Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

Green Hair, Spring Break, Dust Storms, and Snow

Green hair on the River Walk, San Antonio

Green Hair and Spring Break

When we planned this trip, we had a fairly good idea that we’d run into some “spring break” activity.  You know, where young people leave school for a few days, occupy some choice real estate, drink themselves silly, and just generally screw around.  Sure enough, we ran into them in Pensacola.  Not a whole lot of them, but they were there.  And they were there in New Orleans.  And on Galveston Island.  Nice beach there on Galveston Island, by the way.  But way too many people clogging the place up.

But I figured we’d “lose” them in San Antonio.  Heck, how many kids want to see the Alamo on Spring Break?  Well, a whole lot apparently.  The place was a zoo.  Not the Alamo so much, but really a mob scene in the River Walk area.  Oh, and it was St. Patrick’s Day.  I’d forgotten about that little reason for getting soused.  That’s where I saw all the kids with green hair.  Like the one in this image.  Most likely, these kids were wearing wigs.  But who knows.  And the guys all had fake green moustaches.  All in all, a bad time to be in San Antonio.  Did you notice the size of her drink?

Dust Storms and Snow

When we left San Antonio yesterday it was merely warm.  Cloudy, but warm.  But it’s a long way across Texas.  East to west, it’s about 850 miles.  We only had to go about 550 miles though (San Antonio to El Paso).  As we zipped along at about 85 mph (the speed limit in most areas is 80), the temperature started to rise.  The highest temperature the Jeep registered was 89.  And as the mercury climbed, so did the wind velocity.  Watching the news in El Paso later, I learned that the winds were gusting over 60 mph.  If you’ve ever driven across the desert, you know that high winds are not a good thing.  If it’s really dry – as it has been in Texas – the dust just picks up and creates dust storms.  It can often lead to near zero visibility.  Kind of like driving in a blizzard.

When we finally got to El Paso (a place we used to live about 100 years ago), the air was choked with dust.  It gets in your nose and eyes and pretty much everywhere else.  Also not good for camera and electronic gear.  So as much as I would have liked to, I took no pictures.  Actually, if I’d been smarter I’d have used my damn phone.  That thing seems impervious to just about anything.

Anyway, we survived the dust and wind.  This morning dawned much cooler, but far less breezy.  So off we went to Chandler, AZ (just south of Phoenix).  And at first it wasn’t too bad – a little rain here and there, but nothing serious.  Then, about 100 miles south of Tucson, the skies unloaded.  Not with rain, but with snow.  I mean we’re talking Arizona here.  The land of sunshine.  There are flowers blooming already.  With lots of pollen in the air.

But not today.  Just bunches of the white stuff.  It didn’t really stick, but it was heavy.  The temperature was also more than 50 degrees colder than it had been 24 hours earlier.  You gotta love variety, right?

All is quiet now.  The sun has come back and it’s 60 degrees.  Tomorrow we’ll be in Las Vegas and weather sanity will return.  Well that sounds funny.  Using “sanity” in the same sentence as “Las Vegas”.  Most people, I guess, would consider that an oxymoron.  I don’t know, though.  At this point it sounds reasonable enough to me.

One last thing.  Texas drivers.  They’re assholes.  Maybe not all of them, but the vast majority.  Worst drivers in the world.  I thought California drivers were bad.  And they are.  But Texas drivers are completely nuts.  Drive like lunatics.  The interesting thing is that the “welcome” sign that you see when you cross the border into Texas asks that you “drive friendly, like Texas drivers”.  I wonder who thought up that catchy little phrase.  Probably a lifetime Texas lunatic.  Rick Perry maybe?


5 Responses to “Green Hair, Spring Break, Dust Storms, and Snow”

  1. Ken Bello

    You’re only 173 miles to Crawford. You can stop and say hello to W. Be careful what you say about Texans. If they dole out any Texas Justice you’ll be in a world of pain.

    • Paul Maxim

      Believe it or not, Ken, we talked about our proximity to the former Prez. I couldn’t get Barb to head in that direction, though. Besides, we’ve been in the Dallas – Fort Worth area before. Not my favorite place. Actually, Texas has a number of big (and in my opinion, ugly) urban areas. Heck, it takes about a day (seems like a day, anyway) to cross Houston. On the interstate. As to “Texas justice”, that may be the only reason I didn’t commit “Road Rage Murder” while crossing the state on I-10. They seem to enjoy exercising their capital punishment laws there.

      • paullesterphoto

        Let me tell you, after living in Texas, Dallas specifically, for 20 years, I don’t even care to visit! Texas is an ugly place, full of urban sprawl and dust! I don’t miss it at all!

  2. Paul Maxim

    Damn, Paul. 20 years in Dallas? We lived in El Paso for a year, and that was bad enough. Actually, we have to drive through the panhandle on the way home (on I-40). But that’s a much shorter drive. Less traffic, too.

    • Paul

      Yep. That’s a long, long time! Glad to be among the trees in North Carolina. That is one move that was entirely necessary and healthy. 🙂


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