone like me without a sense of balance) of crossing a creek seven times, hopping stones or else waterlogging your boots.