A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Floydada, Texas

Floydada hasn't anything noteworthy to mention except for maybe the difference in opinions as to how the town acquired it's name.  There was a sign on the outskirts of town proclaiming Floydada as the pumpkin capitol of the world, so its got that going for itself. 

I toured their downtown business district. 
 Mind you, this around noon on a Saturday.

It had this apocalyptic feel to it as I drove around.
I say this in no disrespect.  This is a very common sight I find in all the small towns I visit.
Consider too, this is the county seat for Floyd County, Texas.

I like the wording and style of lettering here.
It was closed as was every other place of business (most for good)
 except for a drug store and auto parts store.

What brought us here was their little park.  
Here I admired the simple hand-done lettering.
This park is among the minority in the fact they provide electricity and water at each pull-in.
Even more so, the first two nights are free. Very rare.

Even though we didn't need or use their electricity, water or dump station
I still say "Thank you, Floydada".
Take note little towns, you provide a place like this and I will come.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Jack Sisemore RV Museum

Amarillo, Texas

Jack started out owning a Chevron gas station in Amarillo.  He had a 1974 Winnebago RV which he rented out from the filling station.  It was so popular that within a year he had 6 rentals.  This eventually got him into the RV business in 1978 selling Winnebagos.  He is the oldest Winnebago dealer in Texas.  Then a little over 25 years ago he began collecting and restoring unusual vintage RVs.  The museum is at his RV dealership lot and admission is free.

I visited with Jack for awhile; a really nice gentleman probably around late 60's early 70's in age.   His wife was there also, a really stunning looking woman of the same vintage.  
She might have been restored too or just has good genes.  

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Fierce Wind

Lake Meredith
Sanford, Texas

On our second day at the lake the wind was in full force.  The weather app showed gusts up to 
50 mph could be expected.  I stood out in it with my wind gauge long enough to record 43 mph and came back inside.  The Little House on the Highway would sometimes rock back and forth enough to almost slosh liquid out from the cup I was drinking from.  Beans didn't like going outside.  I didn't like going outside.  The next day was to be calm and peaceful.  I was looking forward to that so as to cook in the Dutch oven among other outdoor activities.  After that day the forecast was a string of four to five days of high wind.  We couldn't accept being trapped like that.  So we sadly left Lake Meredith many days before we had planned.  We simply must get out of the Texas panhandle to avoid these high gale force winds.  Our anticipated calm peaceful day was spent driving...south.

On the way we stopped here in Amarillo, Texas.  Oh this was such a treat that I forgot all about having to leave the lake when we didn't want to.  I took nearly 100 photos inside the museum and will spread out the posts of it over time in between the regular travel posts.  So stay tuned.

On the way I saw this sign out front of the elementary/middle school complex.  Who would ever have thought that at some time our society would breakdown to this level in our lifetimes?  I commend the school district to take the action in safeguarding their students.  Unfortunately, most of these shooters go in with a death wish so this isn't going to deter them much in my opinion.

She did it again.  
Really, how can this possibly be comfortable with your head pointed straight up?
She was in this position for several miles.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Lake Merideth

North of Amarillo
near Sanford, Texas

Checking the weather showed the winds would be out of the east.  We were low on fuel and it was to be 76 miles to the next town where I could fill up.  So we took advantage of the wind, set sail, left Dead Indian Creek a day early and blew back into Texas.  We arrived at our next camp not a minute too soon for as soon as we parked the wind started up with some serious intent.  
It brought with it that night a good rain storm.
The next day was clear and bright with a cold wind.     

The forecast shows it will warm up this weekend getting back into the 70's and then 80's.  But the wind will still be with us.  Such is life as wind it seems is ever-present for the Texas panhandle and most of Oklahoma. 

There are several campgrounds around this large reservoir (no good backstory with lake as was with Dead Indian) but it is free and even has showers for that price.  Imagine that!
Thank you National Forest Service.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Beans Goes Berserk!

Dead Indian Creek

We've been here almost a week.  Most everyday the wind blows.  That's how it is in Oklahoma.
Sometimes its a cold wind out of the north, so it becomes an inside day.
And too there is the occasional thunderstorm.
In between the weather we make the most of our time here.
Beans loves climbing the trees.

I took advantage of a calm day and cooked some cornbread in the Dutch oven.
Its been some time since I was last able to use the oven.
Beans inspects the cornbread.

Finally a nice day for a hike.  I thought about trying to walk all the way around the reservoir.
That didn't last too far as the terrain got to be pretty thick with grass and brush.
I did find some bracket or shelf fungi, some of the largest I have ever come across.

I climbed through barbed wire fence and immediately saw this little guy in the grass. I'm bummed the blade of grass was in the way.  By the time I was ready for a second shot he turned and slithered away fast.  Not much bigger around than a pencil, about a foot and half long and very colorfully marked.

For the most part we have been here by ourselves.  One afternoon a lady from Tennessee camped for the night nearby.  We got to visiting the next morning and she expressed an interest in seeing inside the RV.  I opened the door and as always Beans is right there.  "Beans, we have company."  She stepped in and Beans went nuts running all around so excited to have a visitor.  
She's on the table, on the counter, underfoot. 
See me!  See me!  Look at me!  Pet me!
So cute!

