Day 22: Into the blue in NW Texas

Still pretty orange when the sun came up.  I patiently waited it out for an extra hour before shooting since I didn’t want bizarre-o looking photos.  Even near Graham where I had to turn around yesterday, things seemed nearly resolved.  But here in Childress where I’ve stopped for the night, it’s suddenly smoky again.  Must be a different fire since we’re nowhere near where we were last night.  Back to the itching eyes and sore throat feeling.

So, here’s the scene that gets repeated about a half dozen times per day.  Water break.  This was a quiet little spot in Jacksboro — visible from the highway but not anywhere near traffic.  Here the waders are hunting for kibble which I’ve tossed in the water.  It makes them get wet at least up to their bellies:

For Grem, I’ll throw a few further out so she’ll do some swimming and get more exercise.  Fixie will swim, too, if the water’s warm enough.  Grip will not swim unless it’s really, really hot and the floating treats are extra good.  She got caught in the tiniest of currents once and has not forgotten!

Nik, needs ACTION.  One of our favorite new toys of this trip are these Chuck-It designs.  I bought all 3 sizes and both designs.  Yes, six toys.  I probably have 100 toys of various styles for various uses in bins in the back of the van.  These shark fin shaped toys bob with the fin up in the water make them easy to spot.  Good especially for a one-eyed dog (Nik is blind in his right eye).  They also have a gator-head shaped version which is easier to grab for small-mouthed dogs.  For those of you that have those Chuck-It plastic throwing devices, these toys work with them as well.  Nik is a powerful swimmer and leaves a wake:

Freezing to death but he still wants more:

Ok, dogs done.  I’ve got one food photo and then we’ll get on to more serious subjects (ha!).  This strawberry sundae was from Denton — the Mr. Frosty (a photo of the place over at Flickr tonight) which has been around since 1954.  Had to show my support!

OK then — let’s start with Decatur.   Probably the “Eighter from Decatur Motel” originally:

I saw a few signs that mentioned to “Eighter from Decatur” — here’s a bit about that:

From Denton — neat neon scaffold sign on top of this grain elevator.  The cars at the bottom give you scale:

I saw a few rest areas today with these pumpjack (right word, right?) style picnic table canopies.  Neat!

A doggie stop in Nocona did not go so well today.  Sand spurs everywhere and everyone got zapped.  Here’s one on the temporarily paralyzed Nik.  He knows to just stop moving and wait for me.  From now on, I’m only stopping for grass (motels, schools, man-made lawns like that).

This guy is at Coyote Creek in Henrietta.  Pretty crudely done — but he’s BIG:

Another hand-painted cowboy in Wichita Falls at the Browse Shop:

There are lots of abandoned (and nearly abandoned) motels on the east side of Wichita Falls.  Luckily, their signs still in place:

This place actually has THREE signs — this nice one, a why-bother plastic sign, and then further down, backwards, you can see a little scaffold sign:

What the heck, a couple more:

A rusty-crusty from downtown.  I don’t know if that purple paint ever covered the entire sign before:

Still in Wichita Falls, from the Bar L Drive Inn.  I’ve never seen an arrow shaped like this before:

A couple scaffold signs:

There must’ve been another word before “hotel” which makes this one look rather odd now:

Got here just a little late for this one — the Chief Drive-in in Quanah.  Here’s what this screen tower & box office used to look like just a few years ago:

And lastly, from Childress, a rant-sign to ponder or be amused by:

I decided today to give one more day to Texas.   I’ll sneak in Amarillo & some other much smaller cities on a somewhat straight path towards Oklahoma.  Then officially start cranking through the Oklahoma stuff on Monday.

8 thoughts on “Day 22: Into the blue in NW Texas

  1. Poor Nik and the sticker. I’m thinking we used to call them “goatheads” and yes, they do hurt.

    • Yes, maybe two names for the same things? I even prick my own fingers removing these horrible things. All the dogs have gotten “bitten” by them. Fix doesn’t want to get out of the van anymore because of them. But I was real careful today and avoided these things.

  2. DJ,

    The picnic table canopies look like derricks. Derricks are towers used to hoist drill pipe into/out of the well while it’s being drilled. The pump jack (the drinking-bird-looking thing) comes later, after the well is drilled, to pump out the oil.

    • Right, right, of course! These posts are written really late when my brains are totally gone. Last night’s post was written around 2am. You’d think since I grew up in oil platform land (southern California), I’d have the terminology down.

  3. Nik got a Shark Chuck-it! We have the smaller one, non-squeaky but a weird shape with a fabric extension to grab. One of Trig’s faves to sneak out of the toy bag.

    • Nik has the Shark AND the Gator in all the sizes. I figure as much water as he’ll be swimming in on this trip and this summer’s trip, he needs them ALL. The big ones he tends to pop though and fill himself with water. The smaller ones are better — esp. the gator type which are smaller for the mouth. The shark type very big & easy to see — esp. the orange — but probably best for a gentle grabber. They seem pretty durable — but I wouldn’t leave Nik alone with one for more than 20 seconds. And you can use those Chuck-it plastic throwers with these things (I have tennis elbow so can’t use those).

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