Day 11: Grain Silos & Gas Stations (northwest Texas)

I saw a whole lot of grain silos and depressing feedlots.  Shot a lot of gas stations and theatres.  Not quite as hot as yesterday.  But it felt very dry and my eyes and throat are killing me.  This is how I felt last year in this area when there were brush fires.  But no brush fires around here that I know of.  The grass is noticeably crunchy and I’ve seen a few cactus.  So I’m keeping the dogs to manicured green grass which I seem to have great luck at finding.  Those sand spurs are nasty and I really don’t want to encounter any rattlesnakes.

Sparkle gave me some anxiety this morning — well, technically, all day.  She started up just fine this morning — but then after filling up at the gas station.  It took three cranks to start her.  That’s never happened before.  Always fires right up.  So, since it’s Sunday, I decided not to turn her off til the end of the day — no point in getting stuck somewhere and wasting a day’s shooting. Might as well be stuck near a mechanic on a Monday.  But tonight — I turned her on and off a few times.  No trouble starting at all.  After running solidly for about 12 hours.  Guess we’ll see tomorrow after sitting for the night.  Maybe it was just a fluke?  If all seems fine in the morning, I’ll still be cautious where I turn the engine off — and probably not often til I regain my confidence.  I also noticed that Sparkle seemed quieter than usual all day.  Usually when she’s in park or waiting at lights, in all the years I’ve had her, she idles with a pretty aggressive rev.  But today, not so much.  In fact, at lights, it almost seemed like I had stalled out she was so quiet.  So, I can only guess that there’s a connection between the quiet idle and the starting up.  But maybe not.  What’s a roadtrip without some stress, right?

On with the pictures.  It seemed like I was driving huge distances without taking many photos.  Mostly tiny towns with just a couple of photos.  But I guess I did just fine.  Same quantity as a normal day.  I think that blessed speed limit of 70 — which means 80 — really helps cover ground.  And no city traffic and stop lights holding me back.

The day started in Amarillo — so let’s start with this former Burger Chef — a rare example of the long canopy and the “kite” rooftop sign:


I don’t know what these A-frame buildings were used for originally — but I saw two of them in Amarillo and I think another one in Plainview:


Some bad news — sometime between last April —

and today — they painted over this sign.  Dammit!


Moving on to Plainview — there’s something fun and sad at the same time what’s happened to this store.  All that tacky turquoise…


One of my favorites from today — a radiator shaped sign:


Obviously, the Nu-Griddle part is new.  A cheap way to create a sign while unintentionally preserving the old one.  We need more of these less ambitious owners:


These cow statues in town are part of one of those community art project things with different businesses adding their unique paint jobs.  I love this blue Domino’s cow:


On to Muleshoe — a really sad, closed theatre:


From Lubbock:


I have a tradition of including at least one neon parking sign per trip.  Finally found one!  This one is from Lubbock:


A bowling alley turned antiques center:


And lastly for the night.  A house in Ransom Canyon — basically across the street from the Steel House (see tonight’s Flickr photos).  I find some other photos of it on-line tonight — with some people referring to it as the Mosaic House — but I don’t know if that’s the real name.  I can’t find any info about the place with my last trickle of energy right now:


OK — truly trashed now — gotta sleep.  Sorry if I’m less coherent than usual.  Tomorrow, moving southward in TX.  Would love to move on to NM by Thursday and be on schedule.

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