A conversation in the football post Over There, the size of Texas came up. Said Glyph:

When I was driving cross-country, I tried to stay off Interstates as much as possible, and some long Texas highways were the only ones where I kind of got scared, like, “if my car breaks down, I could DIE out here before I ever see another human being!”

When moving across the country, it seems natural to measure progress by states. the problem with doing this is that it can make Texas a very dispiriting experience. Especially when you go the route we go.

There are two ways to get from the Southeast to the northern Mountain West. The most obvious way involves the Great Plains. It’s also the fastest way, but it’s also very, very boring (no offense, Mr Cain). On the other hand, if you go through Texas and the northeastern tip of New Mexico, you get to drive along the Front Range. The problem is this:


It’s like the route is designed to keep you in Texas as long as humanly possible. And not, sadly, the more interesting parts like the Hill Country or the Mountains in the west of the coast. It’s the flat, dry, and treeless portion.

And if you’re making your progress by state lines, can be a very long 2-3 days.

Anywhere, he’s a music video of a Robert Earl Keen song about a (proverbially) long road:

Here’s another REK video about Corpus Christi, which is not on the aforementioned route (audio only):

Category: Road

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6 Responses to The Road Goes On Forever, and Texas Never Ends

  1. Burt Likko says:

    Ugh, does it all look like it does around Amarillo? East Texas is mostly green, I thought. But Amarillo is part of God’s Country, and as far as I’m concerned, He can keep it!

    • Chris says:

      East Texas is mostly green, yes, from outside of Houston up to Arkansas, excluding the areas completely overrun by oil refineries (lookin’ at you, Beaumont).

      On the route Will’s mapped up there, when you get a little bit outside of College Station (home of A&M) the trees start to thin out, and by the time you get to Dallas they’re pretty sparse. Then north of Dallas they don’t exist at all, and as you go west things will get so flat that ditches will look like canyons.

  2. Glyph says:

    I’m having flashbacks.

    Also, I was just playing Pavement videos on YouTube, so I can confirm that not only does Texas never end, it never whispers either.


  3. Chris says:

    Ah, REK. [Falls down nostalgic wormhole.]

  4. Roy says:

    I once heard it said that crossing Texas is not a trip, it is a career. Sometimes it seems that way, but I love Texas nonetheless.

    Here’s a fun fact: The distance between Beaumont, TX and El Paso, TX is greater than the distance between El Paso, TX and Los Angeles, CA.

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