Monday, May 05, 2014

Going Plainly over the Plains of the Texas Panhandle

On this Music Monday, "Miles and Miles of Texas" , is an appropriate enough song. We returned on Sunday from our own mini "miles and miles of Texas" tour. Here the number is performed by Asleep at the Wheel, vocalist is Ray Benson.

We saw Asleep at the Wheel a couple of years ago at our local theatre - good show, one of the best ever. We still remember, and often repeat, a joke Ray Benson told the audience about a friend of his who was travelling in Texas. He had stopped in a small town, I don't remember the exact name of the town in the joke, but it was a foreign or perhaps Native American sounding name. In the story, Ray's friend went into the local Dairy Queen ordered a drink and asked the server, "How do you pronounce the name of this place?" The response, enunciated very slowly: "". As we passed through tiny Quitaque, Texas on our way out we laughed that this could be a good town for the joke. I dared husband to try it, but we couldn't find a Dairy Queen in Quitaque, and in any case, the signpost had spoiled the joke by telling us the answer: "Kitty-kay".

We did spend a couple of nights in Clovis, New Mexico, which is just over the state border, and, to be honest isn't much different from Texas in flavour. The true New Mexico enchantment simply hasn't reached there.

Not much in the way of dramatic scenery to share this time. It was mostly very...erm....plain, as in the Amish version of plain, nothing too modern, fancy nor dramatic. It was just peaceful, green, calm and mostly plain flat, punctuated by tiny towns most of which had seen better days, days when the railway line came through, back in the early 1900s. Most towns then had built a hotel to house passing travellers - over-optimistically I thought, considering the surrounding areas were hardly going to be abuzz with action. They still aren't a century later! These hotels stand there now, skeleton-like, big, blocky, broken windows, boarded doors; rising to varying heights depending on size of town/county.

Weather was interesting. When we set out it was struggling to reach 60 degrees, definite long sleeve/jacket weather, same for the first two days, but on the way back it was at least 97 degrees in most places with a weirdly strong, hot wind blowing.

The inscription above the entrance to the Court House in Paducah, Tx tickled me. The same inscription should also be placed above entrances to the White House and the US Capitol!

It was plain - but it was fun!


mike said...

Computer problems for the past several days...cursor does weird things and other operational errors...if I disappear for a while, that's why. No viruses and nothing amiss according to all diagnostics, but Houston, we have a problem.

Fortunately, I've been all around this country and had the opportunity to see the sights. Texas isn't amongst my favorites, at least for dramatic scenery. All locations have their own version of beauty to behold, but the Midwest is one big continuum and I was raised in Kansas, so I find it all boring after years and years.

I'm hopeful that someday you and anyjazz can extend your boundaries. There is danger to sightseeing the truly scenic may not want to return to Oklahoma...LOL.

Twilight said...

mike ~ If we were younger and more wealthy we'd never be home!

We visited the Rocky Mountain National Park back in 2006 - wonderful trip!
And later Mesa Verde, and most parts of Colorado, and New Mexico. The "touristy" feel of it all can take the shine off these places for me now though. I've come to appreciate the plain these days.

I have never hankered after seeing California, it holds no appeal whatsoever, nor does most of the East coast area (it'll be much like England and Scotland I guess, and I know those well). The middle section of the USA, much derided "fly-over country" appeals to me, apart from the conservative and religious emphasis of its population. I like Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Texas, really I do! There are hidden gems there, and lots of (fairly modern) history. Perhaps it's because my own roots are in such a comparable area of England (in miniature) that these places appeal to me - plus the fact that they are our near neighbours in Oklahoma, and in reasonably easy reach for us.

Back in 1984 (the year not the book) I (and late partner) visited Hawaii for 3 weeks - that was an unforgettable experience. We chose to go there rather than California, even then, Cali was an option in the 3 weeks for price of 2 offer we used. :-)

I hope you solve your computer problems, mike, hope it's not a hardware problem, too difficult to deal with.

mike (again) said...

Now you can add earthquakes to your list, Twilight!

Twilight said...

mike (again) - O joy! I'm glad we're a bit further south than the worst risk places. I had a nightmare (long ago, a decade before I moved to the USA). In the dream I had opened the back door of my grandmother's house where I and my parents were visiting and found that the ground had simply rent asunder right outside leaving a jagged edge and I ran to the front door, and all was normal there. :-/

Then there are the wildfires...

Oo..oooklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.....
Still, we can always "sit and talk and watch the hawk making lazy circles in the sky..." :-)