Pecos Highway, On to Austin

16 Jun

After three days and two nights from northern to southern New Mexico, we were feeling the pressure to make tracks eastward. Thus, my longest mileage driving day so far – 526 miles – Carlsbad, NM, to Austin, TX.  We set out from Carlsbad Caverns at 11:15 AM.  Picked up a rock from the Chihuahua Desert for relocation to a stone wall in New England, admired the well-rusted mailbox of Cecil and Betty and surveyed a neighboring tractor graveyard.  Within the hour, we were heading down the Pecos Highway into Texas.  Saw a roadrunner, crossed the Pecos River and toured the town boasting of hosting the world’s first rodeo.  Pecos also has a Judge Roy Bean replica courthouse-saloon.  At Fort Stockton, we caught eastbound Interstate-10 and enjoyed the speed limit of 80 miles per hour.  At a highway rest area near Iraan, a motorist with live birds in the trunk of his Impala had stopped to give his baby macaws some fresh air.  A giant rainbow appeared over the interstate before we switched to U.S. 290 and passed through Johnson City, hometown of 36th U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson.  The sky was dark and filled with stars by the time we hit downtown Austin and the prodigious nightlife on 6th Street.  I had my first Austin Amber at the Blind Pig, a three-story pub and dance hall.  Our day began 800 feet underground in a national park in New Mexico and ended at an open air bar 30-feet above street level in the state capital of Texas.

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