Roan and I high-tailed it out of Hondo, Texas about 9 AM Thursday, light rain on our trail. We headed west on Highway 90, safely south of the flooding rains and golf ball-size hail.
After more than 300 miles, we decided to spend the night at the Marfa Lights Viewing Center.
The Marfa lights “are sometimes red, sometimes blue, sometimes white, and usually appear randomly throughout the night, no matter the season or the weather.”
As the sun set and the moon rose, car after car pulled into the lot. We saw people, some with flashlights, most without, but no mysteriously patriotic lights. But it was cold and dark and we didn’t really look. And I didn’t really sleep.
Having trouble sleeping out on the road, in the middle of “nowhere,” is not unusual. But not sleeping last night was odd. I was in familiar territory, back at LoW-HI RV Ranch in Deming, New Mexico.
After a second night of hit-and-miss sleep, I take care of Roan and go for a fast-paced walk, my Deming routine.
I head out of the RV park and turn right on O’Kelley Road. Wind gusts up to 29 mph push from the north. But the sky is blue and the sun bright. I pull my sweatshirt jacket hood over my Hardcore Choppers baseball cap and headphones.
No podcast today. Instead I select “Highly rated” from the DJ feature on my MP3 player. The first song: “Feeling Good” by Carly Rose Sonenclar:
Birds flyin’ high, you know how I feel
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.
And I’m feelin’ good.
Whoosh! The top of my head blows open like a balloon. Sparks and tingles flow lava-like, a skull cap of energy.
Before I hit the road I watched TV, a lot of TV. And yes, I was hooked on all the programs searching for the next music superstar. I voted for Kelly Clarkson that first season of “American Idol.” But the performance that really got me, the one I can’t forget, was Carly Rose Sonenclar’s 2012 “X Factor” audition.
Singing at age 2, on Broadway at age 7, 13-year old Carly Rose was understated that day, perhaps purposely so. She wore jean shorts, a black vest over a sleeveless white tee, and sandals. Long brown hair pulled back with a barrette. Her rendition of the Nina Simone classic brought the house down and the judges up, even notoriously cynical Simon Cowell.
And now I’m feeling good too. Like if I ran fast enough I could spit in gravity’s eye and lift up, off the ground, and fly.
And then the next song: “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder.
Whoosh, whoosh! Now I’m cruising west on O’Kelley, singing and dancing to the music. I swear I’m levitating. It’s like anything could happen — anything at all — and that anything would be great.
And I’m feeling good.
Now time for a nap.