The First 3,000 Miles
This is the 5th trip to Albuquerque one picture and 25 words at a time. It includes a reverse of the Villasur Expedition of 1720.
I named her Camilla, after the hero in the Aeneid. She went 10,426 miles, 20 states, played many songs, and used 30 tanks of gas.
The trip began at a favorite place with some of my favorite people. While the rain lashed the beach, we played Monopoly and ate Cassoulet.
My path was through Utah, Wyoming, and then Nebraska. I feel joy when I cross into Nebraska where the plains open up with an embrace.
Villasur’s story was written by bureaucrats covering their asses. The bridge to where he died, the confluence of the Platte and Loup rivers, was closed.
The Pawnee Trail
The female protagonist in “the story” argues that Villasur used the Pawnee Trail. It makes sense and I followed it as close as I could.
I love the Pawnees, especially the Kítkehahki Band which had villages close to the Republican River. I tossed wood from La Push into the river.
Lebanon is the home of a central character in “the story,” and to Dido in the Aeneid. This coincidence makes me deeply happy and confident.
Spanish explorer Coronado arrived in 1540 seeking gold in a place called Quivara. The Pawnees were not impressed with Coronado. And there was no gold.
I Lost My Wallet In Wichita
In Wichita, I “lost” my wallet. I decided it was a message. Let go of things I am comfortable with. True. I found it later.
Kansas’ Dusty Roads
Kansas’ grid system of rural roads are deserted as they are reliable. They stretch in all four directions and their dust coats your car indelibly.
Quartalejo looks like New Mexico. Villasur must have thought he’d be fine until he rode over the hill, and then was overwhelmed by the prairie.
South Sandia Peak
Once in Albuquerque, I always make a trip up to South Sandia Peak. It is the peak that was always present as I grew up.
Standing on red clay, shadowed by its color in the cliffs, my family married and killed each other in Coyote. One can’t escape the clay.
Why I Left Angry
Whatever set me at war with my teachers in 1986, 5 years later, I had a Masters Degree. I was teaching those fuckers a lesson.