Reflections of a carpetbagger on a trip

by mcastellon on November 28, 2005

I’ve driven across Texas, or at least the bulk of it, at least 15 times. The round trip from Lubbock to Dallas- by both air and highway- is especially familiar to me now. The trip, which takes 55 minutes from gate-to-gate on a 737, takes roughly six hours by car.

This calculation, however, is rarely presented in a way that is truly accurate. The trip by air requires at least a 30-minute drive to Love Field which varies depending on your location in the city. It’s also recommended you arrive to the airport at least one hour early – and even earlier on days that someone has determined the terror threat is unusually high.

Account for another hour to deboard said 737 after arriving to Lubbock and trekking across Lubbock International’s parking lot which is curiously oversized.

All facts considered, I don’t detest the 350-mile drive, which Lauren and I made last week to visit friends and family for Thanksgiving. Long distance travel have always seemed therapeutic to me.

The countryside, especially throughout the Southwest, seems to tell a unique story that isn’t yet fully muted by malls and fast food chains, although Dairy Queen and Dollar General, which have yet to let out a final death rattle brought on by Wal-Mart, pepper the landscape of nearly every town. Through a series of towns every demographic will be represented sooner or later.

The smell of cattle and oil and dust, however, remains the same, as if in celebration of Texas stereotypes that can be both revered and detested. The trip can represent a string of tired cliches and caricatures, but always provides a setting I can lose myself in.

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