|The goal: sunny days, wonderful skies. This, near Tubac, AZ|
Editor's Note: This rather lengthy tome is mostly for our kids, who wonder what we're really up to when we venture off like this. Mostly, we have fun.
February 20th, 2015: We set out early in the morning through snow-covered fields in Ohio, hoping to get past St. Louis by late afternoon.
We made it, but it didn't matter what time it was, we were headed west. Jane took pictures, I drove.
Actually, the first day was pretty easy. It was interstate travel, after all; the roads were smooth and clear. We had big plans; a stop in Oklahoma City at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Tucson. The trip usually takes me about three and a half days if I keep to a reasonable speed, stop early enough to get a good dinner and some rest in a nice motel. Pretty standard stuff. I've done it a lot of times.
This time was a little different.
For instance, this was Jane's first visit to the "Cowboy."
The first glimpse as you enter the museum takes your breath away. It's a full size "End of the Trail." Look at it awhile, consider it, and it will bring a tear to your eye.
I've been a member of the museum for a number of years, falling in love with it as soon as I walked through the door. I've seen everything the Smithsonian has done and this is as good or better than any of it.
The Cowboy tells the real story--what it was like to settle the west and to work in it. Only one gallery is devoted to the movies..most of the vast museum deals honestly with the way it really was..and still is..done. I can only imagine what it took to make your way in the early west and the responsibility that goes with managing it today. Cowboy is too light a word to describe the people who do it. The museum makes that clear.
It has a great restaurant, too.
Every journey has its potholes. We found ours at Amarillo, Texas.
Freezing rain and then all-out snow forced a stop whether we wanted to or not. We had hoped to make Tucumcari, NM from OK City, but Ma Nature had other plans. We spent two nights "stranded" in a very nice Residence Inn at Amarillo.
It was the prudent thing to do. The road rises as you go west and I'd rather be stranded like that, than sitting in a snowbound car waiting for rescue.
Travel Tip: Always carry a good book.
We got to Tucson on February 24th:
But things have calmed down since then. Jane met Wyatt (L) and his brother, Virgil, on the main street. They took her under their wing(s).
Old Tombstone today.
By the way..did you ever see a picture of a smiling Tom Mix? Me, neither. I found this one in the Oracle Inn at Oracle, AZ. Just sayin'..
We moved on to Ft. Worth, Texas to visit Jane's relatives, Jan and Dale Moore, heading east through El Paso, turning left through Oil Country..going diagonally across the state. A loooong haul.
We went to Justin, Texas, and we bought boots. What else do you buy in Justin?
We went to the Ft. Worth Stockyards and went through Billy Bob's Texas--one of the world's biggest Honky Tonks.
Jan and Jane did some line dancing. They could have played pool, if they wanted.
Down the street, they could have saddled up:
Could've gotten some "tack" (L) or a sombrero:
They could have bought a horse a cookie..
But they didn't.
Everybody just had a great time.
And we plan to do it again.
Seeya down the road.
March 18. 2015