Day 13: More Western TX

It was a busy, beautiful day. Started out early with a goldmine of stuff in Odessa, TX. Mid-day was lots of driving through desert between destinations. And early evening, more frantic picture-taking in El Paso where we’ve stopped for the evening. A bit more here and then onward to New Mexico (finally).

Gotta love the 80mph speed limit in western TX. That really helped me out with some long hauls today. But when they say 80, they mean it. I got stopped for doing 83 and was issued a “warning” (another souvenir to hang on the wall at home).

Another oil change this morning (I’m religious about them) which means we’ve passed the 6,000 point on this trip already. And Sparkle turned over a new milestone: 170,000 miles.

The dogs got lots of snoozing in today during our desert drives. The ground is dry and stickery and my two seniors don’t like walking on it. When they’re off-leash with the van door open, Fixie pees and goes right back in. She’s the biggest but the wuss of the family.

OK — here come the photos. A bunch of signs so let’s do them first:

Two from Big Spring:

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A potato-themed restaurant in Midland. How I wish it had been open as I definitely would’ve supported them!

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The Midland Inn. I don’t know if this motel had a different name originally that might explain the kangaroo:

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From Odessa, an adapted sign, probably many times over, that must’ve revolved:

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Another sign of mysterious origins in Odessa — love that curve-y arrow:

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Now, I don’t smoke, never have, not even once. But I’m overly fond of cigarette signs. I’ve never seen an ashtray depiction before (sorry I had to shoot into the sun — and the other side was pretty broken up). This one’s from Odessa:

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A giant ciggie pack sign from Fort Stockton:

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A plastic sign in El Paso. I’d love to know if it’s always looked like this or if it originally had neon components:

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OK — now for some non-sign things. I had to stop at a Southern Maid Donuts and buy a half dozen to help sustain them (and me!). These were some of the most colorful donuts I’ve ever seen and it was hard to choose.

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I posted a sign photo from Kimbrough’s Super Service in Odessa over at the Flickr account tonight. But I had to take this photo of the former station itself. I’ve not seen white porcelain pumps like this before:

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Meeting this guy was one of the high points of my day. I had just arrived in Fort Stockton and was taking the business route into the small town en route to see the giant statue of the roadrunner. I pulled over for a terrific old motor court (the Comanche Motel — also a photo over at Flickr) and saw this guy hopping around. I was trying to get close to take a photo without scaring him — the dogs were barking berserkly at him from the van. He seemed very curious about them — not really that worried. The owner came out and explained that this guy pretty much lives at the place and come up real close whenever they’re working. When they rake, it stirs up the bugs and he loves that. So he’s always keeping an eye on what people are doing. I thought it was so strange the I came to town for the statue — and then saw the real thing for the first time.

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And lastly for tonight, a cute little food stand (I think) in a park in Van Horn. I think it’s a little small to have really been a streetcar. It just seems so adorable and incongruous in this desert scene.

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