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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I can see for miles and miles and miles!

Amarillo by evening West from Weatherford! And so we are--in Amarillo this evening--but let me tell you of our adventures in between W and A! Got up too late for motel breakfast so we went to Jerry's which is a local diner type place. There were clocks on one wall a la those travel agencies that show the time all over the world but these told the time for several Oklahoma towns--none too far apart, either. Oklahoma City said 8:30 while Weatherford, Hydro, Clinton and Elk City said 11:30. I asked why the difference--waitress said the folks in OC are backwards and always behind--the Cook said that's how those rednecks tell time! An old guy(Bob) came in a sat at the counter with another equally old bird. Guy next to me asked Bob, who's that you've got with you there? Bob said, I don't know his name. They looked like brothers to me. Took a picture of the Mustang outside--they've come a long way since they first appeared--thought my friend, Glen, might enjoy it. Also the Ford truck with the great dashboard on the street in Guthrie and the fancy Ford car at the Chisolm Trail museum shots are for Glen's enjoyment as well.Despite the fact that the desk clerk thought we were a little cracked to follow back roads to Amarillo we did try to take old 66. Unfortunately, Oklahoma hasn't done much to keep the road up and it basically is a frontage road or access road, depending on where you hail from, along the side of I 40. Many places are blocked off and are decaying so we finally bit the bullet and went with the flow of trucks on the Interstate. As we traveled West Bill commented on the lack of trees. There is very little water in this part of the OK although there was remnants of snow on the ground. Apparently there had been snow a couple of days before we reached Weatherford but it swung south below us so we never encountered it in Guthrie or Weatherford. The soil in this part of Ok is almost blood red and the winter wheat is turning a beautiful emerald green. As we approached Sayre and passed the exit I noticed that the Washita Battlefield National Monument and the Black Kettle Museum were just about 21 miles north of us. The next exit was 21 miles West and Bill did not want to backtrack. I also had not noticed the Cheyenne Heritage Museum until too late. So I amused myself by noticing as we crossed into Texas that the land was now a tan color and it was gouged out by arroyos and dry washes. Very little agriculture initially and shrubby gray-green vegetation. Periodically, irrigated fields of chocolate brown, dotted by beef cattle and necklaced with huge irrigation systems appeared. Then back to the deeply graven land with sinuous double lines of trees making large loops along the banks of streams, even almost dry dribbles. There is so little water here that the only place you find trees are along the running water or in deep ravines where water is trapped. Sure makes it easy to find a body of muddy, shallow water. In time we came to Shamrock Texas and for no particular reason but that we wanted a break and liked the name, we decided to explore it. Well, we found a gem of a museum in a 1928 hotel Rogers which was a hopping place on Rte 66. Each of the rental rooms was a little exhibit and in each were priceless items totally without security, upstairs and down with only a little old lady docent sitting in the front parlor, and I think, occasionally dozing off. No fee!!!! We left a donation--how could you not? Two Esty organs made in Brattleboro, another Organ from Chicago and a pianoforte from NYC. I cannot imagine the value of those things alone! Of course, they weren't easily carried off but they could be damaged and other small items could be taken. While in Shamrock we also saw an art deco building, for which there was a billboard on the Interstate saying that " you've seen it in the movies!" Doesn't look familiar to me! Will google Shamrock and see what I can see. Before leaving it was necessary to take a shot of another wonder of the world--the tallest municipal water tower in Texas!!! Then we were on our way and then came to Grove where another billboard announced the largest cross in the Western hemisphere. Obviously, they don't know about Effingham or if they do, they are betting the traveler going by does not. They are certainly the same size. Maybe if they added a lightning rod or radio tower! After looking out over huge expanses at distant grain elevators and wind farms we reached Amarillo and our motel. Went out for dinner immediately to Jorge's Tacos something or other--Grande? Very good food--the chile con queso to die for--reminded me of the batches I used to make at my friend Normand's when we had impromtu gatherings of the two of us and whomever we could roust on the phone. Norm made chili--very piquante or tacos and the cervaza would flow. Good times! I miss him always. I fell in love with a pouty senorita with ruby red slippers. The conversation and laughter in the filling up dining room was warm and relaxing. But now we are back for the night. Watching the news about the storm hitting at home. I hope Betsy is safe--she worked yesterday and today. Hopefully, she decided to stay with friends in Lebanon or White River rather than drive in it. She's off tomorrow. My sister in Saratoga is scheduled for surgery tomorrow in Albany--I hope the roads clear enough for her to get there. Winter certainly took its time to reach the NE. Well, must go--the navigator and chauffeur have to consult on the route into New Mexico tomorrow. I am hoping to see Tutumcari--I just love that name. Also I want to call my sister. So happy trails to you all--saying a pray for the safety of those in the snow storm area! Good night for now--the Brown-Ponds

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