NALM 2016 Days 1 and 2: Las Cruces, New Mexico & Shreveport, Louisiana
Trip Distance (Leg): 1,277
Trip Distance (Overall): 1,277
It’s that blessed time of year once again when a few dozen crazed Legend fans rendezvous for a multi-day event. This year, the event’s 12th, will be hosted in Oakwood, Georgia – just a bit north of Atlanta. My one-way drive will end up being about 1,900 miles, making this quite a bit further than I had to go last year when the event was in Houston. Here’s to hoping things move toward the west coast for 2017. Maybe I should host NALM in Phoenix?
The last couple of days I’ve been pounding the pavement of I-10 and I-20 through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Let me rephrase that last one. Teeeeeexxxxxxaaaaaaaasssssss. The state is just gigantic. Today I drove from sun-up to sundown and never left the state. In fact, I drove another 2 hours eastbound in the dark until I finally reached the Louisiana state line after having spent some 800 miles working my way from one end of the Lone Star State to the other. I’m exhausted. And maybe my tried & true Legend steed is as well.
Jason of Driven for Drives was kind enough to roll out some red carpet for me during my stay in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The drive to his place from central Phoenix ended up taking me about 6 hours. I was able to pry my way out of the office (not an easy task when you’ve only had the job a week!) about a half hour early and hit the highway. After a night’s rest, I continued on through El Paso (fought about 1/2 hour worth of rush-hour there) and then it was the open road ahead. “Wide Open Spaces,” as the Dixie Chicks would call it.
I reach a point in my long-distance drives where I fall into a meditative state and time flies by. I’m skipping through a few dozen songs on the iPod, perusing my road atlas, and the next thing I know I’ve gone 100 miles. Luckily most of the speed limits out in rural Texas are 80 miles per hour, but that doesn’t help in cases (like today’s) where I frequently hit construction zones and sudden rain downpours and had to clamp down on the brakes.
This was my dialogue with the service station attendant at Cowpoke’s Convenience Store in Cisco, Texas:
- Guy: What kind of car is that?
- Me: It’s just an old Acura, a Legend.
- Guy: Oh, I saw when you pulled up, the front end looked like an old Skyline.
- Me: Haha, nah. Nothing fancy. Just cruising across the country to Atlanta.
- Guy: Atlanta? But you’ve only made it to Cisco, Texas.
- Me (walking out the door with my newly purchased beef jerky): Well, at least I’m halfway!
And with that, I was off. Cisco was a pretty neat little down, actually. It’s known for being a historical spot in the story of Hilton hotels. Hilton’s founder, Conrad Hilton, bought a building there in 1919 and it became his first hotel. Back in those days, they would rent out the rooms in 8-hour time intervals! Today, that original building houses the Cisco Chamber of Commerce. I stopped by for a few photos in the rain and checked it out.
In Dallas – the Metroplex – I met up with my friend Scott for a short visit. He clued me in a pretty cool truck stop just a ways up the road on I-20 called Buc-Ees. Sure enough, it was worth checking out. Have you ever been to a gas station that had 38 pumps? Thirty-eight. I think that’s what heaven must look like. No waiting, anywhere. Just pumps for days. I didn’t take the time to check out Buc-Ees in much detail, but I liked what I saw.
So that brings us to Louisiana, and just a few states to go until my arrival tomorrow night at the meeting point. Here’s to a good night’s rest, and thanks for coming along on the journey!
Took this before leaving. These are some leaks from the Legend. I checked oil 4 times so far on the trip and haven’t had to add any. I know there is some power steering fluid leakage and I did add some of that.
Departing the “Land of Enchantment”
And arriving Texas there you have to “drive friendly.”
This is the worst breakfast. But it was also the best. Cinnabon + choc milk.
Lots of 5-4 going on here.
Seeing signs for Shreveport
Meeting up w/ Scott
A visit to Buc-Ees off I-20
And finally, arriving Shreveport!