Chapter 1, In Which We Headed West to Escape August in Texas (2 weeks ago)

We are finally on the road after a very stressful week of getting everything together, two days of packing, and months of preparation. Not to brag, because I have nothing to do with it, but we go on epic vacations.  It's all Beechnut.  When he plans, he plans big and adventurous.  For example, in 2008, we went backcountry kayaking in Yellowstone and it took us to places few could go and I loved every minute of it.  We prepped for months for that trip - practicing getting back in our kayaks if we fell out (lake water up there is COLD), obtaining supplies, and meticulously packing enough to stay warm and be comfortable, but not too much to fit in a kayak.  Like many things, these trips are big investment, big payoff.    More than once, I have craved just packing three simple bags, taking Barret to a family friendly all-inclusive in the Carribbean and relaxing on the beach.  No prep, no fuss.  I almost always feel this way the day before we leave as we spend hours prepping.  Once we roll out, though, I exhale and start to get amped and know we are in for a treat.  I will, of course, have my beach, no fuss vacation, one day, but for now, I'm thrilled to be on another adventure with my best men. With Vanilla Bean and an Airstream in tow, the adventure is ramped down a little this time, but every bit as exciting!     
Yellowstone 2008
We got on the road about 10 am and just rolled through witchita falls, where we stopped for lunch, parking the Airstream in the back of a Walmart parking lot - you know, one of those areas with every mega store and fast food chain you can think of…hideous, but quite handy if you need a place to squat.   I made B some chicken, cottage cheese, and fruit, while Beech got us tacos from Taco Bell.  That's right, after my proud blog about healthy eating, I had one soft and one crunchy supreme taco.  Sad, I know. On the few occasions I've had the pleasure of driving through Witchita Falls, I wonder for the umpteenth time what the draw of the hotter than hell bike race is.  Flat and so freakin' hot.  I know it's a thing, but is it really enjoyable?  Is it a pride thing?  Comraderie? Flat and fast course?  Personally, I'll take trees and hills any day.  I don't know if it is movies like No Country For Old Men or literature or a genuine creapiness, but I'm always uneasy in West Texas  and its towns.  The scenery here (palo duro and caprock canyon, not all the flat in between) is pretty amazing, and there are no shortage of legends from these parts, (love you Buddy), but it's still eerie.  Maybe it is the Southwest and the desert in general. Who knows?  As we tear across 287, our play list fits the mood: Eagles, Clapton, George Thoroughgood, Gary P Nunn, Traveling Willburys....Caprock Canyons or bust!
Hartley, TX


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