Armadillo’s are nocturnal creatures, the only ones I’ve seen have been laying dead by the side of the road . I am a crepuscular creature, preferring the twilight and dawn hours when it’s cool. I like to head out early and come home late, before the sun explodes and showers it’s violent burning radiation onto the world . It’s the singular intensity of radiation that really turns me on. I love the incredible color separation at high noon when every blade of grass, tree and golden hay bale in the field is glowing and redefined as if by HDR Photoshop effect. I come from a place where the sun rarely shines…and when it does it’s weak and apologetic.
I have developed a special appreciation for the sun after growing up in sun starved Vancouver BC Canada where people walk with their hidden heads bowed submissively and that element of their miserable existence has become an aspect of their societies wider personality. It’s not called ‘No-fun Vancouver’ for no good reason. Events are contrived and politically managed….there is no spontaneity there…people are never free to be …outside. Its the sunshine and being able to live out of doors that makes places like Texas so cool.
When we drive down the Texas highways and the clouds pop out glowing white against an intensely cerulean sky as if we’re sitting in a moving IMAX 3-D theater….it’s otherworldly. I can imagine coming to an understanding why people see the face of God more often in places where nature is such an intense experience. This weekend we visited historic Jefferson in Johnson County on the Louisiana border and Greenville…further north towards Oklahoma. The higher elevation of Johnson County produced a surprise… tall pines forests as opposed to the dry deserts of southern plains. Jefferson is where the bayou’s begin and steam boat travel was once possible from Baton Rouge on the Gulf Coast.
On the way we stopped in McKinney for lunch…. a sweet and well preserved old west town north of Plano on the 75 Hwy North of Dallas. We stop as much as we can in whatever local phenomena happens along the way….this time it was the Dairy Queen in Farmersville, maybe one of the last whitest places in America. We caught the lunch crowd as the Baptist church across the road was getting out.
Strangers are obviously unusual in rural Texas, we turned the conversation down to a whisper when walking through the door. I wanted to apologize for Canada burning down the White House in the War of 1812….but a mixed couple with strange accents and glowing sun tans was as much as this crowd could handle. I learned something….I now know you can order biscuits and peppery sausage gravy at the Farmersville Dairy Queen.
Road trips through small town America have to taken in convertibles. Its true….you can drive for days and still wake up in Texas. The open roof adds intensity to the tactile experience… like taking communion with the world around you. The scenery and sounds blast by in motion and audible parallax while wind buffets and slaps your face and sunshine burns your skin raw so that you glow…and exhibit raccoon eyes in the rear view mirror… it’s exhilarating. Before settling on Camaros we drove many different vehicles. I find the Camaro Convertible to be the best road trip car I have ever driven.
Having the top down eliminates the bubble effect of an enclosed vehicle with a favorite radio station keeping you anchored in the past. The open road is life being lived…most times without conversation, you sit in awe as the planet spins by beneath you….you’re tied to a strip of fading asphalt so you don’t lift off and fly. After every road trip we return home to see ourselves in the mirror…sunshine silly and smiling like delighted children….before plunging into our pool….. knowing we’ve done something important with our lives by living for today.