Stats to Date:
Total Miles:732
Total States:2
Total Oceans Touched:0
Car Problems:0
Total Times Lost:0
Day: 1 Location: Las Cruces, NM (Outside of El Paso)
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -- Confucius

After twelve hours of driving, I'm finally here! I was so tired last night, I couldn't even write this journal -- so I'm sitting in a Las Cruces diner eating breakfast tacos at 8am and typing on my laptop. Man that was a long drive, so I'll start at the beginning. After finishing my two finals, I went home, packed and was about to walk out the door when I got a phone call from a reporter named Brett at the Eagle. He told me he had seen my website and wanted to write a story! Can you believe it? If he had called an hour later, I would have been in Austin -- so I agreed to meet him at the Eagle office for an interview and some pictures. Afterwards, Brett asked me to call him from the Grand Canyon for a second interview before he writes his article. He was a really nice guy, but he probably thought I was a spaz in my flight suit and all my excitement about leaving. Anyway, if any of you are in College Station this break -- Please, please be on the lookout for me in the Eagle!

So by the time I left, I was already an hour and a half behind schedule. Definately worth it, but I wasn't going to make El Paso by midnight. I pressed a little harder on the accelerator as I drove through some of the coolest looking western towns I've ever seen... I was very tempted to stop, but I really wanted to get to El Paso before the next day -- so I pressed on for the sake of my schedule. I kept going as the sun set and the stars came out... and man did they come out! I've seen stars in the country before, but West Texas is something else. My friend Jed told me West Texas is one of the darkest areas in North America -- and it showed that night. The view literally made my jaw drop. In my opinion, there are few things more beautiful in God's creation than a star-filled sky. But the stars were about the only thing out there... the whole drive was pitch black on an empty road with nothing in every direction. I took the opportunity to listen to the first 9 of 20 CD's of the New Testament in the Message, Jed's Roadtrip Mix (quite possibly the best road trip music compilation ever made), Lauren's Juarez mix and a few random mix CD's from your donations. I'm not gonna lie -- it was hard to sit in a car for 12 hours, but now I'm that much closer to my first couple of landmarks: Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. My plan is to be in Phoenix this afternoon (12/15/04) and head to the Grand Canyon and on to Vegas the next day.

On another topic, apparently the cool thing to do in High School at 2am in Las Cruces is to crash shopping carts into each other in the Walmart parking lot. I couldn't see what they were doing but between the honking, cheers and clanking of metal it was tough to get some sleep. The cold wasn't really a problem, in fact, I was surprisingly warm under all those blankets. But when I woke up this morning, there was a thick coat of ice on the top of my camper... and it's only gonna get worse. There hasn't been much picture worthy material just yet (plus my camera is acting up), but once I get to Phoenix I'll have some more to work with... thanks for reading!
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