Groom Haunts Me.

Groom, Texas haunts me. Yes, that’s right.

I went to Groom two and half years ago when Conner had gone to Panama and I packed up for the 5-day road trippin.  The first stop was in Groom, Texas for the overnight stay.  I thought I found the leaning water tank tower in front of me when I arrived.  The night was pitch dark. I parked on the shoulder and slept off. The next morning, I was excited. Of course my camera was ready.  I took a few pictures and off I went.  I didn’t visit the Groom cross because it was really wet from the previous night’s heavy storm.  The clouds were still hanging around above our heads, and it was very, very cold and windy.  I was not such in a mood to get out from my car.  I enjoyed the heat more than ever because I was freezing all night long.  It was about 30’s.

When I got home after my 5 days trek, I Googled it up. I found out.  I was upset I missed the spot.  I took the wrong one.  The actual water tank tower was behind me all right.

Read my previous blog from 2 1/2 years ago.

That! I promised myself “mumbling” quietly that ” I WILL be back” when I stared at the picture on the computer, my fingers still on the keyboard, my face stern.

So I planned the trip that  I would drive to Irving first to see the Mustangs of Los Calinos, then to Groom to visit the cross and that damn leaning water tank tower again.


Okay, what happened was that I mixed up the dates when I reserved a rental car.  I must have been absentminded that day.  My intended dates were on October 16 – 18 but somehow I asked for October 23-25.   I called Hertz – Braker to pick me up from my place.  They said there was no reservation.  I was puzzled.  I thought I must have reserved the car at the other place than Braker.  I checked it online and I realized I made a mistake on these dates.  I was upset.  I was supposed to pick up at noon but it didn’t happen.  All cars were unavailable.  This sweet guy – I didn’t ask his name – said if someone drops the car off that day, he would call me.  I was his first on his list.  I was sad, thinking it would not happen that day.  Maybe next day.  I so looked forward to the road trip.

Tick tock tick….

After 4 pm, they called back!  They had a small SUV for me ready – on the same price I asked for.  Ya-hoo!

Fast forward…

I was driving on I-35, traffic wasn’t so bad, until I reached Belton.  Traffic was already building up so I used Waze to see if I could escape traffic by using the different route.  I found one and I got off I-35 into Texas State Hwy 317.   Good riddance, traffic! So there I changed my plans, going to Groom first instead!


Driving on Texas State Hwy 317 didn’t last long, I turned into Texas State Hwy 36 en route to Abilene.

IMG_7926 Passing through Stampede Creek on Texas State Highway 36

IMG_7927Looking back after passing the creek


Uh-oh! The wasp was hit from something, I think, the front windshield.  It somehow fell on my left thigh. I froze, not daring to move.  I had to go to park on the shoulder and got out of the car with the water bottle to knock the poor guy out.  The wasp was still alive, dazed, and probably hurt. I drove off, leaving him for dead. [Sorry it was a little blurred because I was super nervous, hoping it didn’t sting my thigh.  The last thing I needed for  my road trip!]


 Sunset at 6:15 pm near Hamilton, Texas on Texas State Highway 36



Anson, Texas reminds me of Marshall, Texas but without bricks on the streets around the courthouse.  All round the place. Yeah.  My friend, Martha S. mentioned that it looked like right out of “Back to the Future” movie!  Hell yeah, that’s surreal to see it!

That’s the smallest Walmart that I’ve seen!!  Someone said it must be a Walmart neighborhood market or Walmart Express that might be selling organic food only.  I didn’t pay attention to the sign except that said that it would be open in November.  I was told that these stores are spreading now.  That’s interesting!

Leaving Anson for Childress…..

Between the cities, I felt that winds were too heavy that shook my car.  I had to stop and check the “grass” to see if that was sure enough, it was very windy – boy, skunk farts all over, some spots through the road trip, ugh – I looked up and there was a nice surprise – the deer watched me like 10 feet away, curious what I was standing on the shoulder, headlights blasting all over me.  “His” partner was not far from him, alert and cautious too. I quietly walked backwards, oh yeah, they ran off.  Geez, they were as scared shit as domestic cats.


I finally needed a rest for a while from driving continually from Austin.  Texas State Highway 36 turned into US 287 West.  I stopped at McDonald’s.  The lobby was closed, but the drive-in was open. It took forever and I still don’t know what was going on.  Drivers gave up waiting as well as I did.  The window was wide open but there were no employees around inside.  Strange.  I moved on to Love’s gas station next to McDonald’s that had clean restrooms and Arby’s was open!  I wolfed it down – the BBQ sauce was gooood!  I hadn’t eaten one for ages and I had forgotten how tasty it was.

I was about 1 1/2 hours away from Groom.  Off I went.  US 287 became Texas State Highway 70 North, then finally on I-40 West – my final destination.

I arrived around at 2:15 am. I found the Leaning Water Tank Tower right there when I got off exit 114!!

_MG_0029-Edit-2The Leaning Water Tank Tower during the Twilight Hour

Then I went to get off Exit 112 to check the Groom Cross…


 The Groom Cross during the Twilight Hour

I left the area, looking for the rest area to take a few winks..I couldn’t find Exit 117. I guess it was on frontage road so I went back to the Cross parking lot to sleep off.  It was very empty and I felt safe.  I climbed into the back of the car, slid into my new sleeping bag that could warm me up from 10 degrees up.  I had no socks on.  I was knocked out around 4 am.

So I was glad I was BACK to check them off my bucket list. I did it!

Next blog…….The Groom Cross, the Largest in the Western Hemisphere


About christy

I'm a deaf road travel photographer. I love creating visual eye candy, be it my digital artwork or photography. More often than not, it turns out to be a combination of both. All I need is a map, a camera, and seeking new adventures on wheels full time. Hailed from the Texas-born Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my photography was always my hobby, off and on, when time permitted. I had itched for a big change. I bought my first DSLR camera, I found myself falling back into photography again, and I've decided to pursue it full-time. I am specializing in landscapes however my interests are in the horizon into whatever catches my eye, I shoot.
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