Monday, March 12, 2018

Early Start, Two Time Changes, Trains! Plane! Automobiles and Cows!

Last night before Bill and I went to bed, 10:30 and 10:00 respectively, we changed our alarm clock (which will be thrown out if it should ever go off) and the microwave clock to Daylight Savings Time. That way when my peepers glanced at it in the morning, I would have the real ‘new’ time. On Sunday, Mar. 11th, we woke at 6:15 and got out of bed at 6:30.

It was still dark so we took the time to go on Facebook to wish our friend, Kathy, a Happy Birthday. Then it was hook up time. I made our hot drinks for the road and we pulled out of the park at 7:30. We took Bottomless Lake Road up behind the park and it brought us back to Hwy 380 with just different views and less winding roads. In Roswell, we caught the Truck Route of 285 which put us onto US-70E with ease.

Goodbye Roswell
It is a cloudy day and only 47F but since it is a travel day for us, we aren’t too concerned with the weather. The sun is trying to poke through. It sure got windy last night, the Suite was rocking around 11:30. I felt sorry for the tenters that arrived yesterday and this morning we saw many pieces of garbage and personal items blown all over the park.

At 9:30 we arrived in Portales, NM and pulled over for Bill to change from his shorts into his jeans. The temperature has dropped to 41F yet it seemed quite warm back at the park at 47F. I dressed appropriately today and even threw an extra jacket in the truck. Clemson is keeping it warm for me.

Clemson has claimed my jacket on the left and Bill's on the right
He was such a good boy on this drive
In Black Beauty from 7:30 MT (DST) to 7 pm CT with pit stops of course
Other than treats he didn't eat until we stopped for the day!
We hoped to find a place to get breakfast here but that didn’t pan out. The only place open on Sunday at this time of the morning was El Rancho, a Mexican restaurant with no easy way to park. I have snack bars in the truck so we had one of those and Clemmy got a treat too. We’ll find something further down the road.

Cute little water tower
Driving through Portales and then Clovis, 16 miles down the road the state of disrepair of the town hit me again. They aren’t big towns at all but as ‘poor’ as they appear, their stadiums and arenas seem to be flourishing. Something about that does not seem right to me. I’m happy to see sports outlets for the youth but at what cost to the town?

On the east side of Clovis, we found a Pilot Station so pulled in to fill Black Beauty. We weren’t quite down to half a tank and the $2.83/gal price was reasonable. The wind seems to have picked up making the temperature seem even colder than 41F. We have made the turn onto US-60 headed east.

Followed single and then double sets of tracks for a long way before seeing any trains
When we started out on US-70, I noticed train tracks on my right but no trains. Once we approached Portales, that changed. By the time we turned onto US-60 towards Amarillo we met 15, raced 1, passed 1 and had to stop for 1. They are carrying car carriers, trailers for semis, storage containers, plus regular train cars and have as little as 1 engine and as many as 5 on the front and zero to 2 bringing up the rear. 

These collages are for all you train lovers out there.

At 10:30 MT we entered Texas and it soon became 11:30 CT. Now we’re only an hour different from Ontario time. We are definitely on our way home! This is a pretty desolate highway though. It is nice to have little traffic but there are also no rest areas. The road is not a smooth one, Bill will have to seriously consider his rating on this one!
Driving through Hereford they have a lot of restaurants, many choices but it is now after 12 and we’d just as soon drive the extra miles to Amarillo to a Denny’s.  At Canyon, I lost sight of ‘my’ train tracks when we veered off to the northeast onto I-27N/US-60 E/US-87 N. They were sure busy tracks. I especially liked this picture where one train going east like us had to wait for the oncoming train to pass on the second track.

We were greeted by this friendly Texan. Howdy! My gps took us onto I-40E and we figured we’d find a place to eat.

So, finally, at 1:16 CT we were able to find a Denny’s that we could get into. We took Exit 76 in Amarillo to the Flying J and found a spot with the transports. We were hungry and happy to stop. Sometimes things don’t work out quite as planned so you move to Plan B, then C until it works. Bill took Clemson out first, priorities you know.

Our exit to Denny's
Service was slower than we’d hoped but the food was good and it was 2:30 when we pulled back onto I-40E. Bill had a senior Club Sandwich and I had a Chicken and Sausage Quesadilla. Both very reasonably priced and both filling. Walking through the wind I had to snap a picture of the rose between two thorns, many thorns. 

