Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Lone Star State, Same as it Ever Was?

One of the weird things about traveling is trying to decide if everything is totally different in the new places you visit or if everything is pretty much the same.  As usual, the truth lies either somewhere in the middle, or at both extremes at once.  So far, I suppose, regarding my own journey things seem much the same.  That is to be expected as at this point I have mostly kept to American interstate-land rather than any distinct geographical region.  Super 8 motels, McDonalds restaurants, billboards and trucks, "country cooking", big green signs with white lettering, the occasional sudden flurry of breakneck traffic and a splash of tall buildings on the horizon.  Nevertheless, a few unique characteristics sneak in.  Yesterday, south of Louiville, there was a long stretch of road displaying the impressive ravages of the recent ice storm.  It seemed not a single tree went unscathed, every branch splintered in half, evergreens leaning over and resting on the ground.  Early this morning, I entered Arkansas, a new state for me, and enjoyed the slow metamorphosis from a recognizably southern mix of woods and fields to the unfamiliar, flat brown open scrub of Texas.  Now, here in Waco where I'm stopped for the night, things have an almost exotic feel.  I took a short stroll along the river and the warmth (for someone just a couple days out of Boston) and the boisterous, tropical calls of the great-tailed grackle served to remind me that I'm not in Kansas anymore.  No indeed!  I'm in Texas.  

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