Texas Day 3: The Long and Unwinding Road

April 3, 2006

Here it is, our third day of the Big Bend Texas ride, and nothing has gone as scheduled. Shooter and I are in Sulpher Springs, Texas and Duncan is in Atoka, Oklahoma. Gene, is on flight, we hope this time, and headed back home to Indiana.

From the weather forecasts, and the way the morning was looking, it was going to be a great day to grind out some serious, over 600, miles on the highway. I will mention it know, because I know Shooter will remind everyone, that I got us started late, but less than 15 minutes. I am not used to such a regiment on vacation.

We headed out for McKinney, Texas, where we would reunite with Duncan. After some confusing leads from the GPS, we arrived in town. Duncan heard us on the CB's, and we were actually heading right for each other. We decided to meet in the parking lot of a Burger King. The trio was together at last. After a bathroom break, and a rendition of Happy Birthday to one of Jim's friends, we headed to get gassed up.

The grind began, it would be super-slab all day, which probably meant no scenery. Although, since I have never been in Texas before, except for a flight layover, all of it was going to be new to me. We caught a little of Fort Worth, breezing past Texas Motor Speedway, which was gearing up for the NASCAR Race this weekend, but avoided Dallas all together.

After the first fuel stop, I became the leader. We burned through another tank of gas, and we were approaching Abilene, our lunch city of the day. Shooter took the lead, again. We found an interesting place that was a white stucco, castle building. There special was a cheeseburger combo, so we all went for the special, which included a small ice cream cone.

We had put in 350 miles so far for the day, and we had 250 to go, so we drugded forward. One more fuel stop, and then it was on into New Mexico. Before we left Texas, we marveled at the cotton fields that had been recently harvested, and the huge bales the harvest had created. We all agreed that they would make a great photo opportunity, but agreed more, that we needed to push on, and get into town. We stopped in New Mexico for fuel. I noticed the intersection sported a street name that's my father's name. That may not sound unusual, but my Dad's name is not common like William, Robert, Elm, or Main, but is Marland. We were riding on Marland Boulevard. I had to take a picture.

Our last stretch into Carlsbad would be 70 miles under a big sky, with the setting sun. It was strictly white, puffy clouds, blue sky, and the sun burning a light hue of orange. Maybe it was being on the bike, but it was a beautiful sunset to view.

Once in Carlsbad, we found the Motel 6 we had laid out on the map, and was surprised to see they had wireless internet. After checking, and finding out that my night's stay would be a half share of 33 dollars, we ventured out for dinner. Our first choice was no longer in business, so we went to place I had spotted along the way to the hotel, called Beaver's restaurant. You know I couldn't resist that! There is just a time that you see something, and you have to have it, or you have to eat there.

The food was good, and we talked to the waitress, and the owner. Soaking up some of that local charm is a great past time that all three of us. Duncan took several pictures, including ones of himself and the owner. Mr. Beaver started in the food business, in Carlsbad, in 1948. He started his own restaurant in 1971. After dinner, it was time to finish up with a beer, and the last half of my Hostess Strawberry Pie. I was pre-warned of the nightly ritual of beer and cherry pies. Not being a big fan of cherries, I went for strawberry on this night.

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