Sunday April 20, 2003.
Highway 287 took me very linearly south east to Fort Worth, all
the way under a cloudless horizon-to-horizon blue sky. The roadside scenery itself was rather flat and uninteresting,
with the exception of the occasional object such as those pictured below.
Fort Worth is a small city that only took a few minutes to pass
through until I turned east on Interstate 30 towards Dallas. That 30 mile drive from Fort Worth to Dallas revealed
an unexpectedly green and leafy environment, not unlike the east coast of Australia. I gained a favourable impression
of the Dallas / Fort Worth area as a very livable place.
I reached Dallas in time to photograph the city skyline before the
sun set, and preferring to stay the night in the countryside, I continued east past the city on highway 30 then turned south
on 635 and finally east again on Interstate 20.
I find the drive along almost every interstate freeway in the U.S.
to be relatively stressful. Every other vehicle on the road travels significantly faster than the speed limit, including
trucks and even school buses. I yearned to get off the interstate freeway so I could drive on back roads at
a more leisurely pace. Relief came when I saw an exit to a town called "Canton". I thought that must be a good
omen, feeling a little homesick for Hong Kong as I do, and was rewarded with the perfect drive along Texas highway 64 east
from Canton to Tyler. It was dark by now, and except for the road in my headlights and the silhouette of trees on the
roadside, I could see no scenery, but instead was enthralled by the rural smells of farmlands filling the car through the
open sunroof. Fresh grass and hay smells mixed with just enough manure smells brought back a flood of memories from
my youth. That smell of the countryside on a cool night rekindled a thousand pleasure moments from my days of
car rallying in Australia twenty five years ago. I arrived in Tyler, "rose capital of the world", in a much better mood
after the leisurely drive along highway 64. I'll try to avoid the interstate highways as much as possible for the remainder
of this trip.
I refilled the car with petrol and asked the gas station attendant
for directions to the motel area. His accent declared that I was well and truly in Texas now. He said, slowly
in a real Texas drawl, "Y'all just make a left outa here and go straight down this road for a mile. You'll be
seein' the hotels soon enough. Y'all take care now."