October 2003, on the way to Houston
East of Giddings, the road surface changes. We're on US Rte. 290, the main road from Austin to Houston. It's a vanilla four lane road, two lanes in each direction. Some parts of it have no shoulder, which is scary at 70 miles an hour, but that's just Texas. The night speed limit goes all the way down to 65 for safety. Some sections of it are newer with guard rails, dividers, all that chicken stuff.
The odd thing about this stretch of road is that the two lanes have very different textures. The left lane is smoother and oilier, shinier in the sunlight. The right lane is rougher and much noisier on the tires. My conclusion is that the left lane is more heavily traveled, hence worn smooth.
Bev never noticed this difference before. How could she? She never drives in the right lane.