Just as this blog is not primarily the place for conventional music journalism, it is also not primarily the place for conventional travel-writing, wine critiques, food reviews, etcetera. But, in certain hybrid forms, all of those formats are more than fair game for the sort of thing that this blog IS primarily the place for. It turns out that a roving-poet/ critic nomad-stint across the country proves a good time to begin to explore some of them.
I embarked yesterday, in my tiny white Kia (which is now speckled with the multicolored aftermath of a bloody insect battle), for New England from the city of Phoenix, where I've spent a little over the last four years. My first night on the road presented itself as a good opportunity to begin my observations.
Amarillo, Texas is now the home, probably unsuprisingly, to the trashiest-feeling experience that I can recall having. I pulled into the city, which appeared to have more truck-stop-diners and dive motels than residents, feeling like it was about an hour earlier than the local time stated (the zones change at the Texas border). It was late enough according to the clock that I knew in order to find a room I needed to stop in this city rather than the next, but it was far earlier than I was ready to sleep. I was feeling a bit down, and I'd been trying to keep this trek as low-budget as possible, so finding a bar to stop into to absorb some local color didn't seem to be a very good option.
After driving around trying to figure out the ridiculous traffic-patterns that soround Route 40 through this city for about a half an hour, then, I found myself sitting in the scummiest Motel 6 that $35 could buy, with a bottle of red wine and a pack of flavored cigars that came to under $5 total at the SuperWalmart behind the parking-lot.
(to be continued, I've got to get back on the road.)