South by Southwest: Asheville to Austin

We set out from Asheville yesterday afternoon; this drive into the sunset wasn’t romantic or exciting, just blinding and uncomfortable. We waited for the sun to disappear, for the hours of driving in the darkness that lay before us. We wouldn’t make it Austin before sunrise.

For dinner, we pulled into Cafe Bosna, a Bosnian/Hungarian restaurant just outside Nashville. It was totally empty save three women who migrated from table to table; one of the women came over to give us menus when we walked in. The room was almost silent, with a whisper of whichever language the ladies spoke. We ordered beef pie and asparagus soup. The food was good, just a little peculiar: the beef pie was a series of concentric circles of beef and mashed potatoes encased in filo dough and served in a bowl of milk, and the asparagus soup arrived on our table with a thin film on top.

The rest of the night passed by in a blur of highways an rest stops. Pat took a long shift at the wheel once I got us to Arkansas, so I got a few hours of sleep in the early morning. We were in Texas when the sun came up, a distinctly different landscape than the pretty mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee–RV lots, cattle grazing in backyards crowded against the highway, an endless progression of billboards and gas and travel signs. I noticed a sign advertising grass for sale but only piles of rocks out front.

There’s all the business on the highway, sure–and then there’s the great, gorgeous long sky above. It’s clear this morning and ever brightening. We’re weary or sleeping, on the final few hours of an 18 hour trek, and the sky–

We’ll be in Austin the next few days with our friend Cayce, resting and enjoying ourselves and getting set for the last long drive to Arivaca.


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