Dear Diary - I've been remiss in blogging recently, so here's some backlog of words and pix. A few years, er... days ago we took off from New Orleans and got a better look at the Katrina aftermath. Right at the airport was sad evidence of this plane that apparently didn't fly out in time. I wonder where it had been before this tragic end.

Nearly all of the city visible from the above has been either rebuilt or cleared away. Here and there are driveways that end in flat empty lots growing grass instead of families. I don't know what the city looked like before, but to my eye the bare swath at the left was probably a thriving neighborhood.

We left late after sleeping in from Halloween, but the nearly full moon was high and bright in the clear air so we pressed on past Houston's distant sprawling glow.

After a great night's sleep at Staybridge pampered by the exceptional staff, morning saw us exploring Austin on our bike starting at the Capitol where a kind woman paused to snap us riding by (here you go, Nancy).
I hope this conveys some of what catches people's attention, when they see us on one bike with two comfy seats and both pedaling. The only missing item from a standard tandem is that the trusting person in back holds onto my "handlebars."

We loved the Bike & Hike trail along and across the Colorado. Didn't know that river runs through Austin?

That evening (11/2) we arrived in San Antonio for another sweet time with family (we're sure scattered across the country!). We strolled the River Walk, had dinner, and saw the Alamo where there were guards on duty and a steady stream of people pausing to read and contemplate the plaques.

Taking off this morning we got a distant glimpse of downtown, with the Space Needle on the left.
Didn't know that's in Texas? It turns out there are lots of familiar places in TX, including the Colorado River and the Space Needle. People here like theirs better than the "copies" you may have heard tell of in Colorado and Seattle.

Heading toward Dryden we noticed vast areas with "topographical" lines. I'm no geologist, but to me it looks like evidence this was once an enormous lake several hundred feet above where the Rio Grande now runs.

Having left San Antonio relatively early, and a bit surprised that we weren't tired after our relatively short night's sleep, we decided to divert south near the Mexican border toward Big Bend. I have zillions of pix with assorted geological features, so if you love such stuff let me know and we can enjoy a two month slide show together. For now, here are a few I like in this size and maybe I'll post a few more on the Photo link. We turned back northwest again before reaching the park, so most of these pix are telephoto shots into the hazy distance.

Jagged edges, layered rows of ridges into the distance, and tall cliffs seem to fascinate me most. Any psychologists care to analyze that?

We arrived in El Paso in the afternoon, but by the time we chose a hotel and got the shuttle into town past a horrible looking accident on the freeway it was nearing sunset.

We walked around the downtown area looking for an authentic Mexican restaurant named Leo's that was recommended by everyone we asked on the street. Like many people we saw along the way, the four in this photo shoot seemed sad somehow.

In the end we'd walked right past Leo's because it was closed, so after exploring several blocks of loan and pawn shops next to bridal, beauty, curio, ammo and dollar shops we surrendered to an affordable though average meal in the hotel. We had talked about walking across into Juarez, but the first man who'd recommended Leo's reacted with shock when we mentioned it. "You look like tourists, and that's not good," he said. He went on to inform us of several thousand murders there so far this year, and we decided to stay with our fond memories of walking the bridge for a fun afternoon twenty-some years ago.

Where will we fly tomorrow? Where will we land? Will we take an hour or two somewhere to ride our bike, take a cab, or otherwise explore someplace at ground level? Any suggestions?

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