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Monday, February 11, 2008


I finally got on the road at 12:33pm, driving US Hwy 190 east of I-35. The highway here had taken on a new personality, looking more forlorn than the US Hwy 190 I know going west of Lampasas. Its two lanes were badly scarred with black tar to fill in cracks. The towns along the way, first Heidenheimer, then Rogers and finally Bucholts were small towns off the highway made mostly of wooden structures and tin roofs, and filled with old metal scraps. I was afraid that was all I was going to see driving southeast toward Houston.

Cameron wasn't much better, but east of Cameron the hills briefly became more pronounced and then the miraculous happened: grass started sprouting up, first along the side of the highway, then in patches in the grazing fields, and then all over. By the time I stopped in Bryan, the meridians were covered in grass. I even walked past a rose bush in pretty pink bloom.

I still hadn't eaten anything all day, hoping to find a decent eatery along the way. Most of the open restaurants had deserted parking lots, which tells me the food isn't that good. Bryan had a nice bar-grill in its historic LaSalle Hotel, but the bar wasn't open yet.

I liked the historic part of Bryan, with its various highrises of brick in hues of brown. There are two historic movie theatres right across from each other, the Palace and the Queen. The old cottonhall is now a small shopping area, but it's a nice shopping area although this place isn't exactly brimming with people. I like the art: painted locomotives placed at street corners and statues depicting people around the old market square.

Unfortunately, I have only driven 125 miles so far, I'm down to a quarter of gasoline in my tank and my stomach's on empty. The sky still looks stormy but it's still dry.

I'm now in Eastern Texas, with its green grass and darker soil. I'm happy for the change. I'm looking forward to other changes in flora around me. I will now continue on to Navasota on TX6. This is part of the Texas Independence Trail. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site is southwest of town and that will be my stop for the day. I've already been in Bryan an hour and thirty minutes of that was writing this and downloading my photographs.

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