FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH 2016.
Started our day off by getting up and leaving as fast as we could, hitting the swampy, bayou-filled highways of Louisiana. Unfortunately for us we hit horrible traffic in Baton Rouge, where they for SOME fucking reason decided to close off the entire westward interstate and bridge. So any and all traffic was just siphoned down into the city with no signs or directions for traffic flow. So of course everything came to a standstill and gridlock ensued. After some maneuvering and map work we figured out the only other way out was on a bridge on the other side of town. This little sidetrack took us across an oil landscape that resembled something from a Mad Max movie. The amount of pipes, tubing, pumps, and just industrial structures that rose across this scene was insane, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Miles and miles of Haliburton, Exxon, and BP logos dot the scenery. It’s something that really can only be fathomed if it’s in front of you- I’ve seen this in books before, but NEVER understood the vastness and the seemingly destructive effects it has to the environment. The pictures don't even do this area "justice". But there is no way that this could be sustainable or “good” for the Earth, or anything other than making money for those who controls it. It’s a very odd part of this world, to see SO much obviously destructive shit be built, and just shrug it off as the “only way”…when by the way, I passed MANY solar and wind farms, specifically in California that were FAR less obstructive, both visually and environmentally- but this is all just an aside.
After 2 hours of delays, we were able to join back up with the westward interstate, and continued on our way. We crossed into Texas on this day, and saw our first heavy stream of farms, cattle, and stretches of deserted fields. It can get quite gloomy here as you essentially just wanna pass through, with only the few stops here and there for gas. It might all just be in my head, but it definitely feels more depressing here, all-the-round lonely and approaching creepy.
Eventually you get through that, and make it into more rocky, desert type land, which due to the fact I’ve never seen, was far more interesting to my eyes. There are these white sandstone type of canyons you start to carve through as the bayous fade out, and are extremely impressive.
Once we made it to the GARGANTUAN sprawl of roads that is Houston and navigated it safely, our hunger hit us and we decided to grab some ribs at a little roadside BBQ Pit place- very old fashioned, I think the established date was 1935. The ribs were very simple, but not in a bad way AT ALL, it was just primal, basic ingredients, a few spices, cooked in a pit, smoked for hours and served up on a plate for you. You get those with a little silver cauldron of made-there BBQ sauce- differing from the normal sticky, dark BBQ sauce I’m used to. It was a more spicy, almost broth-like sauce, but again, VERY GOOD. You get that with a side of just plain white wonderbread, pickles, onions and a tall glass of water. Seriously, one of the best, most authentic meals I’ve had on the trip- now if I could just remember the name of the place, I could recommend it for you!
After filling up on the ribs, we left for San Antonio, passing through more of the same sort of Texas scenery- Cattle, oil drills, and desert- Only this time it was nighttime, so we couldn't really see much. We arrived in San Antonio at 9 pm, grabbed a hotel and met up with one of our good friends, Liam. We hung out, laughed, caught up and planned for the apartment we all are hoping to get in Santa Cruz. After a few hours, he left, we ordered some pizza, had a few brews and passed out, excited for the new scenery tomorrow!