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Pulling Into StageCoach

May 1, 2008
Three days of driving takes us from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Indio, California, near Palm Springs. Nearly half the drive is within Texas which we are finding is a beautiful state with very distinct regional differences. We spent much of our first day’s drive in the Hill Country west of San Antonio and Austin which is rolling and green. Day Two was mostly in the Big Bend Country in far western Texas, and it is very different. Very dry. Cactus and Yucca are the featured vegetation. The area is subject to dust storms and some heavy winds. We didn’t see the dust storms, but definitely felt the wind gusts as we drove. It is also an area where you have to pay attention to where the next gas station is located. You can go some good distances with no services. Found the Texas Highway Patrol in good evidence, but I suspect they are there to help people who may have vehicle problems as they are to look for speeders.

The Border Patrol was in evidence throughout west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Patrolling the highways and in one case, closing I-10 and diverting all traffic through what is normally a weigh station to check for drugs and illegal immigration. We were waved through.

Texas is definitely a state we will return to for some private vacationing. Besides, there is lots of BBQ in Texas that needs to be sampled. See http://www.texasbbqtrail.com/.

Days two and three of our drive featured plenty of wind and long hill climbs. Cactus of many varieties throughout the drive, and some were blooming which was a special treat. We both think cactus would be an advantage for planting around our house in Tennessee. Surely the deer wouldn’t nibble the cactus like they do most everything else we plant.

Gas prices are lower in New Mexico and Arizona compared to Texas, but California is in a zone by itself. Typically $3.49 in Texas and as low as $3.39 in Arizona. Gas here in Palm Springs is about $3.95.

“Name of the day” was on the side of a bridge giving the name of the road running over I-10 in Arizona. Sore Finger Road. Surely there is a fun explanation for the name.

On Thursday, we will do taste samples featuring Chipotle sauce by Tabasco, and Weber Grill Creations Kick ‘N Chicken seasoning at a nearby Wal-Mart store, then move our trailer to the Stagecoach Festive site in Indio, CA. On Friday through Sunday, we will be talking BBQ, doing a couple of grilling demonstrations, and passing out lots of samples. Besides a big music festival here, we have two Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned BBQ contests this weekend. One Saturday with $25,000 in prize money and a second contest on Sunday with $5,000 on the line.

If today’s wind is an example, it is going to be a windy, dusty weekend. Tonight’s local news carried stories of dust storms causing brown-outs on some highways, and a truck blown over by wind gusts. The fire danger level is high here because of the winds.

We will write more in a couple of days to tell you a little about the Stagecoach Festival.

Linda and Ernie
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