The Texas Alps
Saw a New Texas Cowboy today. In full dress: hat, boots, jeans, belt. Tall guy, rail thin. Bowlegged, too, fersherr. Moseying across the parking lot instead of the pasture. Even a holster on the belt, but now it contains a cell phone.
Saw the New Texas Mountains today. They're not what you think, but they pass for mountains in this neighborhood. When they build the overpasses and ramps for new roads, they put fill under them like causeways. Cheaper than putting a roadbed on I-beams up on stilts. And they're building a ton of new toll roads in this area, so mountains of fill appear almost overnight, twenty to thirty feet high.
At one particularly large intersection, they built a mountain probably forty feet high and several city blocks in area. It sat there for three or four months, then suddenly disappeared almost overnight. They tore it down to use for other mountainettes all over the neighborhood.
At night, armies of dump trucks come and move the mountains. And these aren't the usual dump trucks that I remember from other places. These are squarish trucks with straight sides, but trailers with very long beds. The beds are U-shaped troughs from front to rear, with a couple reinforcing ribs, and they are lifted to extreme angles by giant hydraulic cylinders. Why is there such a cultural difference in the shape of dump trucks? Is there a different kind of dirt to be hauled?
Of course, moving that much dirt around means broken windshields. You see a lot of them around. In other places I've lived, it's illegal to drive around with anything more than a little point ding. A crack more than a few inches long and you have to get it replaced. Not so here. Here It's common to drive around with spider webs across the entire windshield. I recently went for several months with a hairpin crack about eight inches long. That was after the first star-shaped ding. It wasn't until the third ding that we bothered to get it replaced.