The Vagabond Novelist

My Journey. My Dream.

Day 9: My Horse Would Have a Name

I headed to West Texas on I-10 at 80 miles per hour (the posted limit). The skies faded from grey to ominous the further west Sasha (my car) and I went. Sasha likes stretching her legs. She might have crept up to 85 from time to time. I could hardly blame her.

The road was long and straight.

It’s a perfect stretch for letting the creative juices start to percolate.

I’ve never spent time in the desert. My plans are a couple of days in Alpine and then south to Terlingua, Texas. What is the draw of the desert? Why do some people love it while others can’t wait to get out?

From San Antonio to Alpine the scenery changed as I started to climb into the mountains. It was beautiful. The jukebox in my head kept singing, “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to be out of the rain.”

This naturally led me to a lengthy consideration of the type of horse I might ride through the desert. I don’t know much about our furry equine friends, so I settled on an Arabian. My sister had one named Elroy.

I can’t say I settled on a name for my horse, but I can tell you he would have one before we began our desert trip. It seems rude not to.Day 9 en route to Alpine from San Antonio

The trip was 378 miles and Google Maps said it would take 5 hours and 11 minutes. This is a perfect distance for clearing one’s mind.

My author buddy had told me that getting to Terlingua would probably be a much needed break for me because I’d been going pretty hard with the book business for weeks on end.

The desert also had an issue with connectivity. There were stretches where my phone read “no service”. It was sort of like being in the car. One can’t (or shouldn’t) text while driving, and checking FB is a bad idea, so I don’t do these things. When I’m home I feel compelled to constantly check.

I wondered what it would be like to be unconnected. Would I have withdrawals? There was only one way to find out and I was on the road to that answer.

AlpineTexas1When I arrived in Alpine I didn’t have a room. My AirBnB place didn’t start until 3:00 the next day. I had reserved two nights followed by four on a school bus at Tin Valley Retro Rentals in Terlingua. It was a little gap in planning that I didn’t figure would be such a big deal.

The first place I pulled into in Alpine had a suspiciously full parking lot. Sure enough, when I inquired at the desk, they were booked. He suggested a place across town.

Mentally, I began preparing for a night in Sasha. It turned out to be a nonissue. I found lodging and ordered a pizza from Pizza Hut.

The road affords one an incredible opportunity to meet interesting people. Tonight, she delivered my pizza.

Danazsha arrived at my door, and I invited her in so I could sign the credit card receipt. I asked her if she had grown up in Alpine. She was from the south side of Chicago.

Alpine is nothing like Chicago.

I asked her what brought her to Texas. She intends to start her own ranch. Now that’s a cool dream. I found out that she’s 19 years old so I guessed she was a freshman.



Nope, I was wrong.

Danazsha graduated early from high school and was a junior.

My time with this amazing young person was less than five minutes but I’ll not forget her anytime soon. She has the focus and dive that it took me over forty years to find. She knows what she wants and was delivering pizzas to make it happen.

It was a wonderful travel day. Tomorrow, I find out what’s interesting in Alpine.


Day 8: A Walk Down Memory Lane


Day 10: Adrenaline-Fueled Shopping


  1. ROFLMAO. That is all.

  2. Steve Hardin

    Pizza delivery, I really can’t think of a better ending to a day.

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