Howdy ya’all, this missive is essentially from the 2nd biggest state. Hope you enjoy, we certainly are! Sincerly trust you can make the captions here, successfully cocked up again by wordpress, my excuse anyway. Wine time now in Tucumcari NM.


Sideways for some unexplainable reason , the Devils Rope Museum kn McLean TX.

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Check our table setting. You can probably see the lower level crowd. Reckon these dude turn the tables about 6 times a night. They run a fleet of limos with buffalo horns mounted on bonnets to collect and deliver patrons, free of charge. We drove ourselves…Palo Duro Canyon abovePalo Du

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Again wordpress has cocked my setting up. Tried putting images at top, but..beaten again by the gremlins. Captions don’t tally withnimages, but sure your are anle to work it out.
Please read on if you haven’t seen enough already.

This trip is rich on memorabilia, names from the music of our youth, decaying towns, grunge, faded signs, interesting people, interesting places and interesting experiences. Right now, could be said we are Deep in the Heart of Texas. The state of big land, big steaks ( even ordering their smallest results in send half back) mesquite pine and goddam one-way streets. One quirky little observation down here is when you buy something you are asked if you want a sack. Hell wanted a little bag of rice “do you want a sack?”. Visions of walking out with a sack over my shoulder. Too many experiences to share all as we go, but an experince in our last place, Clinton came out of a desire to book in to the Trade Winds Inn. Why, you ask? Well my dearly beloved knew that Elvis had stayed here a couple of times. She even knew the room number. Think she secretly wanted to share a bed with Elvis. Well, wasn’t hard to find, but after checking 2 rooms out, seeing the empty pool, broken concrete, long grass and what looked like permanents with hound dogs yelping, sharing a bed with Brian became a better idea and it was “now or never” and never won, we were out of there. So many places have been taken over by people who cant or dont care and “in the ghetto” resounds in my brain. Such a shame. We did however get to stay in room used by Clark Gable way back. Think the bed might have been replaced in the intervening years.
On the way to Shamrock, where our last blog ended, passed through a series on names on map, some still a few inhabitants and cornfields are back in this area. Groom, Conway are a couple, between which rusting grain silos and mills litter the landscape. And where there are houses yards are chocka full of rusting hulks of old vehicles. We called into Erick. Another tiny near ghost town. Managed to have lunch in a cafe open only between 11.00 and 2.00. Worked for us, but the thrill of the day was Sand Hills Curiosity and its owner Harley. What a colourful character, Anne opened the door, the place was in darkness and out of nowhere came this deep gravelly voice saying something like “what you looking for love”. We move into black interior, though old artifacts signs and God knows what, all the while a conversation with someone we cant see is developing, then he stands and meets us. He turns on little lights all around and starts a couple of hours of fun. The amount of stuff this guy has collected is amazing. He has so many one-liners and sayings theres never a sentence without one or some. He sells nothing, seems to live off donations. Happily we are shown around this and what he calls the redneck castle and sanitorium, where lives a few metres away. An hilarious interlude. Actually had a comment from Nicola when she saw the video clip. She said he looks like hillbilly who drinks  from a jar and would marry his own cousin! Guess he does a bit, and meeting him wouldn’t dispel that view. Reminded me though of one of his one liners thought I’d pass on: his wife died last year and when talking about how long he’d been married he told us 28 years, but he had had 4 wifes before that, ……..all his ( followed but yet another uproarish burst of laughter).
A couple of days ago went through place Rock Island. No island, perhaps some rocks but generally just another small dying rural US town, this one with a railway running down mainstreet, yesterday past Rock Island Line remnants. Johnny Cash’s classic of course fills my wee mind.
11th is a colder day, temps down 30%. Own from mid 30’s c to below 20c for most of day. What a swing.
The drive through Texan panhandle landscape, mostly back to cornfields, small remnant run-down towns, from Shamrock to McLean where we drop into the Devils Rope Museum, dedicated to barbed wire. Yes, I can hear you, but believe me, this was surprisingly interesting. There a section on the dustbowl, the big dust storm in 30’s that saw the biggest migration (inter-state) I guess in the country’s history. Amazing story I hadn’t been so conscious of. Then it’s “Show me the way to Amarillo”.
12th following the flea of flea makets (read yuk, crapola) just behind out digs we head out to Palo Duro reputedly the worlds 2nd largest canyon. Moderately impressive, but having seen the Red Rock Canyon in Nevada, gotta say we were a bit dissapointed. Hopefully the canyons we have planned later in the trip will restore our hopes. Ended the day with another museum. The drive to Palo Duro, once off the the highways is through billiard table flat prairie land as far as the horizon 360 degrees. Does give to slight undulations as we near the canyon. Every town around here has one. We’ve visited a few when we run out of other things to do. They are interesting, most have their own take on a theme but there’s always bugger all people in them, except those dedicated to the route. Some are free entry others about 5 bucks. Cannot be economic value, perhaps a lesson here for Tauranga. Realise economics mightn’t be the only driver, but someone must be paying.
TV here at the mo is about the presidentials, full on, with a year to go I don’t know how they put up with it, Trump is providing a bit of Peters type entertainment, but escaping that on tv, is much the same as escaping the religious and country music on the radio.
“Well they say
Santa Fe is less than 90 miles away” thanks to Neil Young but as he knew Albuquerque comes first. Thats where we are headed next, across the border and to Tucumcari. They’ve arranged a welcome for us here, 38 degrees in the shade!

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