Saturday, April 14, 2007

Port Arthur

I made it to Janis Joplin's hometown just before it got dark. Have you ever read a JJ biography? Well, growing up in Port Arthur is the main reason the woman was such a freak. It seems like it hasn't changed much. It is a scary, segregated town surrounded by oil refineries and industrial complexes that contribute to the health problems of the local population. The downtown is a ghost town, there are still some businesses there but nothing was open at night, not even the bars. I wanted to park downtown because it was so quiet but for safety's sake I moved over to a residential neighborhood and stayed by an empty lot. After a trip to Beaumont to check out the thrift stores (don't go!) I was a little fed up with Texas and for some reason I felt like when I crossed the border into Louisiana everything would be better. Turned out I was right!

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Saturday, April 7, 2007


The world's most pissed off one eyed cat has finally become my friend!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2007


I dropped Brenndan off at the airport and headed over to the home of Tim Carroll, who I met at Wig and Ad's wedding in September. Tim lives in Bouldin Creek, a great neighborhood full of Mexican food and coffee shops. I asked Tim which is his favorite Taqueria and then walked down South First to get some rice and beans. I wound up at La Mexicana Panaderia and Taqueria. The beans and rice with a dozen home made flour tortillas and a selection of three pastries cost me $5 and came with self serve nopalito salsa, my favorite. The pastries were light and delicious and so flaky. Beans and rice have become the staple of my diet on this trip. I used to order tacos but since outside of California it can be hard to get vegetarian tacos I have just been ordering beans, rice and tortillas and making my own. Usually I have an avocado in the van too. It's the perfect meal and usually costs about $3-4 and provides enough food for two meals.

That night at around 8 pm I felt utterly exhausted and had to go crash out in the van. I felt like I had been given a dose of downers, I literally couldn't get out of bed. It wasn't until later that I realized that I had been drinking the spring water from Chinati Springs that contains lithium and arsenic!

On Sunday night Clane Hayward invited me to dinner at Mary's house. It was great to meet everyone and eat delicious home made enchiladas with goat cheese and New Mexico red chile sauce. That night I parked in front of Clane and Donald's house and spent the morning playing with the dog. A neighbor stopped his car to ask if I was selling my van. "No sir!"

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Friday, March 30, 2007

In Texas

even the coffees are HUGE!

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Thursday, March 29, 2007


We stopped at the Prada store and the Hiway Café (closed) outside of Marfa. No really, there's a Prada store but the door doesn't open and you can't buy anything. From Marfa we took Pinto Canyon road to Chinati Hot Springs. It was an arduous drive on a rocky, unpaved road but we made it and the herd of Javelinas made it totally worth it. Not to mention the incredible feeling of sitting in a hot pool of water on the Mexico/Texas border listening to the wind in the in the canyon. There is real magic in those mountains and it will change you.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

El Paso

We pulled into El Paso right around 9 pm thinking that we would stay on the outskirts of town but changed our plan when we realized that the outskirts of town are the Mexican border. Not wanting to attract attention from the omnipresent border patrol or worse, the minutemen, (no telling WHAT they'd do with a couple of semi-legal Canadians like us!) we opted to find a place to park in town. I had a hankering for a cold beer and a game of pool so we headed to El Paso's surprisingly empty downtown. I figured that just east of the greyhound station we would be able to find a cheap and friendly Mexican bar and there we found The Tap. I really wish I remembered to take a picture of their sign so if anyone goes there, please take one for me.

We played a few games of pool (4-1 for me) and after our last one the waitress brought us two cans of Tecate complements of Luis, who was sitting at the bar and thought we were a couple of students. Luis and the bartender conferred when we asked if they could suggest a safe place to park. Luis suggested the parking lot of the Episcopal church. We looked for it but in the end we just parked on a random corner not far from the bar and had a peaceful night.

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