I used to hear about, and read about, people doing serious road-trips, like crossing the United States from coast to coast. It sounded such fun, though of course, I never expected I'd get the chance to do it. Then our oldest son, recently graduated from medical school in Los Angeles, got ready for a move to Texas and invited us along. So, if you've been wondering why my blog's been so neglected and my comments so sparse (or non-existent) for the last week, that's where we've been.
On Saturday we flew to Los Angeles and walked the beach and touched the sea. Then on Sunday we loaded the car with boxes and cases (people too) and set off. Buildings gave way to agriculture, to windfarms (quite a surprise), to desert and hills. I wanted to photograph every tall white cactus at the start, but soon I realized they weren't going to go away. Then I watched the scrubby bushes grow shorter and sparser as the land grew more dry.
Breakfast in Los Angeles, lunch in Phoenix, dinner in El Paso (really late dinner) - we did three states in one day. Then on Monday we drove in Texas which seemed to be as big as three states all put together. The bushes grew taller and lusher and turned into trees (an even bigger surprise), and I learned, at last, that Texas isn't a desert after all. It's beautiful! And green!
Yesterday I flew home. By some strange coincidence my first flight was from Austin to Long Beach, covering almost the same route we'd driven, but much faster and much higher. I couldn't see the cacti, but I saw the green turn brown. I saw the hills and the ribbons of road that linked them like a necklace trailing beads. And I looked down on the wind-farms during our descent, sails turning lazily next to the shadow of the plane.
So I'm back. I'm tidying emails and snail mails and catching up on washing. And I'm wondering who I can persuade to move from Seattle to San Diego and take me along. It's been a wonderful week, a wonderful road trip, a busy, happy and exciting vacation.