The Campaign For DA

9.28.2015

Random Monday Morning Thoughts




  • I had an impromptu trip this weekend. On Friday evening, I was thinking about how for the last three years I had wanted to climb Guadalupe Peak -- the highest point in Texas. But I also wanted to combine it with a trip to the Sun Bowl for my stadium bucket list. I had planned and cancelled three trip multiple times.  Was there a flight to El Paso on Saturday? Yep. And it was available with a reasonable price. Was UTEP playing on Saturday? Yes. And a night game and against Incarnate Word --- a ridiculous future Baylor opponent that has caused the Bears nothing but ridicule. I could scout them! Hotel? Holy cow, there was one almost on campus and walking distance to the stadium. Would the National Park be open? Of course. Weather? Beyond perfect. I'd be late for work on Monday, any problems? It's Texas judges seminar week so it's slower than usual. It was the Perfect Storm.  Baaaum! I pulled the trigger. 
  • I'll admit that BagOfNothing's post out of nowhere reviewing his climb to the peak a month ago really bugged me. Mom always thought I sat on my butt too much and would make her feelings known by telling me, "Live a little, boy!"
  • Side note: And for those who are about to beat me down for being high tone, I drive a beater of a car (like I always have ) and haven't had a car payment for years so I can take these quick solo trips once every year or two and without guilt. So you can shut down the orchestra music. 
  • But I started Saturday morning watching the Aggie Band and Corp of Cadets in downtown Fort Worth. Fantastic. (But someone needs to explain to me the different "groups" of cadets -- and there were a TON of them marching -- and their meaning.)
  • Near the Tarrant County Convention Center, where I watched the last of the Aggie Band, there is the fairly new JFK memorial celebrating his visit to Fort Worth before heading to his fate in Dallas. It is so well done. 
  • And I loved this photo which they have encased and is at least 8' tall. I love photos of crowds where I can look at the expressions on their faces. 
  • It dawned on me I was looking at a statue of JFK, it was early in the morning, and I was about to go to Love Field. 
  • And I made it to Love Field which is a great airport especially since all of the renovations (but I've got this weird flaw where I'll get lost in airport parking garages like nobody's business.)
  • I finally made it El Paso and went with Enterprise rent cars again. Love them. So quick and easy. (Not an ad.)
  • I was in my hotel room and watching the end of UT/OSU and Tech/TCU and forced myself to get to campus and stadium. Go see the Sun Bowl as the sun goes down.  I could always watch it on replay. Oh, my. What games. 
  • UTEP campus: I am really impressed. 
  • Sun Bowl: Holy cow! The place is small but may be one of my favorite stadiums in the history of ever. I had always seen the TV shots of the mountains in the background but they literally surround that place. And the one gap where there aren't mountains is a view of the lights of El Paso twinkling for miles. 
  • I'm not complaining, but I think the crowd had a great segment of overweight women who just happen to be Hispanic and who looked like they had Saturday night off from their stripper job. But I mean no offense
  • Oh, I forgot to mention that you can basically walk up and touch the football teams as they came out of the locker room although there was absolutely no interest in cheering them on by the masses. But one of the weirdest moments was when the visiting team walked out and one UTEP fans yelled, "Hey, Incarnate Word! You suck!"  (If I've ever had a Jim Halpert look on my face, I had one then.)
  • The next morning I left at 6:00 and head 111 miles to Guadalupe Peak. I felt just like Walter White once I saw a speed limit sign of 75 and the road was empty and desolate. (And, like BagOfNothing, I saw at least one old RVs in the desert.) 
  • That is, until I came across a border security checkpoint. It was just me and one guard motioning me to move towards him.  Beside me was a backpack with rope, duct tape, a knife, and zip ties. (Hey, you never know. I've seen 127 Hours.) He just asked one question: "Citizenship?" and looked through the window into my back seat. 
  • I'll say this about hiking to Guadalupe Peak. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. There is no question that I'd do two half marathons on back to back days before I'd do that again. And I'm leaning towards three. It was steep and hard going. I would keep looking up thinking I was near the top and then walk another 30 minutes only to find a new and higher peak. And even it wouldn't be the top. However, less than 24 hours later, I feel like I do after completing a half marathon -- I've gone from "I'll never do anything like this again" to "I loved every minute of it."  The peak was glorious. 
  • For you hikers: It was 4.2 miles one way with a 3,000 elevation gain. That's pretty tough, right? And I felt like I was gasping for air but, with an elevation of 8,751, it's not exactly Pike's Peak. 
  • Shout out to the greatness of Merrell shoes and a trekking pole.
  • I came across very few people on my way to the top but one was an older couple who was resting. I told them this was harder that I thought. The guy said, "It's a beating." Ticket fan? 
  • And maybe the weirdest experience of my life occurred within 15 minutes of my making it to the top of Texas. Of the six people I saw on my seven hour journey, I saw two people heading down and one was a fat boy with his shirt off singing, "I love a parade!"  I seriously thought I was hallucinating at that point, and I'm still not ruling that out. 
  • Now I want to see Big Bend. Heck, I'd love to go into and camp for two or three days. But I would never do that without someone sitting me down and explaining exactly what to do and what to expect. 
  • The following is from Sunday but it was a Football Miracle.