After several days of total relaxation and decadence, I departed Sedona mid-afternoon on Saturday and stayed the night in Tucson. This gave me a head start toward the long drive home, putting me 200 miles down the road, and leaving me with a couple of 500+ mile days for the next two days.
An eclectic mix of leftover food filled two of my grocery tote bags: chips, crackers, sliced ham and provolone cheese, Cheerios, Oreos, hummus, cherry tomatoes, a couple of bananas. I hate throwing away good food! I knew I could make a couple of meals out of much of this, and the non-perishables would make it home with me, so no sense throwing it all away. In Tucson I had dinner in my room, making a nice little meal of sliced ham and cheese with crackers, garnishing it all with the tomatoes. I had Cheerios and a banana for breakfast the next morning.
My objective was to make it to Fort Stockton on Sunday, in time to catch the start of the Super Bowl. I did, but just barely, missing the first 7 minutes of the first quarter - and apparently missing the exciting first play! When I left my villa in Sedona, I had a bit of leftover Merlot wine - maybe 4 or 5 ounces - and hated to throw it away, but also didn't want to chance the seal from the reused cork. So I poured it into a cute little 8 oz water bottle, one that was given to me when I checked into the Ridge in Sedona but never opened. I dumped the water out and in went the wine!
So now, at the hotel in Fort Stockton, I was enjoying chips, hummus, the rest of the tomatoes, and a glass of wine in front of the football game!
Monday morning I was awake at 2:30 AM with no luck falling back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 4:30 AM and then gave up. I reasoned that if I went ahead and got on the road at 5:30 AM I'd be home by lunchtime and avoid the afternoon rush hour in Houston.
The deer are alive and well in West Texas! I saw plentiful deer in the dark. First was a giant majestic buck, a few miles east of Fort Stockton, his rear in my direction. He lifted his head and looked over his shoulder at me as I approached. Then 30 or 40 more miles down the road I saw a small group of does. Then the occasional deer or pair along the way to San Antonio, even in early daylight.
At one point, where the terrain began to get hilly, I began to notice the frosted landscape in the early morning fog. The temperature was just below freezing and the pavement was wet from a very recent rain. The fog was low, and was draped close to the ground, creeping up the hills. The grasses and bare branches of the low brush were coated in ice and everything had a pale sepia tone to it. It was gorgeous!
A little further along, however, and I began to worry about black ice on the roads. The fog was persistent and the temperature continued to drop, down into the mid-20's. This weather persisted almost to Boerne, where the temps finally creeped up just above the freezing mark.
Pepé Le Pew is in love! For many miles I was "enjoying" the sights and smells of skunk road-kill! Black and white furry smashed bodies littered the roadway and shoulder for miles and the scent never went away until I neared San Antonio. Poor little guys! February is breeding season for skunks and these guys will never get to enjoy it.
Home and the car unpacked, laundry started, and another medal for my 50 States-50 Half Marathon rack.
Next up: DreamCatcher half marathon in Grand Junction CO in early March!