Depending on where one was planning on driving to and from in Texas, it was a good idea to take everything needed along. One must always have a spare tire, the equipment needed to change a tire, a knife, a jacket, water, toilet paper, a plastic bag, a first aid kit, a full tank of gas, and some kind of food. Depending on which direction one was traveling, some places in texas could get pretty sparsely populated and the towns one did encounter would be mostly ranches with large gates blocking the drive, miles from the actual house. There would be one gas station/grocery store that was closed on mondays and no public bathrooms or car repair shops. You were not likely to have cell service when you actually needed to call triple A or youtube how to open the hood of your car. Even the radio stations were sparse in some of the areas i was traveling through. Way out, there’d be nothing but static. Closer to the well populated towns with fast food joints and hospitals you could get country and church radio. The idea was to keep moving until you got to your destination. Don’t hit any deer and don’t have any car trouble. If you could manage that it was a good trip. I enjoyed the solitude in the middle of nowhere with the sparse radio stations and the barren landscapes out the window. I enjoyed the herds of livestock, the buzzards picking at carcasses alongside the road, and the occasional road runner or jack rabbit. The long drives gave me time to think, contemplate life’s mysteries, and rest for lack of a better word. I didn’t have to always be thinking about how my behavior was being perceived, whether my body language, facial expressions, and words were conveying the appropriate thing for each social situation. Solitude appealed to me because it was easy. It was restful. It was peace. I enjoyed road trips…just maybe not trying to cram the round trip into one day so i could get back to the dogs by nightfall and get ready for work in the morning.
I stopped on the side of the road to take a 10 minute nap and there were these 3 giant bulls. They waited to see if i had food, then turned and ran when they weren’t sure what i was about.
On this particular day i had already made the trek to see family and was heading towards home as fast as i could manage safely on the winding one-lane roads. I was racing the clock to let the dogs out before they shredded the pee pads and cashew went into full-blown poopapalooza mode. I had tried to stop at two different gas stations when i passed through blanco. It was the last big city i’d be seeing for a while. I had to pee. I knew blanco was my last chance at an actual bathroom. I passed the entrance to the first gas station because nobody would let me over one lane. I tried to stop at the second gas station but a truck had parked sideways, blocking my access to the available parking spots on the other side of him. Thinking he would see my car and adjust his so i could get through, i sat for a good 8 minutes. When it became apparent that the **** *** had no intention of moving i became disenchanted with the city of blanco and began to long for the solitude of the dry and undeveloped scenery of the open road. I left. When i could hold my urine no more i pulled the car over on the side of the road and opened the trunk. In it was a roll of toilet paper, a plastic bag, and the bottom half of an ozarka gallon jug of water, sawed off with a box cutter. I gathered the items and climbed into the back seat of the car. I quickly unfastened my belt and squatted over my ozarka travel potty. I heard a noise. “Ba-ah-ah-ah” then again. “Ba-ah-ah-ah”. Then around fifty sheep ran down the hill and stood next to the car, staring at me. No doubt they thought i had brought food. Several of my neighbors held a routine of driving their truck up to the fence and dumping hay from the bed of their truck into the animals’ feed area during the evenings. These sheep most likely thought i had come to do just that. But i hadn’t. I was just sitting there trying to pee with an audience of fifty sheep. I hurried up and tied the tp neatly in my plastic bag. Then i fastened my belt and opened the back door, stepping out to empty the ozarka jug. As i carried it behind the car the sheep followed me. I poured it out in the grass. At this point the sheep decided i hadn’t brought food and the herd disscipated, scattering across the hill. I waved goodbye. Many a time i had opened the bathroom door to an audience of two curious dogs who wanted to know what the heck i was doing in there but it was the first time i had peed in front of fifty sheep.