Now, I’m going to be honest…Texas made me…well, a little nervous. My mother kept texting me to be a careful driver (something about my uncle getting pulled over outside of Dallas for having a California plate), so I was overly cautious as we crossed the state line from Nevada into Texas. The roads went from weathered to pristine, and we took our speeding from 10 above, to cruise control at the exact speed limit. If anyone was going to be tough, it was going to be the Lone Star State.
The night driving to Lubbock was pretty intense, with swarms of bugs hitting our windshield. It seemed like clouds of moths would come out of the extreme darkness and into the light of our blazing headlights. The next morning the windshield was impossible to see through and I felt particularly bad for a big green splat the size of a small sparrow. Obviously the first thing to do was get the car cleaned. We found a sleek and shiny car wash, stayed inside the car and giggled as it was dried by a local junior varsity football team (or so it appeared due to the sheer number of teenage boys with rags).
Jon left a smashing review on Yelp and we were on our way. Well…not quite. If there’s anything you must have learned about me on this road trip series, I need to have a latte before going anywhere. Now I know that Lubbock is actually a well know Texas city, but at the time I was skeptical of the size and even more skeptical of finding a hipster coffee shop nearby. But found one I did! Yellow House Coffee actually had the best latte on the entire road trip! It was really a surprise. Two thumbs up!
Lubbock -> Austin
Distance: 373 miles
Driving Time: 5 hours, 55 minutes
With a sparkling Mini Cooper and a caffeine buzz, I took the wheel and drove the first half of the trip to Austin. The plan was to stay with friends, get a feel for the city, and eat some delicious food. I’d only been to Texas one time before on a lightning fast trip to San Antonio (I saw the Alamo!), so I had not clue what was in store for us.
Less than an hour into the trip we passed through a town called Post, named after the cereal magnet. The story goes that in 1907 Charles William (known as C. W.) Post bought the land in order to create a model town. His development company, The Double U Co., built the houses and many of the structures, renting and selling them to settlers. C.W. prohibited alcohol and brothels, and envisioned a happy utopia of perfect streets and citizens. He seemed to have his heart in the right place, but after some failed experiments with TNT rainmaking (is that a thing?), he eventually killed himself because of a painful digestive issue. Depressing, but interesting nonetheless.
I, of course, read all this out loud while we drove around. Post sounded like an optimistic urban project, but given the current state of the town, I’m not sure how well it all worked out.
I’m sure Post was always sleepy, but I kept having visions of No Country for Old Men…
We continued south.
There had been a lot of rainfall from flooding the week before our trip, and I didn’t really understand how it was possible until I saw how truly flat the landscape is. Parts of Texas were flat as far as the eye could see. Whenever I managed to get service, I checked the weather, hoping none of those storms would find their way to us.
After passing a whole lot of oil pumpjacks, we pulled off the highway for some lunch around 2pm. The town was called Snyder, but most everything was closed. Our cooler had been empty for a few days – Jon ate all the chocolate covered gummies we had picked up back in Carmel-by-the-Sea – so we decided on some simple bags of chips at a gas station.
Okay, I admit it – I also bought a scratch ticket! I had the genius (but late) idea to buy one in every state, and so Texas was the first place. I won $5 on my first $2 ticket and decided to buy one more for fun and keep my 3 bucks. The guy at the rundown pump station seemed to enjoy my enthusiasm and handed me the money and another scratcher. “I may be back!” I shouted behind me. The ticket wasn’t a winner, but I was still $1 ahead.
We were nearly at Austin by that point, and I was looking forward to staying with friends and enjoying a little more Texas time.