This is more like it. This is what I wanted. It’s funny, this part of West Texas is full of powerful machinery, taking the largest source of energy this world uses and transporting it in big, strong lorries, but it’s sapped all my energy. People warned us how stark and barren it can be but I looked forward to that. The dusty earth and patches of squat trees mingled with long grass. Odd shaped insects and irregular rock formations. Being a little bit introverted and loving nature, this totally suits me. I didn’t realise though, how depressing I would find the desire for oil. The destruction and negative feeling that hovers, like the dust, around it. With only moving forward each day by around 30 miles, I started to feel forever surrounded by the big boys. The trucks and lorries and derricks and space station-like structures that serve purposes I have no idea even exist. The dust constantly being swirled behind the back end of turning vehicles. Any stop I found seemed to be an exit or entry point for the big bullies and I felt totally vulnerable and oddly frustrated. How can you relax when 20 or so vehicles followed by clouds of dust pass you ever minute. It’s an area full of busy workmen and a serious lack of calm. I never felt in any danger but I hated it.
So today, I find myself driving a slightly quieter road with more spaces for Jenny to rest and with the beautiful rock formations known as the Guadalupe mountains. Yeah, this is more like it. I have time to think as I drive or when I sit off, waiting on Rob, my thoughts travel in many directions. One thing I remember as a child was my Dad saying he wished he could fly and today, as I stared out across that flat old sea bed towards the Guadalupe’s, I got it. How beautifully peaceful, just flying over that scenery of mountain touching blue sky. A lone cloud wondering aimlessly and that soothing sound of a gentle, cool breeze; the sun, just letting itself be known but not being pushy. That moment where you fill your lungs and breath out a contented sigh. Bliss.
We decided to take some time together away from running and driving and headed off track to an area known for a cave hosting a large bat colony. Now, if you ever get the chance to see anything like this, then I highly recommend it. We were sitting in an ampitheatre with around 100 so other people, that faced the front of a cave. At one point, I noticed a squirrel, scurrying for food across the top of the cave and I wondered if he may think we were all there to see him perform. The guide asked us to turn off all electrical items and to try to remain silent. Well, I don’t know what kind of spell it was that those little beasts cast but I was silenced. The moment you see, maybe a few hundred or so, swirling anticlockwise from the cave into the pink, dusky sky, you’re spellbound. The only sound you could here was the flapping of thousands of tiny bat wings. They moved so fast, trying to catch their tea; thousands upon thousands of them, all swirling upwards and heading off south. Nature throws me so often; It’s just so amazing. We treated ourselves the following day also, by Rob just running 20 miles (just?) So that we could park up in the Guadeloupe mountains and have a small hike up through some of it. Rob asked me at one stage if I was happy, knowing full well that I was in my element, surrounded by beautiful nature, walking and being able to take some lovely photos and no body else around. We finished the day by taking a short stroll and checking out the sprinkled stars across the ink black sky. Bliss.
I’ve realised that I do really enjoy the RV lifestyle, the hiding off road and peacefulness or finding a nice rv campground surrounded by beautiful scenery . I do get tired of driving; it would be nive to just be a passenger now and then (if only Bubba could drive) but it is mostly fine.You learn to live with very little and respect what you have. We’ve had to be very water and food savvy and it’s taught me how important recycling is. I have such severe guilt throwing plastic into the waste! For a country like America, the access to recycling is terrible…C’mon America, I hear that some people in Europe make lots of money from it? The age I am now, I long stopped worrying about how I looked and accepted I was good enough but I have realised how little I actually need to be happy (excpet I do need all my clothes and shoes)Rob and I discussed just the other day how little we miss all of our material objects (except for those really cute, tan ankle boots that go with everything) and we have a lot. I’ve not missed TV with those dreadful soaps or the talent(less) shows and apart from having communication from folks back home, I’ve not been fussed about the lack of Internet. Since being here, I’ve read three books, started to write my own and now I want to take up a writing and a photography course when I get home.We obviously can’t do this forever. We’re not getting a wage and are currently dipping into our savings so this lifestyle has a lifespan. It can’t always be star gazing and peachy sunrise but I can cling onto every good day that happens whilst we’re here.
It’s important that we share everything with you about this trip. To be honest and share the good and the bad. I offered for people to ‘ friend-request ‘ me on Facebook so that they could, perhaps see a different side to the Run Robla Run story and that offer still applies. I wanted to write these blogs to offer my version of events and they are different to Rob’s style; my initial hope was that my friends would enjoy it but I have been overwhelmed by comments from people I don’t know. Thanks doesn’t often feel enough but I truly mean it.
So, we head off to El Paso and the state border line into New Mexico, I’m sure the scenery won’t much change but what sort of days will we have? I’ll be sure to let you know.