THE GREAT ROAD TRIP
APRIL 27 - MAY 09, 2006
Audio log, Day 5
DAY 5, Monday, May 1, 2006
Roswell, New Mexico. Visited the UFO 'museum' and picked up a couple of souvenirs after a walk through of the museum. Chatted with a nice lady at the front counter, a retired long haul truck driver. She saw my belt buckle, a Tulare County 10 year employee goodie, and commented that she had been there many times. We had a nice conversation about Visalia, and then I walked through the museum. Mostly newspaper and magazine articles, and pictures of the local area. Some period artifacts, radios, clothing, and what not adorne the displays. Some letters from witnesses attesting to what they saw and did, and letters from family members about what they were told by people who were involved. The museum is in an old theater, so it was open and airy. I walked around downtown a bit, took some more pictures, then headed out of town to the north. Roswell reminds me of Visalia in the 70's. Downtown had several vacant storefronts, and businesses were moving out to the new district at the edge of town. In Visalia, that meant moving from Main street to Mooney Blvd, but in Roswell, they are all still on Main street, just way out at the north end of town. Hopefully they won't let their downtown get too depressed before they resurrect it.
Hit the road for Muleshoe, Texas. My dad and his twin sister, and one of their older sisters, were born in Muleshoe. Plains state driving is just endless. ( I think I've said that before ;-) ) I was driving through some interesting small towns on the way from Roswell to Muleshoe, most of them stretching the description of a 'wide spot on the road'. There were some that weren't even wide! I decided to take a bit of a detour at Portales, taking a minor highway east. Managed to miss a turn and ended up south of where I planned to be, but finally made it into Texas. Major change on the road, right at the state line. Went from a narrow two lane, poorly maintained road, to a wide, well paved and maintained two lane road. I followed it into Morton, Texas, truly a wide spot in the road, all of two blocks on each sideof the highway, and had lunch at a small diner. Decent hamburger, nothing to write home about, and almost not worth mentioning on the internet! ;-) Headed up the road towards Muleshoe, passing the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge. It's a lot like the Pixley National Wildlife Refuge, which is just a few miles from my home. The refuges are both stops on the flyways for bird migrations from Canada to South America. Made it into Muleshoe after a long detour around road construction, and stopped at the county courthouse. Muleshoe is the county seat of Bailey county. There was a bank next door, and I went in to find an ATM. At first I thought I had went into the wrong place.. it didn't look like a bank at all! I recognised the teller counter after a bit, and stepped up and asked if they had an ATM. I was directed to the bank next door. The one I was in didn't have one! And it was posh! It was obviously the rich farmer's bank. There's a lot of money in Muleshoe!
I took some pictures of Main Street, a 'typical' 40-50's midwestern town. The closed theater, in the usual 40's and 50's style architecture, and some old brick buildings. The Radio Shack was a bit out of place, with it's modern sign on a very old building, surrounded by other old structures. Checked out the 'shrine' to the Mule, put up by the Chamber of Commerce. No information on how the town got the name, just a homage to the animal itself. Dispatch Bear went up and said "Hi" to the mule, but I'm not sure he answered. At least I didn't hear any conversation. But then again, bears, mules, and other animals live on a different plane than we do, so they may have had quite the chat for all I knew!
I headed out of town, to the southeast, ultimate destination, San Antonio, and the Alamo!
Drove and drove and drove and drove.... have I mentioned that plains state driving is just endless? I will say this about Texas, the highways are well kept, with 70 mph speed limits. It makes getting to where your going a bit easier to take. I stopped for the night in Big Spring, Texas. Tomorrow, the Alamo!