Backroads in Oregon

Are We Through Texas Yet?

Moving Pictures: Cornfields
Leaving Texas can be a long drawn-out affair. Unless originating near the state line, leaving this big state may require many hours. After a few hours of chit-chat in the vehicle, the landscape whizzing by commanded my attention. Amusement at the different perspectives out the passenger window enticed me to photograph the landscapes outside my side window and the front windshield. The intent was two-fold: different perspectives of motion and to see what abstract images resulted. Actually, I like the results. While the background seems to stand still, the closer the foreground, the more blurred. Elementary, dear physics. But, still, I like the abstract relativistic images.

Where are thou camping spot?

As we ascended the Llano Estacado, towns assumed that level prairie look: flat horizons, barbed-wire fencing along the highways, fields of grains, bovines dotting green pastures. And trains. Most of the highways in Texas (and elsewhere, as I learned along this trip) run along the rail lines. Granaries and silos  tower over small towns revealing their economic base. Some were disused, others still in service. I especially liked the image in Dalhart of the silo behind the colorful local motel and sporting the signage: "Dalhart Consumers". As if it was a draw to the town, or simply a generic description of every community and the basis of our nation in modern America: consumerism.

Dusk was quickly descending as we approached a town where we might camp overnight. At least, from what I read on the Internet. A member of a forum on free camping locations posted a city park in the Texas town of Dumas (gleefully pronounced by some as 'Dumb-ass'). No address was provided, only the description of next to the railroad tracks west of town. We drove around searching for such a park and found only ball fields next to a school and a large parking lot. Next to the cemetery.

Tired and hungry, we drove to a nearby gas station to ask and met with blank unfriendly stares. No help there. So back to the parking lot next to the ball fields. After backing in next to a temporary mobile structure, we quickly and quietly expanded the pop-up camper and crawled under the sheets. After being in 106 degree heat near the DFW area, the cool night there made us shiver and we added a blanket and quilt to the bed. Sleep was broken into wakenings by every single train that rolled through town blaring horns, and there were many trains.

I woke before dawn to the sound of tires pulling in next to us. They departed as slowly as they pulled up. 'Let's get out of here,' was the only thought in my mind. Dressing quickly in the dewy morning chill, we packed up the camper as more vehicles and then school buses pulled into the parking lot. I was glad to be out of there, and away from the town. I crossed that town off my list of 'Future Night Spots'.

I rejoiced when we crossed the state line into New Mexico. 

Next: New Mexico and Colorado