Thanks everybody! Pulling out of Roswell, it’s a crisp 40 degrees and the road is looking good. Highway 70. Oops, wrong road. Back through town and onto 380 / 82 and I am finally headed east.
Holy crap! What happened? Some giant alien from Roswell has ironed to the countryside. The interesting wrinkles and curves of yesterdays ride have turned into a starch smooth geography. I passed the Bottomless Lake on the way out of Roswell and I am not sure if it is the same lake that John Prine sang about, but I am positive that the Levelland sign is pointing to the same town that James McMurtry sang about
“Flatter than a table top
Makes you wonder why they stopped here
Wagon must have lost a wheel
or they lacked ambition one…”
But even without the rhythm of yesterday’s ride through New Mexico, the ride across Texas had a majestic beauty to it that seems to get lost on the interstate route.
Heading out of New Mexico, someone in the town of Tatum got a plasma cutting table for Christmas. Every street sign and building sign in the whole town was a different scene cut from plates of steel. There were street signs with cowboys, mechanics, nature scenes and anything else you can imagine.
I think I was heading into Lubbock when I spied this eatery on the road side: I had a decent burger and fries and the owner was a nice guy.
Once darkness started setting in, I settled in on Nocona, Texas as my stopping point. I checked with the clerk in the convenience store and she and some customers told me they had 3 choices for motels. The first was an hourly type joint by the truck stop. The second was some renovated place downtown and the third was some fancy bed and breakfast place. I am noted for not spending more than the minimum on my motels, but a quick spin through the truck stop motel revealed a really run down inn, with bed sheets for curtains and just a run down feel. So I head downtown to check out the digs.
I ride around the building looking for a potential place to unload and park for the night. Once I figure it’s a safe neighborhood, I walk in and look around. The office is on the right on the way in and there is a brick lined hallway through the building with rooms on each side and a few rooms up stairs. As I walk through the motel, my packer boots are click clacking down the hall, I get the feeling that someone is watching me. When I turn around, an Indian (the country of India) family is staring at me. The father, the mother and the twenty something son all just have a look of wide eyed terror on their faces, like mad max had just walked in. So I smile and explain that I am just looking at the place to rent a room for the night. I guess it didn’t dawn on me that walking through a place in my jacket and boots, helmet in hand with wild hair and beard would cause any kind of disturbance. I sign for a room and start dragging my stuff inside and these people did not let me out of their sight the entire time – LOL. Turns out the family had just bought the place and I think I was the only guest for the night.
After scaring the inn keeper, I headed back to the main road to a Mexican food restaurant I saw on the way in. This turned out to be a great idea. The waitress said that the sour cream chicken enchiladas were popular and they turned out to be the bomb. These completely redefined the Mexican eating experience for me. Delicious. Hands down the best meal of the trip so far.
Back at the inn, I took a walk through the small downtown area that had been going through a recent revitalization. The downtown area was just a few square blocks but they were making the best of it. The best find was a stash of muscle cars in several building throughout the area. The buildings were fixed up in several different styles with the most prominent being a high class man cave / filling station motif.