Wisconsin To TexasPosted: June 11, 2013
I have been on the road since the 31st of May. First it was off to La Crosse to spend time with my surrogate families. Like going home, every rock and tree had a memory attached. I was struck once again by the beauty of the bluffs and power of the Mississippi. We drank and danced in the pubs, floated up and down the river on a pontoon boat, feasted from grills, drove go karts at amusement parks, and shot guns in rock quarries. Wisconsin is truly a glorious place to live.
On Tuesday morning at 5AM my friend, TJ, and I set out for central Texas. We loaded my bicycle to the rack on his mother’s ‘94 Acura and with sleepy eyes and full tank of gas we headed south. The weather was cold and raining and more than once we had to disembark to retie the bike because we were operating under trial and error since the rack had been purchased the day before.
In no particular hurry to complete the 16 hour drive we stopped often, including an A&W in Kansas that had an exotic fish tank in the center of the circular bar. It was clean and the fish beautiful, but it did seem a bit out of place. The drive went largely without incident. We had a radar detector and for the vast majority of the ride it made not a peep. Once we hit the Texas border that went right out the window (not literally). To be fair we rolled in about 1:30 AM and the police were out in force taking down drunk drivers. It was amusing and unsettling watching these crew cab land yachts swerve between the white and yellow lines, drivers under the influence. They would drift over and instead of pulling back to their lane they flicked on their indicator and acted as though it was intentional and the blinker a bit late. When a cop was sited it was 10 and 2 and straight as an arrow. The game of cat and mouse between the drunks and cops struck me more like a wolf pack stalking lumbering moose, nearsighted and huge, while the wolves looked for an opening. In any case we made it back to TJ’s house in a pile of stinky man I’ve-been-in-a-car-for-16-hours apathy.
The following day we went and got TJ’s dogs, Marley and Ham, both beautiful red pitbulls. Marley is sweet as can be and strikes you more as a golden retriever than a pitty. Ham is a scary vocal MOFO on first glance. The kind of dog that meets your eye and seems to say “No. you look away.” After getting to know him he is well behaved and fiercely independent, but sweet as well. I’ve spent the last few days riding the area, shooting yet more guns, going to movies, and tasting the local fare. Today we are going disc golfing, having a fajita cook out, and playing volleyball. It’s been difficult to get in the mindset I am in Texas and must ride a 1000 miles to get back since things feel so familiar here. There are some glaring differences like: vehicles don’t have rust and are mostly trucks. Everyone says “sir” and “ma’am”. I got “sirred” at the bike shop. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t even appear to be a sir. The men look the same as up north however with better tans, but the women are all painted and gold crusted. I have not seen a single “hippie chic” as they would call it. Somehow not having highlights, mani-pedis, and foundation that would make a 16th century queen look twice is the most carnal of sins, and we are in the Bible belt. As to the Bible Belt. So far it seems to have the same ratio of peoples to steeples as up north, however there are far less bars and bumper stickers fairly universally have a right lean to them. People also adorn their yards with signs saying things like, “we don’t call 911” with a glock pictured below, or “This property is protected by Smith and Wesson”. Guns hang above doors and on nails behind them. The need for home defense weapons strike me as more of a cultural identity than a reality. Everyone for the most part are neighbourly, courteous, and friendly. The proliferation of weapons suits me just fine. I have shot a .357 revolver, a .380 pistol, a .40 pistol, a .22 pistol and rifle, a Mosin Nagant, a .40 1911, and an AR-15 since leaving Madison, and good goddam I don’t know a cleaner fun than that. We even put some cabbage to good use on the range. I feel like I could set up shop here if it weren’t for the right wing politics and hillbilly attitude of upcoming apocalypse. Stockpiling ammo and getting groceries in a crew cab super duty are not to my taste and since Wisconsin is two dualies and a gun safe away from being Texas I’ll be happy to keep my long haired, pinko-commie socialist, tree huggin’ opinions where they are more welcome.
TJ and I hit Six Flags over Texas yesterday. The line were reasonable the ride were really fantastic. I was pleasently suprised how intense several of the rides really were. The Superman: Tower of Power nearly had me wetting myself and The Titan got rode over and over. A new coaster called Mr. Freeze was one of my favorites. It is only about a 30 second long ride, but goddamn its fun. They load you up and shoot you down the track backwards, until you reach an apex and then back the way you came. It is the fun kind of unnerving to go that fast backward in a roller coaster. If you are anywhere near Six Flags, go. It is worth the money and you will fill sick, dizzy, scream louder, and smile bigger than you have in your life.
I have about 20 miles to go before I get to Murrell Park, TX where I will be spending 2 days. The ride is going well, however it is important not to ride during the heat of the day. F***ing crazy hot. You will not make it long unless you can get in the shade between 12 and 3PM. Also, Ft. Worth has a ridiculous amount of broken glass on its streets. Come one Ft. Worth. Thank god for kevlar tires. The Ruckus is holding up great.
Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.