Jun. 5th, 2017

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For a number of reasons, Galina, Alla, and I decided it would be a good thing to do the Pagosa-to-Houston trip in one day. I'd done the trip in one "swell foop" in the other direction, where one can take advantage of the psychological boost of the clock turning back an hour as one leaves Texas for New Mexico, but not in the direction where the time suddenly gets to be one hour later, but I digress.

To that end, we decided to leave Pagosa Springs at 5 am yesterday, which meant I needed to make sure the house was all buttoned up by about 4:30 am or so, which would allow me to pick the gals up at the condo where they stayed last week. Working backward, I figured I'd have to be up at 4 am to give the place one last once-over, turn off the hot water, and deactivate the fridge.

I woke up at 3:15 am, and while I was mulling over the wisdom of getting another 45 minutes of shuteye, I decided I was awake, so I got up, and it was a good thing, too. Despite the fact I "turned to" immediately upon rising, by the time I finished doing what needed to be done, it was few minutes past 4:30 am. Yikes!

We managed to get on the road by 5 am, anyway, by which time it was light enough to drive without headlights. It took a while before we would be bathed in direct sunlight.

We proceeded down our usual route, down US-84 past Tierra Amarilla, EspaƱola, and Santa Fe, then along I-25 and down US-285 to Clines Corners, intending to stay on US-285 down through Roswell to Ft. Stockton, where we would pick up I-10, but for some reason, we activated the Waze app near Roswell and were induced to abandon our intended route by the promise of a shorter route.

Shorter? Yes, absolutely (by about 10 miles over a 1040 mile run). Faster? No way.

Still, the experience was educational.

Waze doesn't do so well (at least not for the inexperienced user) when the network disappears, which happens a lot with T-Mobile once you get away from cities (or, at least, it happens a lot with my phone). Nothing quite describes the feeling of not knowing what to do once one gets to the next waypoint.

That's not really true. "Not knowing what to do" is momentary, because there are a lot of ways to get around without your phone talking you through the process. The principal way is to use common sense and rely on one's experience, which I did. Eventually, the network came back, and despite the fact that Waze kept saying it was "waiting for the network," the screen kept updating distances and providing waypoint prompts.

One of the reasons the route wasn't faster was because the app routed us though a lot of small towns, with their lower speed limits. This not only slowed us down, but having to keep one's eyes peeled for the signs and making sure the car didn't exceed the limits just added unnecessary stress to the trip.

In the end, we pulled into our driveway in Houston a few minutes short of midnight, after spending almost 19 hours on the road (granted, we did enjoy two sit-down meals in fast food joints, but still...).

It took me almost an hour to decompress enough to go to sleep. I slept well.

Cheers...

P.S. I coulda sworn I posted a version of this in the morning... I wonder what happened to it? Or was I dreaming?

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