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  • Writer's pictureHannah Grabenstein

Day x - more of Texas

Look today was mostly shit finished off with exclusively lovely. I woke up early because I meant to leave early to get a good start on the drive so I could hang around Big Bend National Park for a while. But it was raining so I gave it another hour before I dipped out of my lovely San Antonio area Airbnb.

But also last night as I was blogging I noticed some crazy hives start to develop right where the waist of my jeans hit me and around my ribcage where my bra was. And they only got worse and I was so uncomfortable and unhappy. My sister suggested it was one of the detergents I used (I'm guessing the one in New Orleans based on what I was wearing but even that doesn't seem to totally explain it) and told me to take two Benadryl.

And I did and they mostly went away and by morning they were pretty much gone enough that I just left. But boy did they come back with a vengeance. Ilana said whatever was irritating my skin probably was just moved from one place to the other since I hadn't showered. So as I was driving to Big Bend I was getting more and more uncomfortable and itchy and unhappy and I could see these big red splotches start to move up my chest and to my sternum and my neck and then my face and down my arms and ugh what a nightmare.

I braved a small barely walk in Big Bend, far into the park, but had to ditch the fossil exhibit/site/activity. I just couldn't stand it and I didn't want to drive on Benadryl. Luckily the drive back to where I'm staying is relatively short, so I got back to this cute house in Marathon and immediately showered and quarantined the likely offending clothing and medicated.

It's better than bedbugs which I had once and which I was scared I somehow got again, but it's not great. That, plus some shit news from home, and also a pickup that passed me kicked a rock right up into my windshield and nicked it, put me in a sour mood.

But the dramatic improvement till now is owed solely to friends of my Aunt Starr, Klemie and Tom, who manage rental houses in this cool little town of Marathon. They've set me up in this rad house and I'm comfy and cozy and happy. And they took me back to their place for dinner and fed me huevos rancheros which were delicious (also I was starving since I hadn't eaten lunch), and then I accompanied them on their nightly walk so Tom can take a picture of the sunset for his blog.

That was incredible. It was freezing and overcast and we weren't sure if we'd get a sunset but oh Lord did we get a sunset. Three hundred degrees around us of massive sky tinged light pink in some places, vibrantly orange and pink where the sun itself set behind the mountains. The ragged edges of the clouds were illuminated as I watched the sky get brighter and brighter before it got more and more muted and finally it was dark and I remembered how freezing and also drowsy I was. After a quick drive around town I'm back here in bed, hoping my skin toughens up a little and learns to tolerate some perfumed detergent.

This town is small but not as small as I thought. They said 120 kids at the high school. But the next nearest town is Alpine, about 30 miles away, and they said the next big city is probably Odessa, about three and a half hours away. That life is so removed from my own. How neat.

Anyway look I'm dopey on Benadryl so this has to end but come visit this place. See more of Big Bend than I got to see. Use free and clear detergent.


Mostly my own downloaded songs, shuffled, because I had very sporadic cell service. Oh, most of Keys to the Kingdom by the North Mississippi Allstars. The two most recent episodes of The Daily.


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