Tuesday, January 24, 2012

L. A. Diary: On the Road

Part 1: We Begin


Adventure or inconvenience ... this one is easy.

Driving is worth it. The scenery is simply fantastic.

As Tom said, it is like that first scene from Silverado. Scott Glenn has been inside a tiny, dark cabin evading shotgun blasts from an unknown assassin on the outside. He prevails and swings open the door and ...

... there taking up the entire screen is a glorious panorama that you can hardly believe is real.

Those filmmakers must have driven through the west.

Not that there weren't inconveniences. We had plenty to make sure we appreciated the boons we were granted (such as that scenery).

The half hour of waiting in traffic just outside of Fort Worth after we'd been driving only about 20 minutes from home. Some genius in the local Transportation department had detoured four lanes through an access road.

Zoe's continual nervousness at the traffic. Every time a big truck roared by she jumped to her feet and whirled to look out the window. This was just for the first day, but she was so nervous that we all had to sit in the car with her so that she'd take a drink of water. And after she did ... she vomited. Luckily, your eagle-eyed Happy Catholic was in the back seat, noticed the gulping (and seconds later, the heaving sides) and grabbed the giant water bowl to hold under her mouth. And my instinct to cover the back seat and environs with old towels gave us a nice mouth-wipe for after.

The food. Dear Lord, the endless outlets for fast food of every sort. This wasn't helped by the fact that the U-Haul dictated our choice of restaurants. If we couldn't pull through, then we didn't dine there. (I use the word "dine" loosely, but you get the idea.)

But without those inconveniences we wouldn't have been able to revel in this glorious Western scenery. Not for the first few hours. West Texas is no treat for the eyes, except possibly in high summer. But as soon as we hit New Mexico the mesas made me remember not only Silverado, but every Western movie I'd ever seen.

It was sunset and the rich golden glow from the west put everything in sharp silhouette. The mesas stood black against the light. It was almost too much for the eyes but we couldn't quit staring.

The next two days saw more mesas, mountains, glorious rolling desert ... and then for a couple of hours before hitting the California mountains, we were back in nondescript landscape. And then we rolled through those hills and saw L.A.

But that's a story for another day. Tomorrow,  in fact.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the travel diary. I live in the southeast now, but I'll always be a westerner at heart.