...I did nothing but drive for the first two months...many thoughts going through my mind, as I had left "home" under less than ideal circumstances. Looks like I might never see Texas, or my grandsons, again. It's become a death state, and they've lost a family member to the virus. But, I digress. Six states, over 15,000 miles, four oil changes and a new set of tires...vacillating between "what in hell am I gonna do" and "I'm king of the world!"..being 63 and homeless, but with a pension, a decent car, and no schedule...and miles of open road ahead of me. The great desert Southwest of America. I love it. I saw much beautiful country, and many sad, empty streets in many sad, empty towns. My last sit-down inside meal was at the High Chaparral in Roswell, NM, at 7am on 3/16, two hours before the guv'nor "outlawed" indoor dining. I had a good meal and an $8 shower. Not long afterwards, the state and national parks were closed for overnight camping. I did, however, get to spend a few glorious nights at Elephant Butte Lake SP, before they were shut down altogether (they've reopened for day use, but for how long, no one knows). Tightwad that I am, as well as being an avid camper of the Four Corners area, I was not without many choices of places to hide out. Valley of the Gods in Utah and Angel Peak, NM being two of my favorites. Free and usually sparsely populated. I crossed the Moki Dugway more than a half-dozen times when camping at Muley Point, a short drive from VotG (the town of Mexican Hat was about 30 minutes away, so I could resupply easily). Many of the roadside campgrounds of the National Forests were gated shut, but there were many dispersed areas that were still open. I woke up one morning in the Torrance County Park, south of Moriarty, NM, greeted by 25° temperature and 4" of snow. For the most part, it was glorious. Walmart parking lots and travel centers, not so much. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. The only time I got run off was in Santa Fe, but the security gal was awful nice about it. It was mid-April when I met Kim (originally from Nebraska) at the Wally in Truth or Consequences, NM. She had just completed four (or more) grueling years to become a licensed acupuncturist, and was waiting to go to work in Albuquerque when the state went into "lockdown". She, too, was living in her car, and had worked in TorC (as it's locally known) a few years before. Now, the Walmart here is unique in that each row in the parking lot is covered by solar panels, so we had shade from the harsh sun beating down on us. No one ever bothered us, probably because we spent a few bucks each day (while using their facilities in the process). That, and they didn't care. After a month of car-dwelling and a bit of discussion, we agreed to split rent for an apartment at one of the hot springs spas & motels she'd worked at...just in time to beat the summer heat that's recently been hitting triple digits. Reasonable rates with paid utilities, A/C, full bath & kitchen, and two queen beds. She's a widow woman, getting a pension also, with a decent car as well...so, we're both extremely lucky. Many of the shops in the downtown area are still closed, though most of the eateries have opened back up for limited dine-in eating. For how long, idk, as there's another "lockdown" in the works. She's also a licensed massage therapist, and has been getting extra work lately giving massages to those "crazy ass Texans" (myself included) to keep from going nuts due to inactivity. Me? I'm used to it, having been a babysitter for cubicle hamsters for the past 16 years. I do let her practice on me (but not with the needles yet), and she's well-versed in Eastern medicine. I take her herbal formulas, let her oil my toes (I won't go into that), listen to her numerology and moon/astrology stuff, and went so far as to learn pendulum reading. She's lunar/metal, I'm solar/earth (think Felix (her) and Oscar (me) from "The Odd Coupe"). Pretty cool stuff, and keeps me "out of sight, out of mind", so to speak (we're like a block away from the police station). I don't want to get deported back to Texas. Anyway, that's my sad, sordid tale, lengthy as it is. We're out of the Mercury/Venus retrograde thing, so things are doing fine, for now. I've been keeping up with the news and watching the world slowly go to hell in a handbasket, but here on the 33rd Parallel, life is good. Weird, but good.