All’s quiet on the western front…


Another long day on the road.  Today was a little over 5 hours from Jackson, MS to Tyler, TX, and very uneventful.  But, as we know from recent experiences, uneventful is a GOOD thing!

By 10AM we were crossing the Mighty Mississip into Louisiana, the sun was shining, and Max was resting like a king on his royal bed in the back.  I-20 through Lousiana was a beautiful drive.  I am struck by the ease of driving these Southern and Western Interstates compared to I-95 on the east coast – especially the Northeast corridor from Boston through Washington, DC.

While traffic out here isn’t exactly light, it is certainly less stressful than those four-plus lanes in each direction packed with semis, buses, and crazy drivers of all stripes back east!  There’s space between vehicles, courtesy all around, and most people keep right except to pass (on the LEFT).  And although I’m feeling safe driving the interstate, I am also remaining on full alert.

Unlike Alabama with its undulating hills, and rolling fields, Louisiana – at least the part we drove through today – is flat.

Today I was reminded that Louisiana is the home of the “Go-Cup”  – and I don’t mean coffee to go! Oh no, Louisiana has drive-through liquor stores.  When I saw one this morning at 11:45 – and it was OPEN – I started talking to myself.

“Oh yeah, isn’t that just great!  A drive-through liquor store.  Just what everyone needs.  Maybe I can get a beer and a bump!”  Max sat up in the back and gave me that cocked head look that says, “WHAT are you trying to tell me?”

Not long after the first one, I saw a cute little pink building with palm trees painted on it, and a sign that read DAIQUIRIS.  My first (naive) thought was “Oh! It’s a DQ (Dairy Queen)…” and then I realized it was another drive-through liquor store – this one with an attitude!

I’m not a teetotaler or anything, but I think drinking and driving do not mix, so I’m glad I don’t live in the great state of the drive-through liquor store.

Then somewhere near Gibsland, LA, there was a sign for the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum.  We didn’t stop…

We did pull off the road somewhere west of Shreveport, LA around 1PM to get gas and lunch (for me) at Wendy’s.  I took a right when I should have taken a left, and we ended up finding a local park!  I was hoping that we could get inside the fence on the ball field so I could unleash Max and see how his energy level was if he was free to roam.

Unfortunately, the gates were all padlocked, so we had to content ourselves with a leasurely walk around the park, which I think was best for Max anyway.

I had a nice email from my friend, Jude, who lives in Santa Fe, reminding me that our mutual friend Craig would love to see me and Max if we can get to his place in Monticello, NM.  Seems Craig has a new canine pal who would be a good match for Max when he’s back to 100%.  I’m hoping we can arrange a visit as we get ready to head back east in a month.

I’m also hoping I can fit in a visit to Santa Fe and see Jude again before we leave New Mexico.  With this winter being so mild, I think it would be a pleasant time to be there.

I’ve gotten a lot or responses to Max’s accident through this blog, through Facebook, and also from friends and family back home who are getting the word through other friends.  All the messages have made me feel very connected, even while I’m also feeling pretty isolated way out here on the edge of the Great Southwest.

Every time I look at Max – the stitched cuts on his head, the healing road rash on his shoulder and back, his sweet eyes – I sense his fragility right now as he heals.  He “seems” OK, but the reality is he is not OK yet.  He’s on the mend, and I think it will take a couple of weeks for him to really, truly be 100% recovered.

I know he doesn’t really sleep in the car, so when we get to our hotel each afternoon, I am grateful that he can settle in and rest.  Sleep is the great healer, and he seems to be getting enough of it each afternoon and all night.

photo of max sleeping in beaufort, sc

I just had to put this photo up again! He’ll get back to this soon…

I saw a Ford Expedtion today – I think it belongs to my curly friend here.  The license plate read: DEMAX.

I saw a semi truck the other day in my rearview mirror with a sign across its front grill, but I couldn’t read it.  When he passed me, the same message was painted on the back of the box:  Powered by Jesus.

I couldn’t help myself.  I thought: “Everybody else uses gasoline!”

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About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in museums, Musings, New Mexico, On the Road, playing with a poodle, Random thoughts, Santa Fe, Silver City, Texas, traveling in a Honda Element, Traveling with a dog, Traveling wth a poodle and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to All’s quiet on the western front…

  1. hank says:

    yep. it’s a weird country. don’t see THAT changing. love you and your dog (and blog)!

  2. We’re all mentally with you on the trip, Mome–hang in there and give “Demax” a big hug for us! love, Cin

  3. Gandalf says:

    No more excuses. I’m caught up and, of course, with you both. Onward! [10:18 AM] xox to both of you.

  4. Karen Frangoulis says:

    Traveling with you, vicariously , is fun, M. When you spoke of the cotton fields, it reminded me of travels with Thomas in the early ’90s. Thomas dropped me off at a picked cotton field. I began picking the remaining cotton & stuffing the pockets of my jean skirt- inspired to sing cotton pick’n/slavery songs (Odetta style). Thomas returned with a huge, wild boquet of yellow daffodils!
    Happy,safe travels!

  5. We saw a great bumper sticker on a car recently that said “Praise Dog” ! We will get you one if we find a store that sells ’em because we want it, too! 🙂 glad to hear Maxie is mending. hugs xo

  6. Iana CraneWing says:

    Hi Maureen,
    I am so very relieved to know that Max is healing. When I learned about his accident I was seriously veklempt and so uncomfortable I haven’t commented at all, but now, as I see him healing and hearing your own buoyancy, I can relax a bit. Having held my own Willy as he struggled to breathe his last breaths was really traumatic and I am feeling incredibly grateful for Max’s recovery and good luck to have a driver who was paying attention enough to brake quickly. Thank you for writing so much and so well and oodles of warm wishes to both of you from your island home.
    Love,
    Iana

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Iana, thank you so much for this very touching note. I have heard from several friends who found it hard to read about Max because they had lost their beloved dog in a similar situation. We were so fortunate that it was a quiet side street, and probably also that it was a young driver with quick reflexes.

      It’s so nice to hear from my friends back home. Love, Maureen

  7. diana logan says:

    Hey, Maureen, we’re traveling with you in spirit. Love your blog!

    • Maureen Farr says:

      Thanks Diana! How’s Astros owie?? My friend, Ellen, in Silver City told me about a great dog trainer out there who sound a lot like YOU! I’m going to get in touch with her to see if we can work on Max’s stop and recall commands. Glad you are along for the ride!

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