4360 Miles in 126 Hours

Troy Paiva

3) There's no “Welcome to Texas” sign on Interstate 40, just one that reads “Don't Mess with Texas. 10 to 1000 Dollar Fine for Littering.” What do you have to throw out to only get tagged for 10 bucks? At Vega, I turn north looking for photo ops, making a lazy loop through Dahlhart, Stratford, Dumas and back to Amarillo as the glowing red sun sinks into the monsoon clouds. This area is billiard table-smooth farmland with hundreds of abandoned silos and grain elevators banging and creaking in the endless plains wind, but nothing that I feel like shooting. I head west, back toward New Mexico and melting adobe homes in Cuervo and a rotting gas station/motel complex in Newkirk that caught my eye six hours earlier. I spend the night a few miles down a dirt road off I-40. The winds blast through the red rock canyons as I toss and turn, crammed into the back of the Subaru.