The Texas Road Runners !!!!!                

Road Trip Adventures, Roadside Attractions, Crazy DIY Projects, Texas Fishing, Rock Hounding and more......

Past Adventures

Texas Panhandle 2002

Sites include : visits to the American Wind Power Museum, Canyon, TX, Palo Duro State Park, Lake Meredith National Recreation Area for Alibates Flint and Alabaster, the Roadside Attractions of Amarillo, Turkey, TX and Cap Rock State park.

Star Date : 08/29/02  (As always, click on the picture for for a larger image and click on the links for surprises.)

        I woke up Friday morning, got ready and straightened up the house for Evie, Carolyn, Mackie (Carolynís new boyfriend) and Robbie, Carolynís son to arrive.  Once I got the house in order, I finished up packing for our big trip into the Texas P anhandle.  I went ahead and went into Carrollton to meet my sister and her family for lunch at Natureís Gallery, the rock shop on the town square.  We had BBQ at a restaurant across the square.  Then it was time to head on home, relax and wait for the guest to arrive.

        Evie and her party arrived late in the afternoon.  We socialized for a while, ate and then retired for bed for the big trip that next morning.  The girls wanted a scenic drive, so Gavin at work showed me a good route to take starting with 287 and heading north.

Star Date : 08/30/02

        We all woke up pretty early and finished packing up and then we were on our way.  Mackie had brought along a pair of walkie-talkies which were a great benefit since we were in two trucks.  We first headed south on I-35E to get on Hwy 287 from Waxahachie and then headed north.  By the time we got into Midlothian , Evie and I got our first call.  We are hungry.  So, we stopped at a really nice McDonaldís and filled up.  On the way out of the parking lot, Mackie noticed one of my taillights was out and insisted we stop for repairs due to law enforcement being for the labor Day weekend.  We certainly did not want any trouble, so we found an auto parts store in town.  I picked up a new light and while we fixed up my truck, the girls found an antique shop across the way.  Once the truck was fixed, it was hell getting them women out of there.  We were finally on our way again.

        We managed to get through Fort Worth and beyond.  Though were did have a little navigational trouble and finally got onto Hwy 199 and then onto Hwy 114.   Thank God Mackie had on of those detailed Texas road maps which I made sure I would pick up one later for other new adventures.  Although it was a scenic route, it took a lot of time going through all the little towns such as Anges, Joplin , Jacksboro and Loving.  Finally we stopped in Olney , TX .  Why?  Because there were antique shops all around the town square. (I just hate it went the highway runs smack down to the middle of the town square and you have to drive all the way around the square to get to the other side of the highway.  I think it is a Marketing ploy to make you stop and eat their food or make you buy their merchandise in the surrounding antique and gift stores.)   I do not have to tell you who made us stop, now do I.  I think the girls picked up a few nick-knacks there and I guess I canít complain.  We needed a small chair for an old school desk we found for Rachaelís Christmas present which we were fixing up and we found one in an antique store there.  We finally hit the road again. 

        Hwy 114 turned into Hwy 82 and took us into Lubbock .  We were all famished and found a nice Mexican food restaurant to eat at.  On our way north out of the city, we stopped at the Windmill Museum .  We took lots of photos.  This was the biggest windmill I have ever seen.  Or was it this one?  Remember, Lubbock is the home town of Buddy HollyAfter visiting the museum, we hit the road again and finally made it to Canyon, TX.  We found our Best Western motel and after checking in, we walked the streets and toured the town a little.  Texas A&M had an extension university there and there was also a museum of old oil field equipment and history of the West Texas oil production.  Unfortunately, the museum was closed and we would not have time to visit it  the next day.   So we then relaxed by the pool for a while and finally retired for the night.

Star Date : 08/30/02

        The next morning, the girls did their morning exercises, then we packed up again and walked on over to the Coney Island restaurant for breakfast.  The girls wanted to then go to a Southwestern art store nearby to shop.  Mackie and I finally convinced the girls to leave before it got too hot to hike. 

        Mackie and I completed our mission, we got the girls on the move on.  We all headed out to Palo Duro Canyon State Park .  We paid our fees drove around and checked out the scenic sights.  They even used prisoners to take care of the park.  We finally parked and the major hike of the day was the Lighthouse Trail.  The name of the trail reveals its self in the end.

