I'm on one of those drives that I recommend everyone take at least once in their lives: the desolate, beautiful skirt across the bottom of the country. Interstate 10 is not for the road-weary, nor is it for those without air conditioning, but it gives you a good sense of our country's physical perspective that airplanes can't equal.
Of course, it's also a 2,000,000-square-mile golfing range if you look at it the right way. Back in the winter, when I knew I'd eventually be taking this trip, I daydreamed about thwacking the hell out of the ball at the most barren part of the journey, and I think I found the place: somewhere near the "Big Bend" of the Rio Grande, where you can go days without seeing Jonathan Q. Law.
Environmentalists, don't worry: I only hit four balls, and I'm sure they'll biodegrade in about 370 years. It was way, way too hot to hit any more, and the wind was blowing 50mph in the wrong direction. "Into the teeth," as semi-pro golfer Block might say.
As for the Desert Southwest, say what you want about Starbucks and/or the Flying J Truck Stop (god knows I have) but if it weren't for them, there would be NO INTERNET WITHIN 800 MILES. I bemoaned the lack of broadband down here two and a half years ago and nothing seems to have changed; Moore's law must have melted in the heat.
Speaking of which, I have endured much heat in my life - summer in Kenya comes to mind - but I can honestly say I've never experienced this (check red arrow):
That's right, 100 degrees Fahrenheit at midnight. I recommend to all of you on this road trip to stock up on saline nasal spray, because you'll bloody well need it.
One more day on the road!Posted by Ian Williams at June 29, 2005 10:43 PM