We left good ole Abilene on a cold and overcast morning. The wind was wicked. Jim's cap blew off his head twice, and he had to chase it like a tumbleweed that got caught up in the wind. I had to wipe the grin off my face by the time he got back to the truck. Two c-130's took off before we left and I managed to get a picture of one of them.
The drive to Carlsbad, NM from Abilene is somewhat off the beaten path. Lots of open spaces with nothing but oil wells on it. And nothing in the air but the smell of gas...methane gas that is. Jim explained to me that is what comes out of the ground when the oil is being drilled. I could not imagine living in those parts. Smelling that stuff all day? Yuk! I had a headache most of the drive. I suppose you'd get used to it. We saw a sign that read, "Caution - Poisonous Gases", and then, not 100 feet away, there was a picnic area! Go figure!
The area from Texas to Southern New Mexico is dry, dusty, and desolate with nothing but oil wells. With everything so dry I know fires are a concern here. As a matter of fact, we came across two brush fires that had recently been started (probably by a careless toss of a cigarette butt). There were workmen gathered around to spray something on the smoking fields.
We did pass fields of cotton. Sometimes I'd glance out the window and think it was snow.
Every once in awhile we'd go through a small town. Most of the towns were broken down, stores closed, homes crumbling, and yards trashed. Sometimes there would be a regular town that seemed to be making it with today's economy.
Funny signs of the day:
I saw this on a hotel marquee but wasn't able to take a picture:
"Free Rooms! Tax $53.25"
Funny Street Names: