This story began in May 2019. By then, I had saved some money working, planned the trip with my friend Talu, and left my day job. We met in Houston, TX, and started slowly preparing for our 2nd road trip together.
Having been on a trip in early 2018. we were no amateurs. The plan was to rent a car 🚗 - a bigger one this time and preferably something with a less thirsty engine than last time 🏎️. We also needed a proper tent 🏕️ and all the camping gear for whatever might come our way.
We gathered everything and packed the car during the day because we were set to leave Houston at night 🌃 Why? Well, our first destination was Palo Duro Canyon, all the way up to the border with New Mexico and Oklahoma - a 10-hour drive from where we were. That is around 1000 kilometers or 600 miles 😮
Long story short, Talu couldn’t come right away, so I had to drive up the state of Texas, by myself, at night. The thought of it scared me to my bones. You know how in movies and shows, people often die in car accidents? Well, I thought that’d happen to me. But I am now writing this, and you see the photos from the trip. That means I survived, right? 😌
I overcame my fear and started driving alone. The first stop was the famous Buc-ee's gas station outside of Houston. I figured I had to blend in because I was traveling alone. The baseball hat with a recognizable beaver print, and I immediately got that rugged rural look. It gave me the feeling I blended in with my surroundings completely 🦎
Driving through Texas at night and listening to country stations along the way felt right. I didn't want to be anywhere else but there. It brought me back to those days of cruising through the countryside and highways of GTA San Andreas, enjoying the radio 📻
At some point, I got caught in a thunderstorm ⛈️ where I couldn't see anything except when the thunder decided to come down.
I drank two or three Monster drinks that night. It was not enough 🥴
Shortly before Amarillo, TX, I had to stop and take a quick nap in the rented Jeep because my focus was slowly letting go. I couldn't sleep, of course. The caffeine and excitement wouldn't let me. Straying away from the rest stop wasn't an option either. This was rattlesnake country 🐍 and the signs were adamant about it. After getting some downtime and a portion of driving, I finally arrived at the entrance of the first major stop of the trip - the Palo Duro Canyon State Park 🏜️