Traveling 2,000 miles from Oakland, CA to Sterlington, LA, on every highway I chased unbeatable savings, followed a road where free and fast never go out of style. Shifted lanes eastward past the Chiracuhua Mountains, camel-colored assemblages of rocks, windmills and ghost towns of pecan groves with orchards of plastic bags caught on branches. Dollar Stores duking it out next to the Family Dollar. Shredded tire treads. Cows, gentle animals that have been a part of the rancher story, stuffed into feed lots outside of El Paso. Zaragoza International Bridge to Mexico. Maybe next time.
I pass Noodle Top Road and Desdemona Drive. Exit ramps. Signs to elect local candidates stuck along frontage roads. Firework stands in every town. Stock up for next July 4th. WalMart and Family Dollar trucks and C.W. England are kings of the road. We pass through sleepy towns and always find casinos. Doglegging around. A township is a six-mile area divided into 36 one-mile squares. In Las Cruces, a woman with short hair selling Talaveres pottery transformed ceramics into packages of newspaper. My bladder had an automatic bathroom detector, always knew when we were getting close to civilization. Try motel, and not gas station bathrooms. Gotta run.