Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reconsidering things


Earlier today, while we were stopped at the Texas Canyon rest area, I thought about my comment yesterday, about how boring it is driving through the West, and I decided that that was not entirely accurate.

It is true that going from Point A to Point B is a mechanical exercise, that's equally true in the East. Had I had the luxury of time, I could have made the trip from San Antonio to Phoenix, and presumably on to San Diego, much more interesting than it is when we just get on I-10 at Hildebrand and get off at the 202. I could drive west out of San Antonio to Camp Wood, and up the South Llano River, or over to Langtry and up through the Big Bend Country or the Davis Mountains; I could cut across the corner of New Mexico, through Cloudcroft and Alamogordo, and up through Silver City and into Globe. It'd take a long, long time, and it's all country I've covered before. It still wouldn't be as fascinating as a simple drive through any nondescript part of eastern Tennessee or Kentucky; but it'd be a nice trip.

But as it is, having to be in a certain place at a certain time, the freeway is really the only practical option. And on this particular freeway, once you're past the Hill Country around Kerrville, you've really only got that spot in the Transpecos where the Davis Mountains are to your left, and the Guadalupe Mountains are to your right; and Texas Canyon.

Now, I've never really spent any time at Texas Canyon. There's a rest area there, and that's about it. But it's clear from the graffiti on the rocks nearest the rest area that many people have gone climbing in the rocks. They remind me of Vidavoo Rocks in Wyoming, up in the Laramie Mountains not far from where I used to live. I'm not much of a rock-climber -- never done it, in fact -- but the shapes of the rocks are so weird and other-worldly that even us flatlanders are fascinated by the scenery. Maybe one of these days I'll take a few hours to wander around the rocks in Texas Canyon. Until then, it remains the only point of interest on an otherwise dull trip across open space.

We have two days of masterful inactivity planned here in Phoenix, and will probably divide our time between watching TV and swimming. Maybe I'll go wander around the town some, looking for things to photograph. (Today I got only the one shot at Texas Canyon, of a rock that looks like a lizard, before my battery died; I must've left the camera on.) Or maybe I won't. I would go for a drive, but I've already been to every county in Arizona, and I know from sad experience that I want to stay as far away from the traffic in this town, especially to the North, where all the most interesting scenery lies, as I can.