Day 8: Houston, Texas-Junction, TX-Carlsbad, New Mexico

August 30
Houston, Texas-Junction, TX-Carlsbad, New Mexico
Miles: 651.8
Music: Kevin Define, OCMS, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Owl City

Today so far has been a really spectacular day. We woke up to Roe making us a hearty breakfast of sausage, eggs, ham, and rolls. We realized that it is the first time we have eaten breakfast food at breakfast for the first time all trip. Sheesh. Anyway it was delicious. Hit the road around 11 and said our goodbyes to Roe. HE is a fantastic person and we are so glad we were able to spend some time with him!

On the road most of the day. We kept seeing signs for beaver nuggets and said we had to stop at that place. It turned out to be a crazy huge rest stop with really nice bathrooms and lots of food. The beaver nuggets turned out to be really sugary snacks coated in more sugar. They were kinda like cracker jacks only less healthy. I bought 14 dollars worth of fudge. That was a really good idea. I saw a really funny poster in the bathroom. It had all kinds of guns like six shooters and revolvers with all the names of them. The title of the poster….The Peacekeepers. Oh Texas and you’re backwards logic. No offense to people who love guns. I just thought it was an interesting title. Instead of opening up that can of worms, I’ll move on…

There was also a sign with all the different kinds of barbed wire there are. Yeah.

I was happy because Darea called me (my previous travel buddy) and Brenna, who I’m going to see in Los Angeles!

Drove a really long ways because lets face it, TEXAS IS HUMONGOUS!! We’ve been driving and driving and all we see is the landscape become more and more desert-like. We are excited for the changes though. The highlight of the day by far was stopping for gas in Junction, Texas. It is a tiny tiny town with not much there. There was however a really cool river and a dam. We found a rope swing and went swimming in a Texas river! I looked it up and it was called the South Llano River. The water was blue-ish green and very pleasant temperature. We swam around for a bit then got back on the road!

So far this whole trip we have been luck enough to be able to stay with my friends from previous travels and a couple couch surfers. We decided we’ve been too spoiled so tonight the plan is to drive till about 11pm, pull off the highway in northwestern Texas or Southeastern New Mexico and camp on the outskirts of a small town. Sleep in the car if we have to but we’ll set up the tent if we can!

And we’ve been driving all day and night. Almost to Juarez right by Mexico. We stopped for gas and saw a very interesting sign. The sign read: Carlsbad Caverns and pointed in north. (We were headed mostly West) After a brief discussion Nate and I decided it was about time for a spontaneous decision at the last minute. We headed north and drove on the most desolate road so far on the trip. We didn’t see cars for miles and miles. The sun had gone down but the moon and stars illuminated the landscape pretty well. It was obviously becoming more and more of a desert. Many critters were seen on the side of the road. We saw lots of little birds and a couple coyotes. I was spacing out or using my phone when I heard Nate scream like a little girl and abruptly swerve the car all over the place. This was followed by a massive thump from under the car.

Nate killed a bunny rabbit. A jackrabbit to be specific. We stopped and got out to assess the damage. The car was fine but the rabbit had seen better days. Basically his or her guts were spread all over the road and it died pretty much instantly. We both felt bad but I’m sure Nate felt worse. We literally said a prayer to any higher being that was listening for the rabbit to have safe passage into the afterlife where he can eat lots of food, run through beautiful meadows and have sex all the time. Ya know like rabbits do.

Back in the car I played Jeff Buckley’s “Halleluiah” and drove for some time in complete silence.

Just outside the Carlsbad caverns state park we thought that it would be more adventurous and exciting to find somewhere to sleep off the road. We drove down some rural looking gravel trail near a cow field. Finding a kind-of-hidden place to park, we unpacked the tent, put blankets in it and went to sleep. Not long after we had laid down did I start to hear the sound of about 20 cows moo-ing their heads off bout 20 yards form us. It wasn’t too difficult to fall asleep. In fact it was really nice to sleep in the desert with nothing but us, the stars, and sounds of nocturnal animals sniffing about. Slept well that night.

Nate just said “I can’t wait to write my retort to that”
I said “Nate there’s nothing to retort about, you’re still a murderer”

Nate exuberates:
I hate rabbits.

Love Nate & Luke