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Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Where Are the Farm Roads?

Started the day with coffee in the Jacuzzi--heaven! Where can I put one at home? The motel in Lubbock had the best biscuits--probably Bisquick--LOL and sausages--no not with gravy, yuk!

Got on the road around 10:15--we have been having a bit of a problem adjusting to CST. As navigator I decided to take us right out of Lubbock by going Southeast and then, once about ten miles out, taking farm roads north and east and north and east again until we reached Texas 114/US82. I could not understand what geographic feature prevented the building of farm roads along the way. Well, I soon discovered that it wasn't geography but private property that was the problem.

If you look at the Texas map you will find huge swaths of the state with absolutely no roads. These areas are large ranches, huge spreads, through which run dirt county roads that really don't go anywhere except across the ranch. There are also dirt roads running parallel with the main road, on either side, but inside the fences that separate the private from the public. These are the maintenance roads for repairing the fence line. Seeing them and the gates they go through I was reminded of Michael Martin Murphy's song about where one sits in the pick-up. The wise guy sits in the middle where he has access to the radio, doesn't have to drive and doesn't have to get out to open and close the gates. www.youtube.com/watch?v=HymNVqy0h51&NR=1

Even though there weren't any farm roads the main one went through all the small towns that existed with their various types of homes and old buildings and grain storage etc. The countryside was scrub from Dickens to Guthrie--more than 30 miles--no water , no electric for large parts, no cell service. Interspersed with the stunted trees there would be a steer or some horses but by and large not very productive. Periodically we'd come to a field of emerald green and sure enough there would be a sign talking of fresh water, an aquifer. For these 30 miles and more the spread on either side of the road was the Pitchfork Ranch--there had been the Collier before. We came to several hysterical signs but many were on the other side of a four lane road divided by a median--not conducive to safe travel. One sign in particular reminded me of the largest ranch in Texas--the King Ranch---and when we looked at the map we realized that the boundaries cited in the sign would encompass almost a quarter of the State!

Dating myself again--I remember the TV show, Sky King, about a rancher whose place was so large that he used a small plane to cross it. Lo and Behold the private plane and airport--not on the map--for 6666! Hmmmm, and look at those horses and the driveway with the name "Run for Cash. The houses and equipment and outbuildings SMELL of money--beautifully painted and maintained, laid out just so--as though a layout editor had been consulted. God!

After the dry scrub land, which in places had been cleared in an effort to reclaim the land from nature, the irrigated fields looked like emeralds--our eyes rejoiced at the sight!

By 3:30 after going over one of the highest, curviest overpass I can remember in a long time, we checked into our motel in Wichita Falls, Tx. Rather than go back over that thing or eating at Cracker Barrel, which we hate, or Denny's, we ordered in Domino's. Not what we would have liked but being hungry we settled.

Although this is a suite and an upgrade there are no hot tubs or jacuzzis here so a morning shower will have to do. Now it is back to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which is turning out to be as good as the first two. I loved the movies also and cannot wait to see this one.

Tomorrow on to the Dallas area. For now, good night from Texas and 84 degrees and sunny with fruit trees in bloom and pansies growing. Sweet!

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