The Epic Texas Research Roadtrip, Final Chapter

For phase 2 of the trip, I flew into Laredo to retrieve the motorhome from the transmission shop (#10 in the diagram above). After unloading it in San Antonio (#11) I continued on to Abilene (#12) by rental car.

An old sign in Abilene (if I remember correctly).


Between Abilene and Lubbock, wind turbines and a dust storm.


Missed my exit and took a detour down a quiet back country road where I saw this cool abandoned building. No idea what it was.


Then I had to pull over to let this house –not mobile home, HOUSE— go by.


An old sign in lubbock (#13).


Cows hiding from the sun between Lubbock and Amarillo.


These windpumps (water pumping windmills) are a common sight in Texas. They pump water up from wells into above-ground holding tanks.


The final, northernmost stop on the trip: Amarillo (#14).


This goofy roadside statue is off Highway 27 just south of Amarillo. Commissioned by local eccentric Stanley Marsh 3 (he prefers “3” to III) for the sole purpose of being an enigmatic ruin. There never was a body attached to these legs. It includes a convincing –and completely B.S. (appropriate for a cow pasture)– plaque, shown below. Vandals painted the gym socks and Marsh liked them so they stayed. (Information courtesy of Texas Curiosities, my favorite reference book for this trip.)


World famous Cadillac Ranch.


Cadillac Ranch was the primary reason for going to Amarillo. Also courtesy of Marsh, it was erected in 1974 but moved to it’s current, more remote location in 1994. I’ve always wanted to see it and it was a high priority for the book. Graffiti is tacitly encouraged, or at least tolerated. Look how thick the paint is from years of spray paint upon spray paint.


I photographed as much of the graffiti as I could. I’m hoping to drop photos of the real graffiti into the illustrations. we’ll see if it works. I hope no dirty words sneak in.


The Big Texan is a famous tourist trap dating from the days when Route 66 was the main arterial. Home of “the free 72 oz. steak.” What’s the catch? You have to eat the steak and four side dishes in less than an hour. I asked the waiter what type of person usually succeeds (about one in seven do). He said he’s seen all types, but his money is on tall skinny guys.


Research complete. Now all I have to do is write the book.

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