Trek Diary: Day Thirteen (9th July)
Desert, shrubs and rocks. That was what we saw for about 6 straight hours. I must admit, it was a lot nicer than the east coast drive, which was 200 miles of trees. The desert was a new thing for us Europeans and seeing so much open space made me realise just how over crowded our country is.
During our long drive we also saw our first “dust devils”. These are desert whirlwinds that seem to appear out of nowhere and then vanish just as quickly. Although they can get quite big they are relatively harmless but i wouldn’t want to try my luck with one! We also saw an overturned car in the middle of the road, luckily everyone seemed okay but it did make me wonder whether they had had an encounter with one of the devils…
Our campsite was just outside Fort Stockton and was one of my favourite from the trip. There was a breeze, plenty of bathrooms and we spent the afternoon playing pool games and having races, including a very fun crab version!
Cooking for 13 (fussy!) people, on a camp stove in a windy area is a bit of a challenge. During the first week or so, we did have a few failed attempts of getting the correct amount together as its definitely a trial and improvement thing. Today was an “over estimation” day and by the end i felt like i had eaten my entire body weight in mac n’ cheese. We had also been noticing that alcohol was having…peculiar effects on some of us. It must have been the combination of heat and exhaustion but i was feeling pretty tipsy after a single Bacardi Breezer. It was very strange, like being 14 all over again.
With not a lot to do at the camp site, it was decided that we were to go bowling in Fort Stockton. I had the impression that this was probably the only thing to do in this town. It was here that we met Paul the creepo drunk. Paul had heard our very strange sounding accents and swanned on over to us as we were trying on our bowling shoes. As the evening progressed, he took a bit of a shine to our Natalie and barely left her side all night. After a while, we grew tiresome of our Texan friend and after a lot of coaxing, he was sent on his way. The memory of Paul has overshadowed the bowling and i cant even remember who won now!
The drinking continued back at camp, after our wonderful rendition of “Dont Stop Me Now” during the drive back. The boys played Arrogance – a game that has a sole purpose of getting everyone smashed and as quickly as possible (especially if George Dickel joins in) Later on, as i was sorting out my tent, Anthony silently appeared behind me wearing his fur coat and sunglasses. He looked at Rob and I, shouted “Bitchhhhhes!” and then promptly fell down and passed out. He remained there till i went to bed, still in the same position and didn’t even move when i started jabbing him in the side to see if he was still alive. I presumed he was, zipped up my tent and went to sleep.
Quite a few people joined Anthony in sleeping outside but Lisa and I were not taking anymore chances with nature. When i got home i found a photo on the main Trek America Facebook page from a group who were a week in front of us. The photo was of a tarantula that they had found roaming their Fort Stockton campsite. That would have been nice to find in your sleeping bag!