Jackson’s Index

Number of hours spent in the minivan we rented
to drive home for Christmas : 70

Miles driven : 4,309

Least paid for regular unleaded gas : $1.99/gallon (in Texas)

Most paid : $2.99/gallon (in California, near the airport)

Weather conditions driven through : snow, fog, rain

Most fun, yet undocumented, coincidence :
passing mile 420 on I-10 in Texas at 4:20PM

Best combination of items sold at gas station along the way : fireworks,
moccasins, ceramic dogs, dream catchers, ‘Murica t-shirts,
Dairy Queen (Butterfield Station in New Mexico)

Most bothersome vanity plate : ienvyme
(in Houston, California plates)

Number of rainbows witnessed : three, all in California

Most dramatic highway event (tie) : overturned 18-wheeler, huge fire late at night

Terrain driven through : mountains, desert, prairie, swampland

Most unexpected thing I said : “That’s a fucking camel!”
as we passed a truck hauling a trailer…with a camel inside

Most awkward conversation : hearing about polar shifts
from the guy working the night shift at the hotel

Want to see some pictures?

with one or two exceptions, we stuck to Pilot/Flying J truck stops - clean bathrooms inside and usually a place for the dogs to use the bathroom outside - here, our minivan takes a breather
minivans may not look like much, but this B was a great road cruiser (side note: with one or two exceptions, we stuck to Pilot/Flying J truck stops – consistently clean bathrooms inside and a place for the dogs to do their business outside)
the first sign the weather might not be agreeable
we left before dawn – as the sun came up, so did the fog (not unusual where we live) – the skies cleared for a bit, but then we started to see signs the weather might not be agreeable ahead
(for my theater friends) so this is where the title came from?
so this is where that play’s title came from – we also passed Woman Hollering Creek (book by Sandra Cisneros) on I-10 near San Antonio – maybe I’ll name my next play “Have you seen THE THING?”
Palo Verde nuclear generating station – no, that doesn’t look menacing at all
something about these things really makes me uncomfortable
something about these things makes me uncomfortable – like the blades are going to spin free and chop my head off (I like to worry about stuff)
there were variations on DWI messaging by state – this was in Arizona – Texas had “Buzzed driving is drunk driving” and “Drive sober or get pulled over”
Arizona doesn’t fuck around when it comes to rain
a lot of our drive looked like this
and this
this chick's bumper sticker should have said, "
this chick’s bumper sticker should have said, “CAUTION: Driver texting while propelling vehicle 80 MPH down highway” – it was disturbing the number of drivers who were buried in their hand computers instead of the important task of driving
transparent semi
transparent semi
I'm going to guess that the middle sign used to say "MOTEL"
I’m going to guess that the middle sign used to say “MOTEL”
we’ve been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah – and we’re still willing
oh, Texas, don't ever change
oh, Texas, don’t ever change
there was one reason for this trip back home – to see the people we love – my niece and nephew both grew up in the 9 months since we moved – Rowan is a whiz at building things
and Molly is a tough girly-girl who loves to play, whether with marshmallow guns, Barbie dolls, a musical instrument, an iPad or a Hello Kitty used as a ball
on the way back, we stayed at Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn – they aren’t kidding when they say it’s the sister to El Paisano in Marfa – they’re practically identical twins
our last Texas meal was this chicken fried steak with jalapeño gravy and roasted asparagus (from the restaurant at El Capitan) – had to get it to go because our dogs need constant love and attention and won’t let us go have dinner for five minutes without them
leaving Van Horn, we were surprised to find it was snowing – my driving-in-snow experience is limited to once (in Houston), so it was a trip to drive through some fairly heavy snow on the interstate for about an hour
later that day, blue skies and sunshine in Arizona at Texas Canyon (shortly after taking this picture, I slid down the hill on my ass, unintentionally – only like 15 or 20 people saw it happen, so no biggie) (when you’re clumsy and take a tumble here and there, you learn/earn the ability to dust yourself off and hop up rather quickly, even though you scraped some skin off your palm and have a sore ass) (so, yay?)
if you ever find yourself driving through the California desert and stop for expensive gas or a trip through the General Patton Memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit, check to see if my sticker is still there
there’s something very exciting in this picture – no, not the Sizzler billboard, look behind it – DINOSAURS – what’s funny is in a conversation with my mother, we were talking about road trips where you just drive to get there as quickly as possible versus those where you take detours along the way – I said that one day I want to go on a road trip where I can stop at a dinosaur museum if I ever run across one
fast forward a couple of days later, and we’re driving through southern California around lunch time – we were going to get a Fatburger (since it played a part in Ice Cube’s special day, we thought we’d give it a try) (though I consider a breakfast with no hog to be missing something) – my hand computer claimed there was one about 40 miles ahead – as we exited the highway, I saw these fellows – so we made a slight detour – sadly, there was only time for pictures and no tour – you can climb inside this brontosaurus and look through little round windows
this was my favorite
the t-rex was my favorite
hhmmmm...yeah...I think this might be a trap for those of us who really like dinosaurs
robotic dinosaur museum cave – looks legit
don’t tell me what to do
I’ll spare you the sentimentality, but it was great seeing our people – well worth the thousands of miles and close quarters with one dog that farts and another who has breath that can peel paint off the walls – maybe next time we’ll fly

4 responses to “Jackson’s Index”

  1. Ah, the memories of long gone days… Crystal, my life is no longer complete without your essays.

  2. Road trip memories are the best! Right up your alley or genre for the next screenplay. There is barely any work that has been written about the road……..

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