Fifteen minutes into the drive yesterday had me entering Texas, and soon the initial flat terrain gave way to green hills dotted with brush and stands of trees. Just to the right of the road was a slightly raised railroad track, and it didn’t take long to see a train, and then a few more. And, being Texas, everything was bigger. The views in all directions, the sky, and even the train seemed miles long. It was a pleasant view and soon reminded me of the cowboy shows I watched on TV as a kid. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see some cowboys appear over the crest of a hill, wearing their bandanas over their faces, and not for Covid 19, but to chase down the train to rob it. In those long ago TV shows the cowboys would catch the train, so when I found myself essentially racing a train I voice texted a friend who worked for CSX and asked him how come on TV the cowboys caught the train but I couldn’t out-run this one. He said that was Hollywood, in real life the train always wins. When I remarked about how long the train was, and complained about the lack of caboose, he said that in the caboose days the trains used to have five man crews, and now they have only two men working those huge long trains. And they would like to have a one man crew but the union keeps fighting it. Bigger trains equal less workforce, he said. I thought it was just bigger in Texas.
I knew I would stop for the day in Amarillo, so before I left that morning I had checked online for what to see there. Palo Duro Canyon state park came up right away and I hoped to get there early enough to do the drive through and get some pictures, so I decided to stop at a rest area to change the GPS to the park and drive straight there. I took the feature photo, liking how the structure stood out against the sky, but the ‘watch for rattlesnakes’ signs made me pause. I walked up the hill to this little overlook, but not until another gentleman was already there, in hopes he had scared off any rattlesnakes that might have been hanging around. I was happy to catch another one of those endless trains passing by. I didn’t stay long though, it was 102 degrees when I was there.
And, like the day before, as I actually approached my destination the view had changed to this. I checked the temperature and it had dropped to 64 degrees.
Big sky, big storm, and the biggest lightning bolts you can imagine, each one seeming to hit the ground. Of course I had to change my plan and head to a hotel in Amarillo instead. Somehow the storm still seemed to be in the distance, to my right and left, so I took my opportunity to take some photos of the displays as you entered the parking area. Not the photos I’d hoped to get, and I’m still undecided as to whether to head to the park before I leave for Colorado. We will see what the morning brings.