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On the Road to Texas

3rd day - Thursday, 27th March

Gary standing by the flat bed Ford in Winslow Arizona
Flat bed Ford, Winslow

Thursday was the real start of the road trip. We had 580 miles planned today and were up early, checked out and on the road at 5:45am. We were up anyway, so this early start didn’t really matter. It was dark as we headed out of Vegas and dawn as we crossed the Hoover Dam at 6:30am. Sadly on a day that we were driving so far as soon as we crossed the dam it became 7:30am. We were now in Arizona and in a different time zone. The Hoover Dam is very impressive with a lot of construction work mostly involving a very impressive new bridge. We drove 220 miles before having breakfast in Williams. This is where you turn off for the Grand Canyon but we have done that previously so we pushed on to Flagstaff, 250 miles done and then Winslow (308 miles). Here we stopped like we did 2 years ago and checked out the corner on Winslow Arizona – such a fine place to see. The Standin’ On The Corner park has been redeveloped to some degree and we spent some time there – cool place.

Rayls took over the driving and got us into New Mexico and a little town called Grants where we refueled. I then got us into Albuquerque, we checked into a Days Inn at exactly 5pm – not bad going. We checked out the local Wal-Mart had dinner at JB’s Restaurant and then checked out a Best Buy.

The hotel was not good, clean but very noisy – I set the mobile phone alarm for 8am but sadly the alarm in the room went off at 6:30am. My head cold is worse. Today we go 325 miles to Lubbock in Texas where we will check out the Buddy Holly stuff as Lubbock is his home town.

4th day - Friday, 28th March

There was hundreds of these prarie dogs, cute looking things.
Prarie dogs

Extra early start because the hotel alarm clock went off at 6am when we didn’t set it. Bummer. This Days Inn in Albuquerque was not a good one. Very noisy, mostly from the fridge and the bathroom.

We hit the road around 9am and followed the I40 to Santa Rosa, the GPS wanted us to go on to Amarillo and then turn south for Lubbock but this was over 100 miles longer so we looked for the Clovis turnoff. It didn’t seem to come and so we changed the GPS to Clovis and found we had to go back nearly 20 miles to the turnoff. Bummer.

We eventually turned on to 84 and followed that through Fort Sumner where it became the 84/60. We continued on through Clovis which has quite some history in the roots of rock and roll. Soon after we entered Texas and around 4:30pm we arrived in Lubbock. It was just too late to go to the Buddy Holly Center so we went to the Buddy Holly Statue which was interesting and we took some photos, sadly that late afternoon sun caused some problems.

Then it was on to the City of Lubbock Cemetery where we paid our respects at Buddy Holly’s gravesite – we didn’t have a guitar pick to leave behind but we did leave an Aussie 20 cent piece. After the cemetery we were going through a rather bleak neighbourhood where we saw hundreds of what we later found were prairie dogs – they were just on this vacant lot right in the middle of a residential area.

We checked into our hotel around 6pm and after settling in we headed for an Outback Restaurant. We had to wait for an hour for a table – annoying but it was a good meal. Outback is anything but Australian but the Americans love it. Nathan served us and did a great job and we chatted about Buddy Holly for a bit.

A quick visit to Wal-Mart and back to the hotel around 10pm. Chat with Ryan and off to bed.

Tomorrow we will go to the Buddy Holly Center and are tempted to make a quick trip to the statue and gravesite for better photos before we head for Dallas.

By the way, the Wal-Mart truck count is at 33 – I guessed 264 for the entire trip and Rayls guessed 287. Anyone else wanting a guess, let us know, the prize is the honour of winning. The swear word count, which on the last trip was 0, is already at 4 – this is for swear words using the F word or worse. Me going to the passenger side of the car when I intend to drive is at 11 but slowing down and the number of times I use put the windscreen wipers on when I want to use the indicators is at 5.