Road Trip 2015: Austin to Fort Davis

January 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

And, 2015 is off to a good start: adventurous road trip to West Texas!

WestTexasCliffs
I am proud to say that Mr. Italian and I are currently bundled up in front of the fire, sipping on hot tea and eating chocolate. In other words, alive.

Which I am, in all honesty, pleasantly surprised by. Yesterday, Winter Warnings started popping up for all of West Texas, as the snowy storm moved from California eastward. Hotels started shutting up and highways were closed and friends were forced to turn back, and hope seemed bleak.

Which got me extra excited about the challenge of getting there. West Texas has been on my list for a while now, and I was determined to make it happen. I’ll be honest: I envisioned purple sunsets and warm porch nights, but a few snowflakes weren’t about to deter me!

First surprise of the day came this morning, when I went to go pick up my rental car. Or more accurately, half of a car (where is the trunk, to put all of our blankets and space heaters in?!).

SnowyFiat

Also, it has manual gears. Which in the end worked out great (as did the rest of the whole white Fiat thing, to keep the tradition of our road trip vehicles), but was a bit of a puzzling dilema at first; I had never shifted a gear in my life.

Then came the drive. What started as cold and dreary in Austin turned into some sort of winter wonderland a couple of hours east of Fort Stockton.

WestTexasSnow8
With icy, snowy roads.

WestTexasSnow12

Conditions on which I had never driven on before (I grew up in Texas!).

WestTexasSnow

So, we inched along.

WestTexasSnow9

And passed eight overturned trucks on the sides of the road.

WestTexasSnow2

But did not lose heart.

WestTexasSnow6

Coming off I-10, we entered a territory that was not unlike the northern stretches of Scotland, with the low snow clouds covering all of the peaks and the dramatic hills all around.  With the addition of a few tractors and scattered farms:

WestTexasRedBarn

We even made a few friends- horses:

WestTexashorses
And deer:

DearDeer
And cows:

WestTexasSnow7

We pulled into our Indian Lodge just as the sun was coming down (and a fresh wave of sleet rain with it). We managed to grab a couple of cups of chicken soup out of the kitchen, indulged in very hot coffee, and then decided to treat our fingers and toes to some fireplace vibes.

IndianLodge

It’s amazing how fresh and quiet it is out here. Not only are we in the middle of nowhere, but there is a layer of white everywhere that stifles everything- including the stars. Our breath is coming out in thick white clouds, the grass is crunching under our feet, and we couldn’t ask for a more perfect evening to enjoy.

Looking forward to the sunrise : )

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