Truck lanes are very tight but okay for us if we don't need to open slides
The temperature had risen thanks to the sun valiantly fighting to peek through on occasion.

Back on the Interstate Bill had to react quickly or rather watch a small white car react quickly. They missed the exit but started to come over into our lane, barely missing Black Beauty’s front left bumper as he darted in front of us only to keep crossing to the curb lane. Luckily there was a curb lane but I still thought he was going to go over the rails to the traffic below. That fellow must have said his prayer last night and needs to say them again tonight. He should know that if you miss your exit, there will always be another one. That was too close for comfort!

Many familiar sights along this Interstate 40

One day, I wonder if this leaning tower of Britten will topple

Just enjoying the sights, the landscape is pretty 'non-exciting', we are missing our mountains
and cactus
Originally our planned destination for today was in Amarillo at the Texas Travel Centre. It is the same place we stopped at last spring on our way home, with winds and tornados whipping around us. The winds are strong today but still calmer than they were then.
Early into our journey on US-60 we saw these rail cars on their sides

The wheels have been removed, I guess waiting for extradition
A few days ago, we decided that 3 ½ hours was not very far to travel today, it would put us at the Travel Centre at 2:30 and we don’t enjoy sitting so early when we can get further. So, we are keeping in that frame of mind and heading towards Oklahoma. 
Large cow farm in Texas
Sorry, the sign got cut off in my collage
Bovina Cattle Company

Cows in Oklahoma
Which ones would be happier?
When we got to Sayre, Ok, we took exit 20 to the Flying J for diesel. The price was $2.83/gal. Apparently, we don’t get a discount, just added points by using our card. That’s the pits.
Lots of old grain elevators and silos in Texas

You can see for miles on these flat lands

This was one of our first Rest Areas to stop at in fall of 2016
It is a beautiful one with great views
After fueling up, it was 4:30 so we decided to keep on trucking. Bill wasn’t feeling tired, he had his second wind. I felt tired so got out and walked around a bit and in to the washroom. I could at least rest while he was driving if I needed to shut my eyes. Back on the road at 4:45 pm with an hour and a half to go. This is a longer driving day than we normally opt for but still getting us to our destination in daylight.

We crossed the South Canadian River

Getting closer to home, there is actually grass turning green
Long story shortened, we have arrived at El Reno, Oklahoma, Lucky Star Casino. We snagged one of the available 9/12 full hookup sites for 3 nights. 

We stayed here last spring and enjoy the FREE price. We will enjoy dinner inside our Suite tonight, just soup and crackers at 7:30 before settling down to read for a bit. Bill did awesome today and so did his co-pilots! It was a wonderful day.

Our  back window looks out over the field to US-81

Goodnight from the Lucky Star Casino
We travelled 416 miles today.
Thank you for reading along.


  1. That was a good long travel day, glad you got to where you want to be.
    Clovis is where we had our falling out windshield re-installed last fall for free.
    What a friendly town.

    1. It was a long but a good day.
      These small towns are all friendly, we find. Love that.

  2. So sorry parts of America And The Culture escape you.

  3. I hate when cars or trucks cross right in front of us to get to an exit. Just go to the next one and back track! It is hard to stop a fiver or, in our case, a 40 foot Rv and toad.

  4. We were through Clovis yesterday and it is a sad town. We have a friend who many years ago her hubby had to move there for work (probably 20 years ago..(They lived there close to 2 years. she never liked living there.)..she drove through with him and started crying.."your'e not gonna make me live here are you..yep"

    1. Oh that is sad to live in a place you don't like. But you do what you gotta do, right? I don't know what employment would have been offered.

  5. Great pics Patsy! You did a great job! Hope you two enjoy the casino..I Know I was looking today, but nothing in the Texas area we were at..Enjoy!

    1. thanks! I went back and forth from my laptop to my phone to make the collages and then back again to post the pictures. It was fun!

  6. Loved this post, noticed some very familiar sites in the pictures. We also stopped at that rest stop but it was last fall on our way west. Great views there.

    Long travel day but those days are worth it some times.

    Enjoy your stay!!!

    1. Thanks Deb, we seem to enjoy seeing the same things along the route and I'll likely take the same pics year after year just to remind myself we saw them again. :)
      It was definitely worth the long travel day.