To borrow a turn-of-phrase from Badowski, you have to to wake up and make a commitment to excellence to get out of Texas under 10 hours. Maintaing  an average trip speed of 65 mph requires dedication, a strong bladder, an extremely long playlist, and the willingness to risk renal failure from the mix of coffee and Redbull. If I could find a way to refuel the wagon with out stopping in craphole towns like Vega, i would in fact pay double for my gas for some kind of mid-flight refueling solution.

All told, my  drive out to Red River is about twelve and a half hours, with very little interstate. Back roads mostly – two-lane state highways, some (especially in New Mexico) with only one lane-width of actual pavement (interesting at 80mph), and not a soul in sight to the horizon. Giant thunderheads spit out squall lines onto the hot plains kicking up true toad stranglers in the eastern New Mexico, with triple rainbows in my rearview mirror as they pass.

You also get the welcome and physiologically confusing experience of having the temperature drop 60 degrees from 104 in Austin to 45 at the top of the pass coming into Red River. And finally, sunset over the mountains, with the sky lit up like the fourth of july.

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