From Austin, we spent almost two days driving across West Texas, sleeping overnight in an unsettling motel in Ozona, the midpoint of our journey. We were lucky that the charging infrastructure barely worked well enough to get us where we needed to go. Still, we made it all the way to El Paso, at the far tip of Texas and right on the border with Mexico. We noted, with a great deal of discomfort, the highly visible border fencing which ran through the rugged mountainous terrain. but we wound up having a great time in El Paso. H made his way across the border, to make sure that he could say he went to Mexico on our adventure, while G explored the kitschy, cowboy-filled downtown. We drove up the mountain at El Paso’s back, looking over the city below, and had some truly unbelievable Tex-Mex on the way. We capped off our stay by getting back into our movie theater habit and viewing the freshly-Oscar-laden Parasite, and as we processed the bizarre depths of the film we were blessed with a late-night display of lighting bolts high above Juárez.
No matter how south we manage to go, winter continues to rear its ugly head. Leaving El Paso behind, we were astonished to see at first tiny flakes of snow (and soon, a whiteout blizzard) painting the golden desert white. In Deming, NM, where we stopped to charge, G sat in a café and watched thick, wet snow fall just as hard as any squall back in Barrie. But as the weather cleared, our drive through the borderland desert turned spectacular. A golden mist bathed one memorable mountain pass on the AZ/NM border, fading to an unbelievable sunset with a rainbow blessing our journey—right as G signed his offer letter with Rivian. Soon after, we made it to Tucson, where our one day was split between phenomenal brunch, the incredible cactus majesty of Saguaro National Park, and a hilariously kitschy neon sign museum owned by a family of repairers. We couldn’t have asked for a better welcome to Arizona for our brief glimpse of the state.