It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Texas so long! Since early December I’ve made my way step-by-step through this vast state! I’ve been freezing, drenched, made to scream at the nagging 25+ mile an hour persistent wind, exhausted by the never ending distances between towns – and enriched every step of the way by the wonderful people I’ve met here. This is a long photo/caption post. But hopefully you will enjoy it. The post starts outside of Lubbock, TX and goes through my final days in Austin, TX. For the next post I will pick up with me leaving Austin heading east towards Houston. As always, thank you to everyone who is supporting this 6,000 mile walk across the USA! It’s hard to believe I’ve walked over 2,700 miles so far! I’m almost half way there!!!
My Lubbock, TX host, David Liles and I where he dropped me back off to continue walking. People like David getting me off the road at night in the cold have been a HUGE help!
Some homemade political signs.
Walking down into Ransom Canyon. It was so pretty! And exciting since it was the first day in forever I was seeing anything other than flat plains!
The south side of Ransom Canyon. I had to climb out of the canyon to get to Slaton, TX.
Another view of the beautiful reddish rocks as I walked into the canyon.
Some animal in the distance as I started walking out of the canyon. I don't know what it was. Any ideas?
As my host James Villanueva would say, Welcome to Slaton!
It seems I didn't take photos of my rowdy five days over Christmas while in Slaton. Many of these photos of all of us in Slaton are posted on Facebook. Here, I'm saying goodbye to James. He is such an inspiration!
As I walked out of town I had to take a photo of the town mural. Notice how non-white-appearing people are depicted in work clothes and the white-appearing people are dressed real nice. BTW - also know Slaton, though filled with wonderful people today, was founded as a Klan town in the early 1900s.
To expound on this point further, read James Villanueva’s book Remembering Slaton
As I walked out of Slaton towards Post, I noticed this billboard. I wanted to turn around and head back into Slaton! The Slaton Bakery is great!
A great surprise! One of Edgar Tarango's dance students, Sophia Burns saw me and stopped to say hi and give me a donation. She was wonderful!
The oil or whatever fields this day smelled nasty. LIke rotten eggs.
Walking off of the Caprock was such a treat!
The old and the new.
Cute closed down gas station and store.
One of many dead boars I've seen in Texas. I hate to say this, but I really don't want to see one of these alive!
Some folks who said they saw me about a week prior before they left for a family vacation. They stopped on their way back home to find out why I was walking.
One of the nation's largest wind farms.
Welcome to Roscoe!
I loved this billboard! Roscoe isn't just the home to 'one of' the largest wind farms - but to plowgirls and plow boys! I think I found where I will retire!
Another view of downtown Roscoe.
Some dogs that barked and followed me for about a 1/4 mile. Finally they turned around and went home.
Cool metalworks store near Sweetwater, TX.
Edgar Tarango drove down from Amarillo to ring in the new year with me in Sweetwater, TX motel room. Thanks Edgar for driving 4 hours to keep me company!
Things are getting a bit greener each day!
I was told the green in the dormant trees is mistletoe. It's everywhere in central Texas.
A gorgeous walking day on a dirt road. Just a few days west of Abilene, TX. This 24-mile day was one of the best yet. Small trees and evergreens, small hills. Such a delight!
Close up of mistletoe.
Like I've said before (and as I've learned the late Ryan Skipper still says) - Rocks are cool!
Under a railroad bridge was a very different kind of tagging and graffiti.
One of two or more planes that kept flying over my head on my way to Merkel, TX.
Armando Portillo and I taking a model shot in the lobby of the Royal Inn in Abilene (which was paid for by my Aunt Joy Bounville). Armando is James Villanueva's cousin. We met over X-mas in Slaton and he helped get me through the Abilene area.
Check out the palm tree in the bottom left of the photo. It's the first one I've seen since starting to walk! Southern states, here I come!
Abandoned warehouses in Abilene, TX.
Saying goodbye to Armando...for now.
Everything's bigger in Texas - even the roads.
The first house I passed with a special Texas-style sign displayed on its property.
Close-up of the classy sign. Welcome to Texas!
GREEN! Though it's winter crops - it's still GREEN!!!!!
Ok, I have to - GREEEEEEEEEN!
Rosten and Laura dropping me off between Abilene and Cross Plains, TX. Their roommate Keith picked me up the night before so I didn't have to roadside camp.
There were cows poking about in this!
The first armadillo I've seen! It was in the hills south of Abilene. They are so cute!