I was asked in the comments if Beans ever slips out of her harness.  She did a couple of times early on.  I took in a hitch on it and she hasn't done so since.  She doesn't even try anymore, which was just a matter of backing up and slipping it over her head.  She gets excited when I pick up her retractable leash, stands there and slips her head through the noose. She know we're going out for a walk.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dead Indian Creek/Lake

Cheyenne, Oklahoma

If I rest my head on the steering wheel while we drive I get my chin rubbed.

With a name like Dead Indian Creek I had to find out how it came by this name.  It seems that early settlers to this area discovered a number of Native American sky burials along the creek and so named the creek.  In the 1950's a dam was built and the resulting lake carried the name of the creek.  History records that General Custer attacked a Cheyenne camp in this area resulting in the death of Chief Black Kettle.  Today a large tract of land is now known as Black Kettle National Grassland managed by the National Forest Service.  In recent times a do-gooder felt the Dead Indian name was derogatory to the Native Americans and filed a petition for it to be renamed Black Kettle Creek/lake or Medicine Woman Creek/lake after Black Kettle's wife.  Meanwhile those who opposed the name change contacted the local Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes and gained over 1000 signatures to keep the names as they are.  The do-gooder moved to California and the case was dropped.

Let's climb this dad.

I think I am changing my mind about going to the top.

Oh gee, I climbed all the way up here and it's just a bunch of water!

I'm tired, I wanna go home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Beans Finds Things

Lake Vanderwork

Hey, I like this place dad. Lets go explore.


This Oklahoma red dirt is great to roll in.

Look dad, beaver live here.

Ha, the beaver actually thought he could chew through this tree.

A turkey skeleton.  
That's okay, I don't care for turkey meat.

Well how about this, an armadillo carcass.  We've seen them as roadkill on the highway but never one up close like this.  Someday maybe we will see a live one.

Gee, I have no idea what this was.

Yep, this is pretty neat place, dad.

Back in the RV Beans was intently staring at something outside.  I looked out and saw this Osprey up in the tree next to us eating a fish it had just caught.  This is a good example of my habit of always getting at least one photo in the camera before moving in and setting up for a better shot.  I suspected as soon as I stepped outside it would fly away, so I went to take a photo from inside through the window.  He decided to fly off just as I snapped the shot.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Dead Woman Crossing

Weatherford, Oklahoma

While looking on Google Maps to see where to go next I saw this displayed and went to check it out.
It was a nice leisurely drive on old Route 66 to get there.
The old two-lane highway taken by those from Oklahoma to California during the depression in hopes for a new and better life after losing everything during the dust storms.

Once there I found no signs.  I suspect because of the name they get stolen and thus the highway department has given up.  Curious as to why the name I did some research only to find a sad story.
You can read it here if you wish.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Anniversary Gift from Beans

Calumet, Oklahoma

You may recall how at the beginning of the year I was gifted a Native American flute by my camping neighbor.  Well I have been enjoying learning how to play it much to Bean's discontent.  She just doesn't really like it.  Over time I can tell the tone isn't all that great for after all the flute is one like you'd pick up in a gift shop at a National Park.  So I've been researching quality Native American flutes and that's how we ended up here at the trading post.

They had what I wanted.  This is in a lower key of G whereas the other was a mid-tone A.
Amazingly Beans doesn't mind this flute at all and it really does sound so much better.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cherokee Trading Post

Calumet, Oklahoma

While at Stonewall Jackson Camp the batteries inside the coach part of The Little House on the Highway finally gave up, or one did.  They were ten years old so I can say I got my money's worth.
I had to drive north into Oklahoma City to buy two new batteries.  Once that done, $315 poorer and with a sore back we continued west in Oklahoma.  I stopped here for a reason which you will see in tomorrow's post.

It had been a long day and Beans needed to go for a walk.
When she saw this Bison she studied it for a moment then gave it a wide berth not quite sure what to make of it.  So cute.

Then she suddenly saw this and stopped dead in her tracks.  She backed off, turned around and headed back to the RV.  Poor thing, she must have thought it real.

This was a very nice mural although somewhat faded now from the harsh Oklahoma sun.
Clicking on the image may help to see it better.

On the far right was a depiction of an Indian "sky burial".  This is how some tribes dealt with the passing of their people.  I had always thought this would be the way for me.  I don't want to be thrown into a hole in the ground and buried under tons of dirt.  Cremation isn't all that comforting but at least a bit better.  But a sky burial, yep that's the way for me.
Now, how can I pull that off?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Imagining Comanche

Stonewall Jackson Camp
Holliday, Texas

I took a walk into the woods imagining how it would be 
to be a Comanche Indian traveling through here.

First off they wouldn't have had this to cross the water by.
No, I didn't trust myself to go this route.

I went another way which by the looks of it someone has driven a vehicle through here
tainting my Comanche Indian thoughts.

I discovered this camp.
I don't think the Indians would have went through so much trouble building a barricade

Nope, not very Indian-like.
Doesn't even look like it has ever had a fire in it either.

Someone hung a wind chime up.
It was a nice gentle tinkle sound in the wind so I'll accept that.

And finally what's left of "Pete Martin Chapel" way back in the woods.
What's this doing here?
So much for my Comanche Indian experience.