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290W/I-10W: Desert Trekking

I officially have “driver’s tan” now. It’s quite comical, really, like a farmer’s tan but only on the left side of my body. Tomorrow’s drive to Tucson won’t improve matters, either.

El Paso looks a lot like Tucson. Home is so close now!

El Paso from my hotel window (not pictured: the 'star' of Texas lit up on the side of that mountain)

I really must remember next time I’m driving on 290 to plan a stop in Fredericksburg, TX. The CUTEST little town I ever did drive through. You know, the drive from Austin to El Paso isn’t as terrible as many put it out to be.

long stretch of I-10 to nothing but desert mountains

Desert and blue sky!

But then, when I see open stretches of highway in front of me and nothing but desert and bare mountains to either side of me, I’m a happy girl.The desert rocks (pun totallyintended).

Don’t get me wrong, a verdant landscape is all well and good, but the desert will always claim my heart. Cross-winds, however, are AWFUL. Not only do they make driving quite treacherous, but they do horrible damage to the mpg average! I had to refill my tank about 100 miles under when I’d normally expect to do so. And when I got to the gas station to do so it took a lot of effort to open my car door against the wind. Yes, they really were that strong.

Oh, and…. Texas I-10… 80mph? Really??? Wow.

Oookay.

………………

Something I’ve learned while on the road (besides how incredibly vast this land is and that everyone should travel solo, something I’ve said many times before) is my “Secret Single Behavior” (SSB). I already knew that I talk to myself and have no shame blurting out songs whether or not the radio is on. And that I dance while driving. What I did not know is that I will talk to my food, as well, sometimes to a little tune. Example: “Yum yum carrot, you are so crunchy and sweeeeet I love to CRUNCH you yum yum carrot yum!”

Speaking of carrots, those of you who know I eat a pretty Paleo diet might be wondering how I get by keeping it clean on the road.

Venti iced coffee (unsweetened) with half'n'half.

Fast food joints everywhere, and the ever-tempting Dairy Queen (a road trip staple, if I may say so… though I have yet to actually have any this trip). Well, to be honest it’s pretty easy to eat well as long as you have a cooler.

Okay… I do start with coffee (it helps to keep you awake, and this large size lasts me all day… the need to stop and pee helps, also).

While driving I don’t really have too much of an appetite, actually. I’m not that active and the multiple roadkill sightings don’t do much for me. But it is true that hour after hour of driving can induce the munchies.  Munchies = crunchies, and carrots perfect. So are nuts. Before I start my journey I hard-boil some eggs to take on the road for quick protein bites during stops. And I make sure I have a few PaleoKits with me, just in case. They are jerky, nuts and dried fruit, and they double as a great jaw workout! One kit can easily last me two meals. Sliced deli meat is a huge staple for my cooler. And because the phrase “added water” or “added white meat” kind of weirds me out, I go for Applegate or Hormel’s All Natural 100% turkey. No nitrates or anything. Just 100% pure meat. And, of course, you should always be equipped with: water, water, and more water. And remember to drink often.

…………………………………………………………………….

Wave to Mexico!!!

Driving just North of the Mexican border. Hola!!!

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About Elizabeth

PhD student in Classical Art & Archaeology at UVA with a focus on Greek heroes and iconography (yet forever awed by Roman 2nd and 4th style painting). Salsa and Argentine tango dancer extraordinaire. Weightlifter and Crossfitter the world over.

Discussion

One thought on “290W/I-10W: Desert Trekking

  1. god bless you for this your blog it is very good and this post is amazing

    Posted by Dudley Vitelli | February 3, 2012, 5:33 PM

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