Well, I haven't updated the tale in a while. I guess the holidays and
work and whatnot have taken priority, but the trip notes are back.
Tomorrow, I begin teardown for restoration on Emma. I've since gotten a
dash and headrests for her. "Cause she's a '69, the headrests are the
unusual dual-post kind unique to that year. I lucked into a nice pair,
so we're on our way! More to come.
Part 7 (I think) Hallucinating in New Mexico
Driving makes you a little crazy after a while. Before you know it, you
think you can drive on forever. The longest drive I'd ever done was from
San Diego to San Jose, about two-thirds the length of California, maybe
600 miles or so. I'm not sure if the MG vibrated something loose in my
head, or if I had just been lured into a sense of invulnerability by the
long trip. I rumbled through El Paso, which from Interstate 10 in the
dark, looks like a rambling assemblage of neon, strip malls and discount
outlets. I wasn't about to stay here so I continued the next thirty-odd
miles to Las Cruces, New Mexico.
I stopped briefly in Las Cruces to call Jen and my folks to let them know
I was still alive, despite crossing most of Texas in a single day, got
some gas, and decided to push through all the way to Tuscon. That's the
crazy droning thing, I'm usually not THAT pigheaded. The temperature
fell steadily as we climbed out of Las Cruces toward the high desert of
southern New Mexico and Arizona. The heater valve was also stuck closed.
Here we go again. In Demming, I decided to pull into the parking lot of
a Motel 6 to fix the problem. Either it was a two-minute solution, or
here I'd stay the night. It turned out the heater cable was frayed, but
opening the hood and forcing the valve open with a gloved hand did the
trick. I would be warm all the way to Tuscon.
Then I began to hallucinate. Driving out of Demming and toward
Lordsberg, houses appeared out of the pitch black to my right.
Silhouettes of small dwellings stretched for what seemed like miles. As
I drove, the houses neither became more or less dense in their
distribution along the highway. I was fascinated by the oddity of these
neat little cottages lining the road. Then I thought I saw the cottages
move, in fact, they seemed to be moving at my exact speed, never
changing. I first hoped that I hadn't been slipped some peyote in the
sandwich I bought earlier in Las Cruces. This was too weird.
The west-bound train was no more than thirty feet from the road, and its
oversize box cars paralleled my route exactly. It wasn't until a few
miles from Lordsberg that the small town's streetlamp glow illuminated
the train enough to be clearly seen for what it was. Some 800 miles into
the drive, I decided I'd had enough.
To be continued.....
"When I was a toddler, my dad wanted me to learn to program, but my mom
thought it would be better if I learned to read and write and spell."