Backing it up....
|ANTOHER FINE HINDU-AMERICAN INN IN SIERRA BLANCA, TEXAS, $45 YANKEE GREENBACKS|
I left Sierra Blanca mid morning.. uh.. yesterday. Yup. Got onto ornery Interstate Route 10, heading across the bottom of the state... and turned on the gas. Lots of miles to cover in Te.xas... as far as I'm concerned, West Texas has nothing... just barren, straight, and endless.
|MOUNTAINS ARE IN MEXICO|
Thank God Fort Stockton appeared on the horizon at the very last minute.. talk about running on fumes...the needle on my guage was completely outside of the red zone... on the bad side.
A hundred mile later I rolled into a town called Ozona.. biggest 'burb in the region, and not saying much. Strange little place... real back-woods, southwest Texas town. Little agricultural village, in the middle of Great Nowhere; west texas buildings with the square facades and Old West, castled roof-lines. But they had a modern tidy high school with a team called the Wildcats... and a little, dry, town square where I pulled into to take a photo of Davey Crockett,.. who apparently has no connection with Ozone whatsoever except for the fact that they both have something to do with Texas. Hey, everyone needs a hero. While I was trying to take a snapshot of old Crockett, my wispy strands of long hair floating around my face, I turned and saw that an ominous, white, Dodge Charger with a big "Texas Ranger" pointed star painted on the door had just pulled into a strategic position very nearby, too nearby, and seemed to be watching me carefully. Now, this being a town so remote from yer modern Ikea Civilization, the very idea that some Yankee with a queer ponytail could possibly be riding a motorcycle through there might be Sufficient Cause, and as I just didn't need anymore Texas K-9 experiences, thank you. I gently replaced the helmet over my Coiffure and motored along back to the highway as quietly as possible. Heh Heh.
|"BE SURE YOU ARE RIGHT, THEN GO AHEAD"|
Back to the Bottomless Run... El Paso to Austin, which is something like 550 miles. That's a long day, and I don't care what you're riding. At 90 mph steady, the vibrations were doing a number on my hands and Ball Package, which, if you've ever spent time on a sportbike, you might understand. I took numerous stops, re-arranging a carefully-folded bandana in my shorts, but every halt simply increased the duration of the trip. Really... just a stupefyingly long ride.
|A BAD CHOICE|
Endless... simply endless.
Yes, I said that already, but, well, fuck you. You weren't there. I have the right to repeat myself. Go start your own goddamm blog.
Finally, after scurrying under various looming storm clouds, I headed right into a line of showers that kept up for the two further hours into Austin. Tough slogging, as the road was wtisty and poorly paved, and trying to peer through a plastic faceshield covered with water droplets after dark is draining.
Before Austin, still in the hills, I came across a dramatic scene where a small car had run into a ditch somehow and a cop was shoving some kid forward, up and out of it, locked tightly in handcuffs. The cruiser still had it's siren blaring away. The cop didn't look happy at all, and neither did the kid. I passed by slowly.
Down into Austin finally. Exhausted, I rode down through monsterous highway overpasses within the nightime city limits, looking for Motel 6 signs... my signal that I'd reached Budget Drydock. Tough to find... but when I finally did, the girl behind the bank-glass-thick window just about Read me my Rights, if I wanted to stay there. Obviously a high crime area.. which a motorcycle shop worker, very articulate and educated, attested adamantly to today... "These Mexican 'bangers will take that bike of yours and hoist it by board onto a pickup truck before you can even take your hands out of your pockets".
Crashed out happily, bike locked up as best as possible outside my window and my soggy rain-gear dripping off hangars across the room.
Today I got up and had an expensive breakfast at a divey place that had no air-conditioning, and I realized that I'm now out oif the Desert and into the South. The humid South. I began sweating immediately, and all day tropical showers have been pelting the area. I went out and found a large bike shop to get maintenance parts (air filter again...chain-cleaning materials...new faceshield for my helmet... $145 ouch). The guys there were super friendly, and this does seem to be the Norm in Texas.. people ultra kindly. Unless they want to steal from you. Watch them. They're not happy. Anyway, I was told where I should go as a tourist, and I managed to get to at least one place: Downtown Capitol district, 6th Street. Twenty bars and plenty of live music... and Austin prides itself on being the "Live Music Capitol of the World". Personally, I think that's a bold claim... but the Texans are happy to boast about almost anything Texas-related, so...
I wiggled my bike into a parking spot on 6th Street, and of course this is one of the great benefits of touring on a light motorcycle: manoervability and parking. I wandered up and down the street... the architecture is a blend of 1890 square-topped facade and modern urban pragmatism... most of the places I went into were cavernous and very old... almost all had a stage of some sorts. Raw, ancient rafters and crumbling, hundred-year-old bricks were the norm. I was there just at the end of Happy Hour, oin a Tuesday, (is it? How nice to lose track)... and as such I was between shifts of sorts. Nonetheless I had a few Lone Star beers and watched a handful of bands gettinmg started. One thing I could clearly see: there are plenty of guitar players in the South and boy, you'd better have your chops together if you expect to play Austin. I was sorry to end it early, but I simply don't want to take too many chances with the Public Safety (cops) on this part of the Tour. I packed it in around nine PM and rolled back to my homey Motel 6. Everything is scattered around this room... totally un-packed... but I did LAUNDRY... a great luxury, as generally you rinse out your socks and underwear for the next day... every few days wash out the one pair of black riding jeans... usually still wet in the morning when you squeak them on, cold and soggy.
Tomorrow back up to the bike shop on Rte 35, where I will disassemble all four carburetors in their parking lot asnd clean out as clogged pilot jet that has started causing some hiccups. Not taht I need to do it at a bike shop... but it's not far away, and God Forbid I snap something off like I did in Urbana, at least I won't need a tow-truck.