Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It is a fixed principle of mine that a sufficient amount of overpreparation guarantees a smoothly-running trip. That's why my backpack is already loaded with trail mix and apples, a notebook, printed notes, maps, walking shows, socks, binoculars, digital camera, a guidebook, and a bird book; why I baked two loaves of bread to be sure of having one decent low-sodium sandwich; why there's a bottle of water in the freezer this minute; why Moby (an old-fashioned car) has his CD changer filled with road music, mostly the 70s rock/pop that I find most conducive to a relaxed central Texas Drie, but also the essential Melissa Etheridge, who tends to pop up on random play at the very moment she's needed (I swear her cover of "Piece of My Heart" saved both our lives one time) to see me through tricky bits of driving. I'll probably lay my clothes out tonight to make it easier to get up in time to have breakfast and brew a big travel mug of tea, take my husband to work, and get on my way.

I've spent a good bit of the last two days working back and forth between maps, and been unable to determine exactly where people hit town coming in from Bandera. Fredericksburg Road and Castroville Road are indicated on the city maps, but though the mid-19th century county map shows Bandera Road going more or less straight into town, the scale on that one is too small to see where, and the city maps don't show anything. My working assumption is that some approximation of Fredericksburg Road/Culebra Road/Bandera Road defines the historic route, and that San Pedro Springs/Five Points would be the psychological equivalent of hitting Loop 1604 - not there yet, but close enough to count as "coming into town" rather than "going to town." I'm hoping to find something in Bandera that can tweak this for me.

Of course, I may decide Len comes into town via Castroville. I'll have to do this all over again for that trip. And if I decide that I need to camp overnight and ride horseback at Hill Country Natural Area to get a proper sense of how she experienced the terrain - the overpreparation I do for a camping trip is tiring to think about!

Feel free to make fun of me if you want. Overpreparation the day before puts me in a zen state on the day, and when unexpected things happen - when the car breaks down 50 miles from the middle of nowhere (I don't have a cell phone); when the librarian who organized the school visit goes into labor the day before my school visit and no one knows what's going on when I show up; when the players do something completely off-the-wall and the dice perform statistically improbable feats, sending the adventure careening off the map - I'll be able to cope. It never fails. If I haven't covered every possible base beforehand, it's even odds I'll fall apart.

Nobody wants me to fall apart. I'm a dangerous nuisance when shattered across the landscape.

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