Playing Catch-up

With our truck issues putting us a week behind, we had some serious catching up to do on our trip west. Part of the reason for that was we wanted to visit family in Texas, and we were fearful that window had closed.  Fortunately the people we were visiting were able to reschedule one day later, so all was good. With that, we were off to the races!

The new truck ran like a champ across Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.  Hank the Deuce has much more power than the 2008 F-350 and better fuel mileage to boot.  I had to learn about DEF and exhaust brakes, as my old truck had neither.  The other thing it didn’t have was a sunroof.


This one makes up for that in a big way!  While this wasn’t something we were looking for in a new truck, the fact it was on it wasn’t going to keep us from purchasing the vehicle.  Turns out, it’s a handy way to keep an eye on Ketchup and Mustard!

We rolled into Waxahachie, Texas on Saturday, quickly set up the rig and headed into town.

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Once there, we met up with Thomas and Marlana.  Thomas is Diana’s first cousin-once removed on her father’s side of the family. He is her cousin Nancy and David’s son. It is always wonderful being able to spend time with them.  🙂

The next day we headed to Waco to meet-up with Seth, Diana’s first cousin-twice removed on her mother’s side of the family.  He is her cousin Deb’s grandson.

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We visited Waco Mammoth National Monument. This is an interesting place where flooding along the Bosque River drowned an entire herd of Columbian Mammoths during the Ice Age.  The find was discovered in 1978 by two men looking for arrowheads.  During their search, they found a femur protruding from an eroded bank.  Between that time and 1997, twenty-two mammoths were unearthed, and more continue to be found to this day.

After that, we ate lunch at Rudy’s.

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Seth recently joined the Army and is being trained to drive Bradley tanks at Fort Hood.  It was great to catch up with him and hear about his experiences.  He will be deploying to Korea soon.  We wish him well and are appreciate his service to our country.  🙂

Once we arrived in Vernon, Texas, we were back on schedule!  Vernon is the hometown of both Roy Orbison and former Federal prosecutor, Kenneth Starr.  The area was once named Eagle Springs by the Tonkawa Indians.  When settlers applied for the name Eagle Flats, the U.S. Post Office nixed the name as Texas already had too many towns with the word Eagle in it.  They chose Vernon instead, in honor of George Washington’s Mount Vernon home.

From Vernon, we moved on to Amarillo.  First stop: Cadillac Ranch!

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Something about this kitchy art installation spoke to us that we were finally on our way west.

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Or maybe we had entered the Twilight Zone!

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Anyone who has ever driven an early 1950’s Cadillac will know that this is where the gas goes in the tank.  My grandpa owned a couple of them, and I would have great fun pulling into a full service station in the 1970’s and asking for a fill-up.  I’d let the attendant walk around the car in frustration, looking for the cap.

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When they finally gave up, I’d jump out and push in the reflector, lift up the taillight and reveal the gas cap.  🙂

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We doubt these cars will ever rust away, as there are hundreds of coats of spray paint on them.

We also went to dinner at Saltgrass while we were in town.

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Two things about this photo:  One, it isn’t very often that a restaurant serves warm gluten-free bread with my meal.  Much appreciated, believe me.  Also, my new glasses are on the table, immediately to my right and out of the photo.  While trying to clean them, the screw came out for the second time.  I’ve also had the screws pop out of my new prescription sunglasses multiple times.  Moral of the story is: while the prices at Costco Optical may seem enticing, be aware that there may be a trade-off in the quality of the product.  I’m only saying this because I had previously recommended their service on Facebook.

We also found a great place to do laundry, the Tornado Laundromat.

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Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the size of the folding tables!

The facility was spotless.  Diana commented to this attendant that she had “never seen anyone do that”, in reference to her cleaning out the soap dispenser with a paint brush.  She quickly replied “What….clean?”  We all got a chuckle out of that.  🙂  We really appreciated her hard work.

From there, we explored Palo Duro Canyon State Park.

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This is actually the second largest canyon in the United States!  A road was extended into the canyon by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the 1930’s.  While our visit on Wednesday was during a high wind event, the winds seemed to go over the top of us. That made our day an enjoyable one.

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The facilities in this park are top-notch.  This is the patio at the conference center. They also offer several campgrounds, some that can accommodate large RV’s.

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The views within the park are outstanding!

With that, we headed west towards Santa Fe.  Stay tuned for what we find there and beyond.  Until then, safe and happy travels to all!



24 thoughts on “Playing Catch-up”

  1. I continue to be amazed that you find interesting facts about even the smallest of towns you visit! While to some people small towns may seem boring each one has its own history and heritage that you root out and explore. Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Palo Duro Canyon SP has been on my radar for awhile. Looks beautiful. Hope you hike Kasha-Katuwee Tent Rocks when you’re in Santa Fe (only 30 minutes away and Cochiti CG is a great place to stay). Glad to hear you’re enjoying the new truck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL, at least you can keep an eye on K&M while you are driving along, I’ll bet that took a bit of getting used to! We loved Palo Duro Canyon SP, but even in January the temp gauge on the trail said it was 101 degrees. Come to think of it, the thermometer might have been broken. 🙂 Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you are covering some distance! I’m glad you were able to hit Palo Duro Canyon. The first time I camped there I was 14 years old and camped there with my family enroute to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Pat and I camped there in 2014. The hiking trails are great and some quite challenging.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to hear about your problems with your Costco glasses – I’ve gotten 2 pair there (one pair in NJ and the new pair in FL) and both were good.
    Nice you got to visit your family in spite of running late.
    Bill and I visited Palo Duro back in 2010 – need to get back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hope you have continued success with your glasses, Kelly. After the screws on both of my pairs repeatedly came loose, I resorted to a drop of clear nail polish in the hole before replacing the screw. So far, so good.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We were in Amarillo when we met up with that front, MonaLiza. At that point, it was wind with no rain. Luckily we weren’t driving that day, as the gusts were up to 70 mph! We are in New Mexico now.


  6. Hey there! Nice truck! Sorry you had to bite the bullet and get a new one but glad it happened in a convenient place! We were just in Waco too! We ate at Magnolia Table right next door to Rudy’s! How funny is that? We are in Oklahoma now visiting family and heading out to the Royal Gorge and then Grand Canyon areas over the next couple of days. Will take about a week to make it to CA where we will see dentist and doctors then pick up the Bounder and head to Washington for our camp host gig. Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m also catching up after all our visiting time. Love the new truck – love your matching red family members! We really enjoyed the Mammoth dig in Waco and thought it was very well done. So fun to have you back on the road. We must get to Cadillac Ranch our next time through Texas 🙂 I had no idea ANY vehicle ever had a gas cap like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We remembered that you had been to Waco and liked it, Jodee. I am smitten with Hank the Deuce. Omg….power like I’ve never imagined! Yep…those old Caddies were a hoot. My grandpa’s weighed as much as my truck. Manual steering and brakes, and the steering wheel was huge. It did have a seek and find AM radio, though!


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