In Shamrock, Texas, the infrequently-seen “chip seal” road surface becomes an extra-hellish variant. Texas loves chip seal roads. That’s where you spray the road with gunk left over after refining crude oil, throw a bunch of rocks on top of it and congratulate yourself on having saved 80% over doing a proper road paving job. I hope the next 200 miles across the panhandle are not like this.
My second day in Texas, I pass a large wind farm. Thankfully, it’s a calm day and none of the generators are spinning. These are wind generating machines, right? That is how this works?
It’s cotton pickin’ time in Texas. Harvesting machines are kicking up clouds of dust in the fields, leaving behind enormous bales of fluffy white cotton balls wrapped in pink and yellow plastic.
I get my fourth flat tire. This time it’s the trailer wheel, easy enough to fix. My gloves have gotten a free upgrade to “fingerless” by wearing out at the tips. It makes using my phone so much easier.
I meet another long distance traveler, this time on roller skates. British Sterling is doing a Peace Walk Across America. Keep up the good work!
On the third day, I open my tent door to see a tumbleweed heading straight at me. Texas decides to send me off with 30 mph wind gusts. The wind farms have been a constant feature along this route and a quick search confirms a half-remembered bit of geography: this area is one of the best wind resources in the country. The calm winds were the exception and now I’m experiencing the rule.
The service roads running parallel to I-40 finally run out. The last miles are on the Interstate. This is a major cross-country route and truck traffic is heavy.
Small mesas begin to appear on the landscape, foreshadowing the dramatic rock formations of the American southwest. I’m looking forward to the change in scenery.