March 8, 2013
That morning at 5:45 am, I brought my son, Conner, to the airport for his trip to Panama with his International Studies group, yes, my eyes swelled up with pride when I watched him to get ready inside the gate. I just couldn’t believe it that it was time to separate us for 11 days, the longer we were ever apart. He’s going out of the country without me?! Oh boy, he’s a young man with his fierce independence and I was proud of him.
But, but…..I had to admit, the more I was excited, off I went on my road trip adventure after even some planning to do for weeks that I wanted to see. I love long trips on the road being alone, without distractions, without interruptions, and without arguing which to stop for a pee break or something to eat. I packed up my drinks and food, put in the small ice chest that held ice for two days, it became a flood over food…oh well! Anyway, I threw, yes, threw everything I saw fit as such as a tent, boots and clothes. I am not high maintenance. I am a true T shirt and jeans type, oh, yes, people, I brought some underwear along, all right. Of course, I brought my faithful camera, and a new GoPro Hero 2 camera that I was dying to experiment with, and stuff I needed like a car charger that was on my “must” list.
Oh, I bought the new 400 volts CyberPower Inverter that can convert automobile power to standard home power that I could plug it with my laptop, my cell phone, and recharging batteries for camera/gopro. It didn’t work for my coffee pot, guess it couldn’t handle the pot. It was awesome and very useful for my 5 days road trip. It was worth my money! I recommend you to get one if you are road-trippin‘ for a long, long time!
I rented a car that was economical and also a gas saver. It’s a Toyota Camry and it was the first time I drove it. I still think Kia Rio is far my favorite for the economy car rentals. It’s roomy than the Camry. The reason I rented the car is just because my faithful Ford F-150 truck is old, I mean, very old, almost 12 years old and over 186k miles, not up to par to drive that far without a cough or two. When I start the engine, everybody turn their heads around, watching and wondering if it ever runs. It coughs from the start but it runs smooth when it is on the road just exactly like when I get up, my left ankle is stiff, needs “oil” to walk on, then after a minute or two, it’s fine. I’m old all right. Okay?
I finally left Austin after lunch, I started off driving on Highway 183. I was supposed to drive to Willow City then Enchanted Rock for the night, but my plans suddenly changed since it was raining off and on, light or heavy. So I picked Amarillo instead. Since I checked the weather that when I got there, it should be sunny. If I stayed on the route to Enchanted Rock, it would have lasted two or three days. Forget it. Off I went to Amarillo!
It was an uneventful day for me….until I stopped at the complete halt. Something caught my attention from the right side of the road. I jumped out of my car. My eyes squirted at something….over there.
LOCH NESS MONSTER with the Santa cap on! The elusive Loch Ness Monster is located in a pasture about 10 miles south of Lampasas. It was never mentioned at RoadsideAmerica.com that tells you some places that has some funky, cool things, sculptures or buildings.
I never knew about it. The shy Loch Ness is complete with rusty steel..and a Santa cap on its head….maybe he ate Santa Claus.
If you have a fetish for snakes, serpents, vipers, and garden snakes, stop by and say hi at the santa-eating snake. I passed through Lampasas after a short pause of a snake glimpse and no, I didn’t stop. There was nothing to see, really. Lampasas is about the population of 6,681 at the 2010 census and there were no interesting stuff enough to stop by. I just found out that I missed the enormous catfish sculpture was hunkered down on the back of an ole’ truck, truly the catch of the day! Oh well, moving on….
UPDATE: I reported to Roadside America about the Loch Ness and it is published today as of March 21, 2013. It’s a first.
One hour later, I reached Zephyr on US-84. There were some interesting buildings that was abandoned to rot. There was a train car just alone on the ground. I liked the little restaurant that had a Texas flag on the roof. It has a lot of history. Zephyr is home to around 198 people. I doodled around about 30 minutes then I was gone! I passed through Brownwood, about 12 minutes after Zephyr on US -84. The population was 19,288 at the 2010 census. I looked left and right to see anything exciting, but there was none. I continued my drive. It took me 2 hours to reach Sweetwater, I finally got on I-20. The turbines were there on the left side where I drove west. That was where the turbines got my neck some crackin’! It was called the Sweetwater Wind Farm and it is one of the largest wind farms in Texas. I stopped for some snapshots but it was too far where I stood by. I caught a few and continued my drive again after 15 minutes of trying but I noticed that the winds were getting heavy but the sky was starting to be clear.
While I was driving, I didn’t sing, but talked to myself (I bet you do that too!), checked my Facebook, People Magazine (Ok, I’ve to admit that I like celebrity gossip…and I’m sure you do too!), Google +, TMZ (ok, another one – celebrity gossip) and munching my Lunchables with some spicy mustard pouring on every bite. I paid a huge price – heartburn. Nice. I swallowed some sugar to kill the heartburn. Yes, it’s a homemade remedy. You don’t have to run to get a prescription or OTC from the drug aisle unless yours are very severe. Some sugar works for me every time.
I started to notice more turbines on the way on US 84 West, about 1 1/2 hours’ drive to Lubbock. I was in awe of seeing the slow rotation of the blades circling around in every turbine. I had to put my GoPro Hero 2 to work. I had the suction cup so it sucked greatly on the passenger door window. All the way until the sunset had gone out just before I arrived in Lubbock. There are so many names of the turbines in many areas. Where I took a video and pictures of them is Red Canyon Turbines. You can find out these names through Google. My adrenaline was running high when I saw them like a little kid in the candy store. I didn’t recall seeing them when I visited Amarillo in 1997. I googled it up and found out the Red Canyon turbines was completed in 2006. No wonder I never had seen them before. It was fascinating to watch them work in circles while I was driving all the way.
Sunset had gone out just before I arrived to Lubbock. My fingers throbbed (due to having Heberden’s nodes, part of arthritis) and my eyes were tired due to lack of sleep. I had to stop. I found Chisum Travel Center nearby and I was done for driving that night. It was around at 6:45 pm. I saw a chocolate-topped donut and I must have it! I feasted one already just before I touched the driver’s door. I asked the clerk if I could sleep in the back where many truckers parked. She said “who is stopping you from sleeping there?” What a smart ass, ok, I liked her. I found a spot where I could rest. I set up my laptop and then I uploaded pictures there through my portable hard drive. My eyes couldn’t stay up. I snoozed in the back. It was freezing outside, very windy, with 36 degrees. I was warm inside with the thick blanket over my head. I only had 2 hours of sleep before I dropped CJ off the airport earlier that morning, came home, sleeping for two more hours before I went off on my road trip. That was it. I went in a deep sleep for 2 1/2 hours until I felt a little cold. It was almost midnight. I was hoping to reach Amarillo before midnight and it didn’t happen. That was ok, I had to rest after all. I was more alert now and my fingers no longer were in pain thanks to Advil…..
At the end of the day, I spent $48.05 on gas and $3.59 on drinks/food. The total was $51.64. I brought some water and some Lunchables. I love Lunchables! With spicy mustard I bought from HEB. It’s very easy to eat them while driving. The negative: crumbs all over my sweater/jeans. 🙂
To a new day to Amarillo, Texas, here I go!