Despite Cas being ready to go by about 5 pm yesterday, I opt to spend the night at LHC to enjoy a little more time not driving and soaking up the WiFi for online catchup. I am also relieved to report that my DC power problems were just an old dead battery, the previous one had lasted over seven years. By 9:30 though, it’s back on the road.
Now that the appointment is out of the way, my next goal is to find a cheaper campground with hookups and WiFi that I can hunker down and get job related stuffs done. There’s no point in driving too much farther in a specific direction until I know where my end destination is going to be, and behaving like a tourist and spending a lot of money to go sightseeing now is not a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to run out of money I’ve planned better than that. But the real secret to finding a job is to treat the finding of a job like a full-time job itself. You don’t send in three or four applications in a week and then whine that there’s nothing available when none of them get back to you. You spend 40 hours a week on it like it were your real job, with that kind of dedication you’re bound to get a hit sooner or later.
The places I’ve been applying to are generally north of here near Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons or west of here near the Grand Canyon and southern Utah. I have a friend in Lubbock, TX whom I’ve been wanting to meet for ages and Lubbock happens to be west and slightly north of LHC, a reasonable area to stage my operation from no matter which location ends up getting back to me.
Texas is big though, wow. What looks like a fairly short drive between the two points on a map is a considerable distance in actuality. In an effort to avoid Dallas, I take 69 up to Greenville and then cut west on I380 through McKinney and Denton. The highway ends and it’s two lane county roads until I realize there’s no places for me to park overnight out here and no campgrounds, Lubbock is still quite a ways away. So I start heading southwest to Abilene.
Once getting west of Dallas, the climate changes considerably. Eastern Texas doesn’t look much different than the rest of the southeast does, but things get noticeably dryer as you approach the center. Prickly pear cactus become common, the land flattens, and the trees get shorter and less dense. Along one random county road I pull over to take a shot of all the cactus, happy as a clam. The novelty of a new area really lifts my spirits when I travel and I’m gawking as I drive. I love this part of RVing, laying eyes on a new spot for the first time.
The wind picks up too. I’m fighting it as I approach Abilene and my gas mileage is suffering for the engine having to work harder to push through it, it’s nice to stop once I get there.
Tonight I’m staying at Abilene RV Park. Like most private parks the sites are close together, but it’s easy to get to, the owners are friendly, and the grounds and facilities are pretty nice. I poke my head into the clubhouse and a church group on their way to Lubbock as well are having a gathering in there, this is a yearly thing for them. I get invited in and talk to them a little while, they’re a nice bunch of people and in high spirits.
The geographical region Lubbock is in is known as high plains. There are a number of jumps in elevation today as I start up I20 west for the last time and then exit onto 84. The elevation jumps are a series of short red cliffs that are flat plateaus on top, so the trip up 84 is a bit like climbing a giant set of stairs. Between these climbs the ground remains flat, but with a few worn down mounds and other interesting geological features that are well, very not the southeast. I find it fascinating, although I know that compared to other places further west this stuff is hardly of note. To me it is all brand new and exciting.
In the early afternoon I reach my destination for the next several days. Lubbock is bigger than I expected. Again, on a map of Texas it looks like a dot, but map distances are deceiving here in the Lone Star state. I meet up with my aforementioned friend Misty who is also reads IO (hi!) and we spend the rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out at her place while Bertha and Cas are parked in an empty parking lot nearby. Stage two of headed out West now complete.
* * *
Sunday night I spent at a Walmart on the SW side of town, and since Monday I’ve been staying at Mesa Verde RV Park in Wolfforth for WiFi and full hookups so I can concentrate on landing a job. I got another call back yesterday, from a place in Colorado. The hours aren’t what I’m looking for but it’s still something I can fall back on if necessary. I’m hoping to be out of here by Friday when the weekend crowds start showing up but we’ll see.
In the meantime I’ve also gone to see a movie, visited the prairie dog town, and generally enjoyed being in a “new” part of the country. The wind blows pretty strong here and it whips the dirt up into the air and makes the sky look orangey on the horizons, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Last night a storm blew through but it didn’t rain more than a few drops, was so odd. The light show and strong winds went on for hours without any precipitation, there’s a chance the same thing will happen tonight. The picture here of a lightning strike taken on my iPhone camera was not altered at all, it came out so strangely.
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