02 June 2009


The road out of Missouri brought radical changes to the landscape, and at a staggering pace. The rolling hills of plantlife quickly flattened into cattle grazing territory.

I remember the last time I visited a zoo, the armadillos were a treat to see. They're just so strange looking, and exotic. What I didn't realize is their status as a pest from Missouri onward. Side-of-the-road wildlife shifted from deer to armadillos.

By the time I reached the southwestern tip of Oklahoma the trees were gone and a flat landscape opened. The dirt in Oklahoma is red, which in turn makes a lot of their rivers and tributaries red. But the cows didn't care. They were swimming anyway.

As I approached Texas, and the 300 mile mark from Amarillo, Texas, I started seeing weird (but somehow expected) Texas ads:

"72 oz. steak dinner FREE! In Amarillo!" -- and then in small print at the bottom it read, "if eaten in less than one hour."

When I came within 90 miles of Amarillo, which is nestled in Days of Heaven landscape, I picked up my phone to call Brad. He called me before I could finish dialing with the same question:

"Have you been swallowed up by the storm?" he asked.

On either side of the car was crisp blue sky with puffy white clouds. Straight ahead, looming, was a charred-looking sky that stretched from north to south...lightening bolts shooting every which way.

"We only get like one or two rains a millenia," he said, sarcastically. "You're very lucky to see this."

So I drove through a downpour to The Moon and Antarctica (Modest Mouse).

As it turns out, Amarillo is known for much more than its 72 oz. steak.

Photobucket The city was once the home to one of the worlds #1 producers of helium. The factory still stands.
Photobucket A local eccentric planted Cadillacs in a field off the highway. People spray paint their messages on them.
Photobucket That same man is planning to build a pool table for people to see from space.
Photobucket A tall cowboy overlooks a cheesy tourist spot which also houses a large fake cow and a giant rocking chair.
Photobucket Amarillo has one of the highest fast-food restaurants per capita claim to fame, according to Brad.

For during my second day here Brad and I picked up one of Brad's long-time friends, Rebecca. We went to a sushi restaurant and enjoyed four types of sushi for lunch. Afterward we went to The Globe News Center for the Performing Arts to check out some local students preparing for their production of Big River. The building they use is awesome, very modern and cool on the inside.

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posted by Chase at 9:34 PM |


At June 3, 2009 at 1:57 AM, Blogger Tony Gonzalez

Deer to 'dillos.


At June 6, 2009 at 5:07 PM, Blogger Mark

That rocking chair picture is precious.