Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Orleans Road Trip - Day 20

After a delicious Bright Side Breakfast (and shapely too – the Texas shaped waffles are back) the two old buzzards were on the road by approximately 8:21. For the second day in a row, John has enjoyed a Texas shaped waffle with some of his Jif Extra Chunky peanut butter on it. No syrup. As we drove away, John said “I will be so blooming (euphemism) to be out of this mixmaster (he meant the layers of freeways). We were soon on US 90, a very user-friendly highway. John had to fake Wilma out and tell her we were going to Del Rio instead of Fort Stockton so we could get our route to go on Hwy 90 and to be off of the Interstate.

D'ja ever notice that there are 2 kinds of people? Those who like to stop at historical markers and those who do NOT like to stop. Linda has decided that there is a 3rd kind – those who like to stop sometimes. More later.

Ever heard of the Texas Two Step? It used to be a dance but now, according to a billboard on US 90, it is a type of lottery ticket.

Here is an exact quote from John at 8:31 am: “It feels good to be back on the highway in a sick sort of way”.

We soon started seeing signs for Castroville. TX (a long ways from our Castroville in CA). The population is 3039, few enough to live aboard the USS Lexington which holds 3,200. That is now how John evaluates the size of a town's population. They either fit, or they don't. And, we do not think they grow artichokes like the Castroville that is near Morgan Hill. A celebrity note: Marilyn Monroe was crowned Artichoke Queen in Castroville sometime in the 1940s (before she became a famous movie star).

Our next big town on our back road venue was Hondo, TX where if you want to celebrate Christmas early with God in God's Country, you must show up on November 19th. It is a cute town. We took a few photos there. See today's photo gallery.

At Sabine we saw a place where mesquite furniture is made and a cute waiting station for the train. At Blanco Creek there was an old rusty railroad bridge, one of many that we saw today. We photographed several of them.

Finally we found coffee at around 10:30 at a McDonald's in Uvalde, after passing lots of shaved ice stands. Uvalde is the home of Sul Ross College and the burial place of John Nance Gardner. Is there anybody besides Jeisel out there old enough to remember who Gardner was? John has learned a trick at McDonald's when ordering a Mocha. You order a small, non-fat Mocha with one pump of chocolate and no whipped cream. Total damage is 180 calories, rather than 240.

John has occasionally begun stopping at historical markers along the road, and to his amazement, some of them are pretty interesting. However, all at once he is becoming frustrated with them. Here is a direct quote from today: “How come all the historical markers are on the left?” Laughter from Linda and then a revelation from John: “Obama must have had them relocated!” (They are all on the left, get it?). Oh, well, Linda thought it was pretty funny. You do get pretty desperate for humor when you don't have the radio or CD player on. John's deeper thoughts on this subject went like this: How can Obama issue an executive order to move all of the Historical Markers to the left side of the road in Texas, a staunchly Republican state where they should all be on the right? Later, he had another thought which he did not share with Linda at the time. Duh, if we were going the other direction, they would be on the right. Enough of that subject.

At Bracketville we approached an interesting tower and drove closer to it to get a photo. It did not get easier to tell what it was for when we got nearer. John thinks it's a water tower. Maybe someone can recognize its purpose when they see the mystery tower in todays photo gallery. Anyway, the tower was on ranchland which had been in the York family since 1901.

We went by Laughlin Air Force Base as we got close to Del Rio, Texas. There was a recruiting billboard for the Texas Rangers that said “When you are finished serving your country, come join us”. John was delighted to find a Whataburger in Del Rio! Linda dressed up her chicken salad with grilled jalapenos and a sliced boiled egg. Since this was our last full day in Texas, John realizes that he will soon be running out of Whataburger stands. He is handling it pretty well. This time he got a double meat Whataburger with the bun toasted on both sides and toasted pretty dark. He liked that!

Speaking of Del Rio, Texas, John feels compelled to once again bring up Wolfman Jack, that larger-than-life rock & roll radio personality from outlaw station XERF with it's transmitter in Ciudad Acuna, just across the border from Del Rio. John found an audio clip where Wolfman Jack introduced a song by the famous Buster Brown titled "Fannie Mae". How about his naming that song after our dog! John found it on Amazon and downloaded it. If you'd like to hear some old time Rock & Roll, click here. It should open your MP3 player.

As we were leaving Del Rio, John spotted a sign for the Buzzard Roost RV Park. And right next door was the Buzzard Roost Saloon. They both appeared to be popular places. The buzzard looked familiar.

Soon after passing through Comstock, TX we went over the Pecos River Bridge. Soon we saw a sign directing us to the Judge Roy Bean Museum and Visitor Center. We turned off Hwy 90 and a sign said, "Langtry 1 Mile". Langry was tiny and a bit of a dump. We had no idea if this place would be open or not. Boy, was it ever! What a beautiful facility. Lots to see and learn about Judge Roy Bean (the law west of the Pecos) and Lilly Langtry. It was far nicer than the Alamo and not so commercialized. You could even take photographs in the buildings (not at the Alamo) and the saloon even had an audio presentation you could hear just be pressing a button (at the Alamo you had to rent the audio tour). The ladies in the Visitor Center were charming, knowledgable and very helpful. We learned that Judge Roy is actually buried in Del Rio, but he died right there in Langtry in the billiard room.

Leaving Langtry, we turned off onto Hwy 285 at Sanderson, TX and had about 60 miles to go to Fort Stockton. It was all desert with no towns and not that much variation in the scenery. There were lots of prickly pears and scrubby brush. We passed five semi trucks, but no cars. We only saw half a dozen vehicles coming in the opposite direction. Just outside Fort Stockton, John noticed the sun peeking through a hole in some dark clouds. Just ahead there was a windmill (on the left, of course). John pulled over the the left side of the road (that's a no-no) and lined up the windmill with the hole in the clouds for a photo. There are two pictures in the photo gallery. There is a single head of cattle to the left of the windmill in one of them. You can almost see the sun's rays shining down from the clouds. John says it's a bit ethereal. The other is just the windmill and the sun visible through the clouds. They're in the photo gallery.

We checked in at La Quinta in Fort Stockton and about an hour later went to dinner at a local Mexican Restaurant called Bienvenidos (Welcome!). Linda had fish tacos (five, count 'em, five). John had the Bienvenidos Dinner. Two enchiladas, a chili rellano, a taco and salad in lieu of rice and beans.

Our funny sign of the day has to be explained in context. It was a highway sign showing a curve in the road with a speed limit under it of 70 mph. Just so happens that the highway we were on already had a speed limit of 70 mph. John summed it up with "Duh!".

Today's photo gallery has 81 photos in it and you can see every one of them by clicking here.

A funny business combo seen today was the Fun Time Radiator and Shaved Ice Stand.

Bye for now, ya'll.

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