Welcome to Cross Plains, TX.
A more refined presentation of paranoia.
Welcome to Zephyr, TX, home of a retired railroad car and, oh yes, a zebra ranch. Only in Texas.
Home sweet home on a 30 degree night in Zephyr...an abandoned post office.
The outside of my deluxe accommodations.
Next to the old post office is the old dirt-floor Zephyr schoolhouse, currently used for storage.
Yahoo! Winter walking break, here I come! This is the first sign for Austin I've seen.
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! Can anyone guess why this is so rich seeing this church marque in Goldthwaite, TX?
What a surprise! Andy Thompson picked me up an hour north of he and Pam's town to get me off the road on a freezing night. Then, Iana Dibona and Tiffani Bishop met me at their house. (l-r - Pam, Tiffani, Iana and me.)
Crammed in the car with all my stuff! I want to simplify even more.
A few miles from Lampasas, TX.
My written warning for walking on the wrong side of the road! I've walked for 2,500 miles with traffic. Apparently, I'm supposed to be walking against traffic! Oops.
l-r - Me, Tiffani, Iana and Preston as Iana gets ready to walk with me a while from Lampasas.
Iana and I walking south of Lampasas.
Iana and Tiffani leave me as I continue to walk towards Austin.
Crazy that flooding 6' high could happen in this drought-striken state!
I kept trying to get the goat to look at me because they eyes were awesome. But I guess I the animal didn't want the paparazzi all up in their business.
Armando came back to the area and helped me on my final few days before Austin. Here he is by Town Lake in downtown Austin. He got me off the walk route for a couple nights and showed me around the city.
Keep Austin Weird - the official city motto. From some of these photos, you'll see why.
In a closed down store's window.
Armando eating his favorite food - Elgin Sausage. No comment.
After Armando dropped me off N. of Austin I walked through the next town, Liberty Hill. Getting closer to 'officially' be in Austin!
Where Tiffani picked me up, just north of Austin. Time for a month of rest and regrouping.
Before they got evicted I got a chance to visit my fourth Occupy Protest - Occupy Austin.
In the statehouse. That's a guy I met in Austin, Jonathan Manshack in front of me taking a much better photo than mine of the rotunda.
Whole Foods Market's corporate headquarters over their flagship store.
A mural near the University of Texas at Austin campus.
On the other side of the courtyard.
The other half.
Railroad bridge over Town Lake in downtown Austin.
The Dreamshop Workshop I facilitated in San Antonio at Trinity University. We had to go outside because someone pulled the fire alarm in the building.
Some of the folks from the workshop after it was done.
Taken at the vigil we did in San Antonio for Troy Martinez Clattenburg.
The bottom corner apartment was where Troy was shot in the back of the head by a man claiming Troy made a pass at him. The gay panic defense is the standard defense in such cases. When will this defense no longer be acceptable?
Troy carved his name in the cement. I could almost feel his presence when I saw this.
John Dean Domingue, Debbie, Sonja and Tony Osborn at the fourth San Antonio vigil for 28 year-old Midnight/Casandra (Kenneth Dale Robinson) stabbed to death in the throat and left near the ramp for I-37 Northbound.
Armando came back to Austin one final time and took me for a day trip back to San Antonio to see the sights I didn't get to see the weekend I was there working. Here - The Alamo!
Performing When People Lead in Austin.
From the looks of this photo, it looks like there was only one person in the audience. There were about 20+ people there. They were a great group.
My host Vince Pierce serenading me. Vince is a grad student studying harp at UT Austin. Vince rocks!
My activist mentor and dear friend Brian Zabcik with Vince and me at Whip In. Brian is a veteran of ActUP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power).
Spending time with my host Robert Stewart at his home.
Robert's four dogs he shows in agility competitions. They are so adorable!!!
At Robert's church. Notice the rainbow heart.
Robert's best friend Chris Day dropping me off to continue walking through Austin. Winter walking break is officially over. Only 3,400 more miles to go before I'm done. Yeehaw!
Look familiar? It's where Tiffani picked me up. Off I go again!
Walking through the rest of Austin. So many restaurants have cool signs here.
I took a wrong turn and happened upon this general store/sandwich shop and ended up getting a sandwich and talked with the owner and staff. They were very cool Austonians.
I ended my walk day at the Q Center, Austin's transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay community center.
A tree-hugging tree.
Alexander McArthur walking with me through downtown Austin.
Only in Austin would a person be selling $5 camel rides in front of a strip mall.