        Robbie manned the digital camera and many photos were taken along the way.  As we continued, we found some interesting friendsFinally, we made it to the base of the lighthouse formation.  But this was not the end of the trail.  The girls needed a little more coaxing.  Heck if this father would bring his small son to the top, then we could make it too.  And made it we did.  The views were great.  The hard part was going down back the same way we made it up.  Fortunately, I was ahead and found the easy way down by following the father and his small son ahead of us.

        After we all made it back down, we hiked back to the trucks.  We were quickly running out of water.  We made it back and I couldnít believe the others pulled out beer to drink.  I had to sit in the truck to first cool off with the AC on and more bottles of water down my throat.  After our recovery period, we drove around some more to check out more of the parkís scenic beauty.  Before we made it out of the park, we stopped by the gift store for the usual souvenirs. 

        We then headed to north to Amarillo for lunch and more antique shopping. We also found an old school desk for Jake.  We also stopped by the famous Cadillac Ranch.  Remember that cartoon "Where's Waldo?"  Where's Evie, where's me?  We then headed North to Meredith National Recreational Area to mine some alabaster.   While there, we found quite a bit of it.  Unfortunately, I was eaten up by mosquitoes. We were running low on gas, so we had to head further North to Dumas, TX to fill up and Carolyn bought some groceries. Then we headed south to our B&B in Quitaque , TX Our arrival was late, so we just unpacked and retired for the night.  The next day offered more than just another hike.

Star Date : 09/01/02

        Evie made us all a great breakfast, of coarse I helped some.  Once are bellies were all full, we headed out to Capr ock State Park .  Again, we first just drove around and admired all the scenery.  It was much like Palo Duro State Park .  But, this time we made our own trial trough an old creek bed.  Caprock is know for it's bison heard.   The park trails are also set up for horse ridingAfter a good hike, we then headed back to the park office and found out about the Bat Tunnel!!

        On the way out of the park, we tried to see the Texas buffalo heard.  But, we only saw one and he was very uncooperative by just laying down under a shade tree.  Once back in town, we tried to eat at a place called the Hunterís Club.  When 45 minutes passed by and still no food, we left upset.  So we went back to the ranch house and ate sandwiches there.   We mainly cooled down and rested until it was time to meet at the bus that was to take us to the bat tunnel.

        At 6:30 PM, we boarded an old rickety bus and began a tour of the Quitaque area.  We basically headed south on what was at one time an old railroad track which was primitively paved.   We also drove over several rickety bridges.  Then  finally, we entered the bat tunnel.  Pew wee!!!!!  The smell of bat, or guano in this case.  Once we exited the tunnel, and the bats started to fly on out.  But then, the calm before the storm.

        Was that all the bats?  What, no more?  Slightly disappointed, we began to walk down what was left of the old railroad tracks taking in the views.  Then al of the sudden cries and screams were heard by the tunnel exit.  We ran back to see what all the commotion was all about.  Bats I tell you bats!  And more bats.  Our disappointments turned to awe.  The fly out for a good 45 minutes until it was time to return back to Quitaque.  It was a scary drive to the bat cave in the daylight, even more intense in the dark.  We made it back and retired for the evening.  We all had a long trip back home in the morning.

Star Date : 09/02/02

        We all had a good breakfast in the morning, thanks to Evie and Carolyn, and then walked around town before heading to the local cemetery to visit the grave of the unknown cowboy for which his story was told about the night before on the bus.  We also found some old ruins from past settlers. Then we headed to Turkey, TX.  The girls wanted to do a little more shopping for antiques.  Them women folk have it in their genes.  Itís called the shopping gene.  It was then time to go on separate routes due to Evelyn driving her car to my place.  I gassed up the truck and Evie drove us to Abilene.  There at Abilene, we had lunch at a local Skittles restaurant.  After lunch I got us back to my place.  We unpacked and thus ended another road trip adventure.  Stay tuned next week at the same bat time and the same bat channel.

Star Date : 03/26/03 - Aftermath

         I later heard from Evelyn a few weeks ago that she finally obtained a bat house that she always wanted since our road trip to Mason and their bat cave.  I sure sheíll let me know if she ever starts to house any.  I still say we should have gotten that big tunnel drill used from the Super Conducting Super Collider and made our own bat cave on her dadís property and charge admission.  It could have become a significant attraction to bring tourist into the city of Clifton.   Oh well.

 

          So, until next time, take care and I'll  See you... on the road, or in the workshop, (which is really just my garage) !!!!

                                                     Francis                        

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