A hundred and something

El Paso, Texas — 777.6 miles

After 99 degrees, I figure it doesn’t matter. Then again, this is El Paso, where the humidity is practically negative — if I need to sweat, I’ll have to bring a container of liquid or something — and with 99 degrees and a dew point of 26 (!), the heat index is exactly what it would be in Oklahoma City with 90 degrees and a dew point of 66. (Ninety-four, if you care.)

Note to future travelers: There is no gas to be had between Carlsbad, New Mexico and the eastern edge of El Paso, around 150 miles. And you will burn up most of what you have: once you cross back into Texas, the speed limit is mostly 75, and while it’s slowed down a bit through the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, there are enough downhill grades to threaten your placid, law-abiding nature. Not that I’d ever admit to doing 95 through there.

Actually, I did find one station, a little cash-only outfit south of Dell City, but (1) they had no premium, or even mid-grade, and (2) they were closed.

Speaking of closed, Rosa’s Cantina is apparently open only for lunch today, and I missed the deadline, even allowing for the fact that this part of the world is on Mountain time.

I spotted a billboard in southern New Mexico for a fellow named Greg Sowards, who was running for the 2nd District House seat currently held by Steve Pearce, who hopes to replace Pete Domenici in the Senate. Sowards made two pitches: that he’s short, bald and honest, and that he doesn’t want your money. As they say in Minnesota, “That’s different.” It didn’t play so well among New Mexico Republicans, who nominated Ed Tinsley, owner of K-BOB’s Steakhouses, instead.

And El Paso looks like southern New Mexico, only more so: you get the feeling that the town was built a zillion years ago, volcanoes or plate tectonics or something caused the land to buckle, and they decided to leave everything where it landed.


  1. GradualDazzle »

    11 June 2008 · 7:19 pm

    You may be driving through a place I have always wanted to visit (Marfa, Texas). I’ve always wanted to see the “Marfa Lights” and the Donald Judd art installments there.

    LUCKY! Wish I were stowing away in your trunk or something. Did you bring a camera?

  2. CGHill »

    11 June 2008 · 7:42 pm

    I will arrive in Marfa some time tomorrow, though it won’t be at any time when the lights will be visible: I’ll be on the way to Fort Stockton.

    I’ve tried out the camera already, and it seems to be functional.

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