Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Exit Zero

About 5 PM today, I cross into the great flat beyond that is Interstate 10 through Texas. 

Texas Forever.  That’s what the kids on Friday Night Lights always said.  To that I respond – Yes.  It Is.  I mean, the state takes up 6 pages in my Atlas and probably yours as well.

Only 881 miles to go.  

There are much worse problems to have. The bonus is the impending visit to my old bud Sharon in Austin.  That’s rather like being sentenced to 30 years and then getting paroled after 6 weeks. 

So the next few days will be about cranking out the miles while dodging tumbleweeds. Not such a tough assignment with: a comfortable driver’s seat, podcasts in the queue, and plenty of  hi-calorie snacks.

I’m here for the night.

Parked under a flag the size of a football field. In 25 MPH winds, it provides a loud arrhythmic soundtrack.

Last night was spent parked among the Big Boys at the bustling Love’s Truck Stop in Benson, AZ.   

The microcosm of a truck stop always fascinates.  It’s a glimpse into a purely American subculture and I highly recommend it.  In the unlikely event a publisher ever approaches me to write a coffee-table book, I would do one on Long-Haul Dogs and The Truckers Who Love Them. 

Two days ago, in Tucson, I overnight at one of my favorite blacktop stops.  

The GDB has a doctor’s appointment the next day in order to address a short list of nagging issues.  All is well!  

I spend the waiting time scurrying in and out of the newer model Roadtreks but find, once more, I wouldn't trade the GDB for any of them. 

Pictured below is one of a series of dust storms along 1-10 in New Mexico today.  Visibility goes to ZERO when a storm like the one in the distance reaches the interstate.   Chilling to think about that happening at 75 MPH.  


  1. Texas does go on, and on, and on.... :(

  2. Texas forever...I can commiserate. We only drove through maybe a third of the state, and boy that Western portion is pretty boring.

  3. After crossing TX on secondary roads, I will never do it any other way. So many cool stops in between the endless miles.

  4. Texas already! Seems like you just left San Diego.

  5. Figures, my namesake town would be "Exit Zero." Given our mutual noise sensitivity, I could have written the caption for that big ole flag before I read it. ;-)

  6. Ah, the infamous West Texas! Somehow it was easier to take when I headed SE towards Austin instead of straight East on I-10. I hope that works for you, too.

  7. I'm curious now. Originally when you started you told me you thought the Good Deal Bus would be too small to full time in...but you've done some really long trips in do you still feel like that?

    1. Hi Dawn,

      Good question and one that plays through my mind often. I still don't think I would want to full-time in the GDB. I can do long trips now but only because I have a house where the rest of my stuff is.

      If I were full-timing, the addition of a 4-season wardrobe, paper files, photos etc ... (just to name a few things) would have even a minimalist like me cramped for space. I would want a bigger fridge, a place to hang clothes, , enough outside storage for a comfortable camp chair, and bigger tanks. These are just a few things that come to mind.

      I wouldn't require a big rig but bigger than what I have now.

  8. Exit Zero has an eerie Twilight Zone ring to it. :)

    Isn't it a nice feeling to prefer your rig to the newer models on display?

    Loved seeing the truckers' doggies. Portable, small, adaptable travel companions.

  9. "Making it Count At Exit Zero - It's Not All for Naught" - that would be the title of a great post. I'll have to stop there next year and find that story. Thanks for posting that photo.


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