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Possibility of Storms

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I arrived in Alpine in the middle of a thunderstorm. Later, I heard that it was the largest one-day total rainfall ever recorded.

The weather conditions were still good the next day for afternoon clouds to pile up, teasing us with the possibility of more rain.

near Alpine, Texas
photographed 7.10.2015

Memorial

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Dangerous driving, illustrated by this roadside memorial.

For many years, I photographed roadside memorials (like this one) as part of an ongoing project,* but it had been almost a decade since I’d stopped at one. I don’t know why this one captured my attention enough to make two u-turns to get to it, but it did. And so it was that there, in the heat and the prickly weeds and serenaded by locusts, I examined the relics of a life that ended where I stood.

Ward County, Texas
photographed 7.12.2015

* I think “ongoing project” sounds a lot better than “unfinished project.”

Stove/Pipe

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Another fading town, another house without a roof: the same story.

The stove was left behind, as was a pipe across the sidewalk. The abandonment isn’t recent: an entire tree has grown up in what used to be inside the house.

Valentine, Texas
photographed 7.11.2015

Traveler’s Rest

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A “crumbling adobe” is practically a cliche out here, but this adobe building really is crumbling away.

This place used to be a motel, a welcome respite for travelers in this remote part of Texas. But now, it’s all about that suitcase.

Marathon, Texas
photographed 7.10.2015

Fuel Center

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I like maps. Real ones, I mean, printed on paper with holes worn in the folds. My preferred way to travel is to chart my own path from one of these maps, and I am almost positive that I am better at figuring a route than the navigation system in my car could ever be.

But the other day, I decided to take a route that my car suggested. It was completely out of character for me, and I can’t really explain what happened. Maybe I needed that weekend away more than I realized! At any rate, the nav system sent me through the tiny town of Coyanosa, which I’d never even heard of before. It was a good route – nice road, almost no traffic, and even some things to photograph, like this out-of-business fuel center. I am trying to convince myself that I could have found this route on the map, without satellite intervention….

Coyanosa, Texas
photographed 7.12.2015

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