"The sun has riz, the sun has set, and here we is in Texas yet."
I drove to Lubbock the last weekend of March to visit my daughter. Her sorority was hosting a Moms' Weekend, and this sounded like a good excuse to have some bonding time. The wildflowers were out in full force: fields of bluebonnets interspersed with primroses, Indian blankets, Mexican hats, and a curiously named plant with yellow flowers called bastard cabbage. Bastard cabbage is living up to its name; it is ganging up on the bluebonnets and taking over their territory, and the folks at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin are not happy.
It took exactly six hours to make the drive from Dallas to Lubbock, including a quick stop in Eastland for a bite and a fill-up. I've lived in Texas for over 40 years, and it still amazes me how one can drive for hours on end here, even at 75 mph, and not cross state lines. Here are a few facts to keep handy the next time you are at a crashingly boring dinner party and need to liven things up a bit:
Interstate 10 is the fourth longest interstate highway system in the United States. It runs for over 2400 miles (per Wikipedia) and is the southernmost coast-to-coast highway. Approximately 860 (35%) of those miles lie within Texas, connecting the city of Orange on the Louisiana side with El Paso way over on the western end, where it spoons with Mexico. At 75 mph, it would take you 11 1/2 hours to make the trip, with no stops for food or fuel and wearing an adult diaper. Nor would you be able to make side trips to see the Swamp Thing, the World's Third Largest Fire Hydrant (proof that not everything is bigger in Texas), the Muffler Man, or the Rimasaurus (a dinosaur made out of car rims), though why you'd WANT to, I can't imagine.
If you take I-10 from Orange, TX and head east, it is "only" 760 miles to Jacksonville, FL. In other words, Orange is closer to the Atlantic Ocean, four states away, than it is to El Paso. On the other hand, if you head west on I-10, El Paso is closer to the Pacific Ocean than it is to Orange (816 miles).
Vertically, 830 miles connect Brownsville, TX at the very bottom of the state with Perryton, TX in the northern panhandle, just shy of the Oklahoma line. This same distance will take you all the way from Perryton to Bismarck, ND, crossing five states. Another couple hundred miles north and you are in Canada.
Don't let the bastards get you down!
P. S. Mileage given is from Google Maps. No crows were consulted for this blog.
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