Episode

3

2019-09-09

We’re taking our chances

The idea here is to ride south early, see something pointy and shiny at NASA before heading north east. Our new mate Brian said to pull up at a service station and holler for a ride over the 146 to Baytown. If we get lucky we may get to Beach city camp ground by nightfall.

To much to do and not enough time.

We rode the early morning sweat of last nights downpour, past opening taquerías and the sound of Banda. I was happy and reminiscing for past lives and old friends. We were heading south and then we hoped east in an attempt to leave Houston.

We rode through opulent Sunset Boulevard, Rice University and Hermann Park, that provided a stark reminder of the excessive wealth held by a few in this vast country. Houses as big as hotels with front lawns manicured within an inch of their existence.

Then Onward, tracing Brays Bayou under the low overcast that made the riding humid, but not excessive. One might even think pleasant.

We were aiming for the backstreet novelty of Smither park and the neighbouring Orange Show before heading south down Galveston Road. The cloud cover had burnt off and it proved to be an endlessly cruel and steaming concrete river running to the sea.

There is book by Joseph Heller called ‘Job’. It’s a modern take on that biblical classic. At the conclusion, when the great revelation finally came and the earth was fallen, Lucifer decided to take Texas. Citing that the place was ‘hotter than hell’ and he invited everyone he liked to join him there. Along with the offer of unlimited credit and an eternity to pay off the debt.

Galveston Road felt like it belonged there this day.

We finally figuring out how to beat the heat, drinking excessive amounts of anything and soaking whatever we are wearing in chilled water. Ride, drink, soak, repeat. Every thirty minutes.

We made the first destination, the Johnson Space Centre sometime around two in the afternoon. And thanks to our good fortune and the good ladies at reception, we were ushered through the VIP section to the recently revamped Apollo mission control. That mission was a personal mission.

The day was closing in and so were our reserves. We called it (quitting for the day) and dove into the closest air-conditioned bar to rehydrate. Thank you Wendy. You were a super star.

Highlights

Credence Clearwater Revival - Up around the bend

Smither park

Johnson Space Centre

Looking forward

Smither Park is a creative urban space that developed with the help of an entire community. Visionary artist and builder Dan Phillips worked alongside the late Stephanie Smither to design the park in memory of her husband, John H. Smither. Stephanie and John were long-time supporters of self-taught art, as well as board members of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art. Inspired by the Orange Show’s philosophy of promoting and sustaining self-taught art, the mosaic-covered park serves as a testimony to the vibrancy and creativity of the city of Houston.


Established as the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) in 1961, the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) named in honor of the late President, is responsible for the design, development, and operation of human space flight. For more than four decades, JSC has been the world leader in human space flight operations for NASA.

Space Center Houston is a leading science and space exploration learning center. Its goal is to fuel the STEM pathway and be a gateway for space exploration, science and engineering learning and innovation.

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