...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Monday, May 03, 2010

Wilting at WIndmills

Being Chapter the 12th of the 2010 SxSW March into Spring Haiku & BBQ Tour--a novella

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Tell me why I don't like Mondays? Today, it's chiefly due to the sad reality of getting up so early. We imbibe caffeinated beverages with our hosts, thank them profusely for putting us up /putting up with us, we return all our possessions to the truck, and with collective deep breaths we start into a very long travel day. Across Texas we go. The sun gets higher. We are making good time. We are cooking with gas. We have the proverbial pedal to the metal. We are totally lost. Serves us right for operating under the aegis of so many travel cliches. We realize we are heading towards Dublin (Texas, not Ireland)) instead of Abilene. Dang.

We pull over in a cute little town--Comanche, maybe? I take pictures of an appetizing doughnut shop while Gary consults all two maps we have. He figures out a route to get us back on the way to Abilene. We zip along the amended route and only lose half an hour...or so. It's cool. It's cool. We are going to the home of our Albuquerque host, Teresa, and she will be fine with our updated arrival time--as long as it doesn't get pushed back too many times.

As we get hungrier, we fondly recall last night's mighty meaty meal. Andrew philosophically notes in haiku form:

"Happy happy cows
Do not know what is in store
Yummy yummy cows"

So true, Andrew. So true.

When we are an hour out of Abilene Gary logs on to the internet to do a search for a catfish restaurant. We haven't had fried catfish yet. And time's a-wastin. We won't be in Texas much longer. He compiles information and maps and triangulates the results. His plan works like so many highly advanced quartz crystal satellite-telescope clockworks all chiming in harmony with the accuracy of a super high-tech Moon colony of the not too distant future.

1400 hours

True Margrit approaches Abilene from the south on Texas State Highway 84, merging on Busness Loop 20, then exiting from the Business Loop at Pine Street.
1415 hours
True Margrit is seated in Joe Allen's Restaurant. The band orders food.
1500 hours
Band very very full. Fried catfish is the star, but the homemade breads are divine as well.

After our feast we take a look around at all of Joe Allen's horse-racing memorabilia. He's the owner of Pepper's Pride--a record-breaking thoroughbred with 17 consecutive wins! Wow, cool. But we can only delay the inevitable so long--we must get back in the truck and get to New Mexico.

We heave ourselves back into the groaning vehicle and speed off across west Texas. We pass some windmills. Then more windmills. Then more. I snap some photos of their shiny white hi-tech aerodynamic forms standing proudly on the prairie against blue skies festooned with fat fluffy clouds. More windmills. That's way more than Beggar's Canyon back home, uh, I mean the Central Valley, in California. We check into it. The web informs us that we are passing through the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, which is the largest wind farm in the world. Splendid. It's pretty to look at--AND it's GREEN. Right here in Texas. The future. Catfish, windmills, alive alive-oh. I melt into my pillow for a power-nap. sidghkjkgjkjsfg

I awake to a discussion between Andrew & Gary with liberal use of coding/html, nomenclature. I instantly drift off again. I dream that under duress the band must join a cult located at "the other house" of the folks we met in Granbury (who are super-nice, I must point out, in real-life and not at all cultish). To escape we have to make use of guitar picks on a rotary telephone. We can't get a dial tone and I shout,"help!" and then in reality I wake up. The guys are very quiet, just driving along...did I actually yell? On this trip Gary has already informed me that I snore--but do I also talk in my sleep? I sure hope not.

The sun is setting over some mesas. Hey! We are in New Mexico! We listen to some XTC--a favorite of Andrew's. After a few more hours, we arrive in Albuquerque where we get snarled up with our routing and temporarily drive in the opposite direction. Oh. My. God. NO no no. Personally, I might burst into tears. Or flames. Gary cradles his head in his hands. Andrew is a driving machine, but at this juncture, even he is starting to wilt.

Luckily, we are soon enough driving back towards Albuquerque, and in moments we are reunited with our lovely friend, Teresa. Acting the fabulous hostess, she makes sure we are instantly drinking revivifying beverages--and that we are receiving the proper gentle ridicule for our ever-weakening route-finding abilities that appear to be declining in direct proportion to our expanding fatigue.

And now we all can sigh in relief, pleased to be out of the truck and faced with the prospect of extended quality time on pillows in the immediate future.

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