Thursday, July 15, 2010

Van Horn, Texas

Driving across Texas is a three day affair for people of lesser mettle than the crew aboard our Ford Fusion. We stopped in Dallas momentarily to check out a couple of homes we own there (Dallas is weirdly enough a strong rental market) and we were ejected the other side of that ghastly city into the deserts of central and west Texas. This is big sky country of a different order.These contraptions started to appear bobbing like butlers all along the road, sucking up the last of the oil that once made the US energy independent.And on and on and on.Cheyenne seemed a little taken aback by the dry heat, the vast expanses and the repetitive nature of each stop.Evening saw us 800 miles closer to California and within spitting distance of our bed in the dog friendly Motel Six in the fine urban setting of Van Horn. This metropolis of 2500 hundred souls is named for an Army Lieutenant posted to this fiery hell hole in distant 1859. I wonder what he did to deserve that?For Cheyenne the lights of the big city represent the end of another tedious air conditioned day in the back of the Ford. My wife was surprised to find the local store hadn't stayed open waiting for her to arrive to buy milk for our morning coffee.
A night walk in this spot seemed humane for the furry dog so off we went after we finished our cheese and salami picnic in our room.
Despite the lack of amenity Cheyenne enjoyed the urban smells left lying around after one more burning hot desert day.
After a night of air conditioned bliss we ventured forth into a cool dawn out on the desert. By day Van Horn is not much more appealing, frankly. This is the main drag that parallels Interstate Ten.
Van Horn has a homeless population of at least two. The dog is definitely loved and cherished. Look at that alert face.
where the crossroads actually is, I couldn't say, but I am not a member of the Chamber of Commerce. One gets the impression that the boom years were good for Van Horn, and the Depression not so much. Many store fronts were closed.
An absurdly optimistic bike rack in the city park that must have been fueled and funded by optimism.
And watered by an out of control irrigation system.
Who and how someone put the "V" on the distant mountainside I cannot imagine.
It was the railroad that kept Van Horn in existence after the stage coaches died out.I was glad to be back on the road with only six hours to get to Phoenix.
I often wonder what's going on in Van Horn, now that I am no longer there. Nothing much I guess; a new night, new people passing through