Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010 Day 11 Knox City, Texas….where’s that?

This morning I decided on a new route east, instead of swinging south through the vicinity of Austin I laid out a new route through Texas into southern Oklahoma. I chose Broken Bow for a destination on a whim as its location takes me nearly due east and avoids big towns. From there I’ll probably head to Natchez, MS and try to visit a couple of scooter buds.

I left good old Motel 6 a bit late this morning, got lazy packing and by the time I was on the bike it was nearly 9:00am. I stopped at IHOP for the basic feed and since there weren’t any rowdy kids to watch I was in and out pretty fast.

Points of Interest signs are frequent and I try to stop at most of them. Sometimes to the total surprise of drivers following a bit close.

The open prarie or plains...whatever the difference is I don't know...are vast in this region and ranches occupy thousands of acres.
I followed Highway 380 through the remainder of New Mexico passing ranch after ranch, many with fancy wrought iron signs.

One of the small towns that seemed to be economically depressed sported two metal fabrication shops who specialized in fancy signs. Just goes to show you, not everyone is suffering.

Crossing into Texas didn’t seem to make much difference; evidently the economy knows no boundaries. Topography-wise though it began to look better, more greenery was evident and I soon began to see signs warning drivers to watch for water on the road. Deep ditches alongside the highway had recently flooded onto the road leaving patches of red mud.
The thing I don't understand is how the heck anyone can grow anything in that damned red dirt... It just doesn't look healthy to me, dirt is supposed to be black and loamy, this stuff looks like, uh, red clay or something. Maybe it's used for making terra cotta pots?

After awhile I decided it might be nice to take a break so I pulled into one of the rest stops where I discovered about all you can do there (legitimately) is rest. Calls of nature are evidently left to ones discreation. Ha! Bet me!

At least there are lots of wild flowers to take photos of which makes for a legitimate reason to hike out into the bushes. Yellow daisies are one of my favorite subjects. Ask anyone who knows me, they'll tell you that.

Oil wells were all over the place and most of them were active. It’s funny to see one of them next to a house bobbing away. I should have stopped to see if they make much noise.

A couple of small towns caught my interest; Old Glory was one so I stopped for some pics of the old buildings still standing and the original post office just recently retired.

Down the road a few miles further I came to Rule, a tiny hamlet with quaint shops and stores, many of them for sale or simply closed up.

The only noticeable activity seemed to be at the local grainery where one truck was off-loading while another one was being filled. I wondered why didn't the first guy just haul his load to the 2nd guy's destination and call it good? Of course that might throw the 2nd guy out of work so maybe that had something to do with it. 

Leaving Green Girl parked I prowled around on foot for awhile to see if anyone was home but if they were they were being damned quiet.

I think it might be interesting to hang out until after dark just to see who comes out of the woodwork. Maybe it was just hot enough the people were staying indoors to try and beat the heat. Or they could be Zombies...

Anyway after taking a few pics I decided it might be time to start looking for a place to stay so I consulted Garmin & Company for suggestions. The nearest motel was listed as a Super-8 not too far away in Knox City so I selected it and got back on the road.

On the way out of town I did a double-take and rode back for a look at the marque on the drive-in movie. It looked to me like the local kids had been having some fun being creative with movie titles on the reader board. The nature of the titles was definitely not in keeping with a "GP" rating and I'm amazed the local folks left them up. Naturally I had to do a bit of coloring over them, wouldn't want any of my readers to be shocked. Send me an email and I'll send you the unedited version...but only if I know you.

I arrived at the motel right on course only to discover it isn’t a Super-8 at all, it’s a privately owned older place. As it happened I was feeling a bit too tired to keep riding so I checked in and was pleasantly surprised to find how nice it is. Clean as a pin or at least as a Motel 6, and with a healthy air conditioner and WIFI to boot, all for only $46 taxes included.

To make things even more appealing a small family restaurant is located across the parking lot so I didn’t have to ride anywhere for dinner. It turned out to be one of those small town eateries where patrons have their kids go get things out of the kitchen or they do it themselves rather than wait for one of the staff. Everyone knows everyone of course so it doesn't much matter. Who needs a health certificate anyway?

I was seated at a table in the corner just around the entrance door and in comes one of the locals who said Hi to everyone including me. Then when he realized he didn't know me he looked a bit flustered. I said Hi back so maybe that's a local taboo?

Anyway that’ll do it for me for today; now I think I’ll kick back and see if the telly works.


  1. A couple of those pics look like the town where they shot "The Last Picture Show."

  2. Was that Drive-In still in operation?


  3. Jerry - We're on the same page on that one, I've had the same thought more than once.

    Sticky, it's still there and the owners are still looking for you, something about an unpaid bill and a missing tray. I passed along your email address.

  4. You're right, some of those "local" hotels can be sketchy.