2014 Great Circle Tour travel blog

Today's route

Shrimp Boat Manny's sign in Livingston

Metal spiked head guy in Trinity

Butterfly landing on a Texas Paintbrush

View from Texas Highway

View along Texas Highway 75

Mexia, TX - the birthplace of Ray Rhodes

Prison work gang along the highway

Texas paintbrush and Bluebonnets

Roadside embankment covered with bluebonnets

Easter bunny hay bail

Highway undulates to the horizon

Memorial to the volunteer firefighters killed in explosion in West, TX

Some of the houses destroyed in the explosion in West have been...

while others wait to be rebuilt

Stars of Hope were in West as they were in Joplin, MO

It's whats for dinner!

Mexican (?) playing an accordion at Holly's Antiques near Clifton, TX

Other stuff at Holly's

Why does a small rural town in Texas need an armored vehicle

Mansion on a hilltop

Three wheeler running along US84

Giant spurs in Hico, TX

Winnie at Lost Creek RV Park, Stephenville, TX

Texas is a big state. It’ll take us the better part of 3 days to drive across it to New Mexico. Today’s drive was pretty uneventful. Lots of ranches and cattle, but there were a few unusual animal sightings including a couple of zebras, an occasional llama, and an African antelope. Unfortunately, they came up so quick I couldn’t get pictures. Many of the ranches seem to keep mules, not sure why.

We passed through Mexia, TX. For the Philadelphia Eagles fans, Mexia is the birthplace of former coach Ray Rhodes. This was a fairly forgettable era in the team’s history that started well, but finished badly.

Last time we were in Texas in 2012, we had gone to Waco to see the Texas Rangers Museum. On the way back to the Dallas area we stopped in a small town called West. Less than a year later in April 2013, it was in the news when a fertilizer storage facility blew up and killed 15 people including 10 first responders. We drove through West today to see how the town is recovering. The middle school was destroyed in the explosion, but the kids are going to school in a trailer complex while a new school is being built. The West Rest Haven nursing home was badly damaged and today was an empty field. Quite a few houses were either rebuilt or under construction, but there was at least one whole block that was vacant with no real sign of construction. The Stars of Hope that were nailed to telephone poles and hanging on fences in Joplin were present in West. Like Joplin and Moore, OK, it will probably be quite a few years before the area devastated by the explosion will be completely rebuilt.

We finished the day in Stephenville, TX at the Lost Creek RV Park.

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