All's well in this city of churches after a chilly ride down from Denver. The wind the second day was brutal, so that I could only cruise about 60-65 without the feeling that I was brutalizing my motorcycle for 5mph. My fuel mileage dropped below 50mpg for the first time ever as I pushed the headwind for nearly 200 miles.
The Texas panhandle isn't far from Colorado in miles. There's a narrow section of western OK in between. But when you get here, you feel an immediately cultural change. Big cars, huge parking lots, those tubing guards over truck grills, waitresses who call you darlin' and touch your shoulder as they ask if you want more coffee, the Blessings bring Blessings sign on the cafe wall, people who say hi when they pass on the sidewalk, Texas-shaped waffles in the motel free breakfast room, Texas as a slogan and symbol of something....
Maybe if we're not from here we'll never understand. Far more businesses named after Texas or West Texas or Panhandle than are named after states etc elsewhere. Curious.
I stopped at a cafe in eastern CO somewhere in a town where that cafe was everything that was open. Even the 76 station had been closed and boarded up. A sign on the cafe door said, No Public Restroom This Means You. You could rent the rest room for a dollar or buy food and qualify as a customer. I bought coffee and pie. When I went in the restroom (there was just the one) I found no paper on the roll. Above the toilet was a shallow cardboard box with 8 or 10 toilet paper inner rolls, a few sheets of paper remaining on each. The place was such a mausoleum in its silence and a loneliness that seemed eternal...the rest room was the nicest part of it. Pie was fine tho.
I've written down the mailing addresses of all of you who asked for a post card from the Buddy Holly Center. I'll send them on the 3rd if I can; that's the anniversary of the plane crash. The Center is the major tourist attraction in Lubbock, I believe, plus there's a statue of Buddy here and there's the Buddy Holly Boulevard. There are a surprising number of musical luminaries from here in West Texas, including Mac Davis, Tanya Tucker and Joe Ely. Probably I'm forgetting your West Texas favorite. I apologize.
Even here, hundreds of miles south of Denver, there are traces of snow in shadowed areas, even after several days of nearly 70 degrees. I wore many layers of insulating clothing on the way down, even an electric vest that plugs into the motorcycle's wiring. I never had to switch on the vest, but I never took off my mittens. All that said, traveling hundreds of miles on a motorcycle in January (and early Feb) is chancy at best, and I've been super lucky.
I'll post another update if I can get a computer tomorrow or Tues, but the fuss over the crash anniversary will begin tomorrow. I figure I'll meet people from Buddy's family...and maybe some original Crickets. Cool, huh?