Eddie asks, 'Are roads wider in Texas?'


Are roads wider in Texas? To answer that question, you will had to have driven in Texas. I can attest to the fact that roads are wider in Texas. No, I don’t mean I got out and measured the distance from one side to ‘tuther side of the roadbed. No, I mean I discovered it the way many novice drivers in Texas learn about width. I was passed on the shoulder of the road. I learned, “don’t be gazing at them longhorns in the roadside pasture." You might just be blocking some Texan from putting on the miles.

Before my sister Ginniue Lyn moved to Texas, I didn’t know a thing about the state except it was big, dry and full of longhorn cattle, had the Alamo, and had been the home of several presidents. Now that I’ve been to visit, I can attest to pecan trees, mistletoe parasite and a lot of land.

Well, I do need to clarify. Visiting my sister wasn’t the first visit to Texas. I had actually been there once before. I was held captive by the loss of a Jeep transmission in the fine, but windy stretches of the interstate at Amarillo, Texas. I was impressed.

Amarillo is the center of the windiest, driest and most desolate of all Texas towns. If I had to be stranded, why God, did it have to be in Amarillo, Texas?

I have heard of wonderful places in Texas: the hill country, San Antonio, Galveston, anywhere but the windy realms of Amarillo. However, Amarillo it was, and Amarillo is where we were stranded for a day and a half. We were lucky to get out when we did. I literally was able to rent the last car available at the Amarillo airport that was licensed to leave the state.

We stayed at a motel with bars on the windows. I later was able to figure out why this was considered décor de elegance! I don’t suppose I need to stress the motel was in the middle of nowhere and the nearest eating establishment was a mile away on foot.

Speaking of eating establishments, our Mexican diner was authentic. It too, had bars on the windows and doors. The clientele was 100 percent Mexican. Everyone smiled at us. No one spoke English. The food however, was the best I’ve ever eaten. Here we were, in the middle of, in all likelihood, the worst neighborhood in Amarillo eating superb Mexican cuisine and communicating non-verbally with the other customers. Our delight with the food was obvious and we were treated with smiles all around.

We were even offered a ride back to our domicile, but after that repast we needed the exercise.

Bargaining a price for the Jeep became a 12-hour nightmare, as we had no choice but to get rid of it and rent a car to complete the journey to California. We finally came to an agreement, junked the Jeep, and filled a rental car with the cargo.

The rest of the trip to California was a piece of cake, so to speak. However, each time I look back on my first trip through Texas, I wonder again how my sister can love it so much.

Texas is a state of contrasts: Dallas has hotels with Peacocks roaming the gardens and windswept prairies with nothing but sagebrush for miles. It seemed like everywhere I looked I was struck with the uniqueness that is Texas.

The one thing I would like to experience though is to see drivers who pass on the shoulder come face to face with a Longhorn and a state trooper. That just might be Texas justice.


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