Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ya’ll Know You’re In Texas When…


…the Radio Station you are listening to is called “The Ar-muh-dih-ler”.

Oh, but before we bring you into Texas, we visited yet another Carnegie Library in O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A… Oklahoma!

It’s pretty neat to visit these libraries given their history as well as the individual designs and architectural elements that makes each one different.  The best is to see the ones that are still operating as libraries.  If you're interested, do some research on Carnegie who was a neat character and on the libraries and the deals made to create and maintain them.  Here’s a quick fact about the one we visited in El Reno, which is in its second century of service, Bill and Melinda Gates assisted with a grant to help bring it into the computer age.

Moving on across state lines…

        Photog (1)
                                This is Tex Randall (“Big T”)

We are officially in TEXAS.  Texas is BIG.  That’s the main reason we had decided to cross the panhandle on the short road into New Mexico. 

But, Texas is not just big.  It is also friendly and quirky and fun and FREE!

Photog (5)
   Where else can you see Elvis driving a Pink Cadillac?!  Thank You Very Much.

After only about a week in Texas, admittedly we may be falling for it a wee bit.

          Photo (6) 

With many of the National Lands we had planned to visit being closed, Texas has enticed us with numerous county parks that provide free hook ups for travelers for anything from 3 to 5 nights.  Throw a few Walmarts in the mix and we’re set to meander for a few weeks of Texas explorations. 

We’ve also changed our exploring style a bit to things like…

Photog (22)
                             lots and lots of WIDE OPEN cow pasture!

   And what’s a man to do with a bunch of money and a wide open cow pasture?

Photog (19)
Bury cars nose down in the dirt at the exact angle of the Pyramid of Giza, of course!

                                      Welcome to Cadillac Ranch.

Photog (4)
A group of architects / artistic visionaries who called themselves the Ant Farm designed the display to highlight the evolution and eventual disappearance of the tail fin.  Of course, there is more to it than that but you get the point (HA!).


This is probably a good time to tell you a story about how Oklahoma just didn’t want to let go of us so easily.  For several days after leaving our hook ups in Elk City we kept finding tiny spiders and webs everywhere (inside the van).  Although thoughts of a mama somewhere did cross our minds, when we stopped finding babies we forgot about it.

                 Eventually we found our way to a nice county park in TX.

                                      Sunset at Hereford City Park.

Preparing to settle in, Nicole was at the wheel and Darlene was pulling our trusty orange leveling blocks from our side door compartment.  She reaches into the bag to grab them and promptly exclaims, “$#!% OH #3!! NO!”  Still not fully processing what was going on, but seeing Darlene standing block in hand and with a slightly dazed and confused look on her face that begged the question 'What now?', Nicole’s response was, “Throw it outside!”  After all, anything that gets that kind of rise out of Darlene definitely needs to be outside of the van.

               Here I am safely outside of the van.  Do you recognize me?

                                 Here, I’ll show you my good side.

                              Perhaps we should go in for a close up?

            And THAT folks is how OKLAHOMA said GOODBYE to these gals!

Our best guess is that this black beauty jumped on board in Elk City and happily rode her way to TX with us.  Inside the van!  The good news is we’re pretty sure that the babies we kept finding were from a different type of spider.  Needless to say we will now check the blocks before putting them away.

Photo Face
     Speaking of Oklahoma, check out this really cool tree face we saw there.

We spent some time tooling around Amarillo, catching up on internet and the usual citified stuff.  Before leaving town we headed out to a music store so Nicole could inquire about her guitar.  Unfortunately the store was closed but unbeknownst to us another business was having a grand opening that day and had hired a local band to play.  Spontaneous, free concert it was!

Photog (3)
This is Four and a Quarter.  If you find yourself in Amarillo, you can see them at a bar, parking lot, restaurant, church or VA hospital (etc. etc. etc.) near you!

Our first county park did not offer a lot in the way of new bird viewing but it did offer different in the duck and goose department

We weren’t sure if this one just had “too much junk in the trunk”, wanted to be an upstanding citizen or was having trouble adjusting to its reincarnation as a person but it stood upright like this all of the time.

                 This little lady looked like she was ready for church.

   Turns out she had a date.  You know what they say about birds of a feather…

We tried to look several of the different looking birds up in our two books but kept coming back to the same conclusion.  There’s been a lot of intermingling.

The nice thing about having these city parks available to stay in is that it brings folks to stop (and shop) in locations they might otherwise have driving past.  Although the towns are small and very ‘out of the way’ they each, in their own way, offer something special.  Hereford, for example, is not only the Beef Capitol of the World (and on a windy day you are made well aware of the fact) it also boasts a naturally high level of flourine in its water and thus earned the title “The Town Without a Toothache”.

          Well, we’re moving down the road to the next city park on our list.

Photo (43)
                           Have some fun.  Blur the lines now and then.