push out to the east an hour later across the scrub deserts of far west
Texas, mountains in Mexico off to our right, a close and persistent
reminder that we are skirting near to the edge of America, climbing almost
imperceptibly the southern edge of the Llano Escatado onto the great
plains. Flat and featureless, first wastelands, then grasslands, then
planted fields as far as the eye can see, barely a tree, mountains now
buried below the millennial silt of the prairie.
We would make the oil fields of Odessa by 5:00pm, 350 miles more, a
total of 750 on the day. An easy ride for the most part, but a tiring
drive. A nice motel and a welcomed meal at Logan's Roadhouse (which is
really a restaurant).
then, of course, the requisite night cap, a well earned traveler's reward
at the end of a hard day. We
chose Daddy's Place, a genuine Texas Roadhouse recommended by our waiter
at Logan's. A rock cover-band called "Delaid" battered the crowd
of truck drivers, waitresses and oil field laborers looking for their
Saturday night squeeze. The crowd looked rough, I expected Patrick Swazy
to come through the door any minute to start knocking heads. Tim and I
chose a pool table in the corner, and people left us alone. Aside from Tim
and two pretty barmaids, I think I was the slimmest guy in the place.
Smoke and music eventually took its toll, and we left early.
day two, we made Dallas (350 miles more), rolling hills and rain, rain,
rain. I think it was the first time my car had ever been rained on, and
the first time I had been wet from rain in over two years. We and spent
the afternoon and evening with Jack and Judy Sparks, a lifetime friend and
Army buddy who live in North Dallas. A traditional Texas rib joint for
dinner, and next morning a hardy breakfast and we are off again for
Arkansas and on to Memphis, another 500 mile run. Dinner and music at BB
King's Blues Bar on Beale Street, Memphis' hot music district, and the
Rum Bogie Cafe for night caps and a little late night music.
four Graceland! A tacky "Elivs" theme park and mansion tour not
to be missed when passing through the heartland. Three and a half hours
and worth the time. Then on to Nashville, another 200 miles in time for
dinner with friends, and a late night trip to the Wild Horse Saloon. More
on Nashville later.
miles in all. I had forgotten what road trips were like. No speeding
tickets, no flat tires, no problema.