Eastbound V – Texas

“I saw miles and miles of Texas, all the stars up in the sky
I saw miles and miles of Texas, gonna live here ’til I die.”
– Bob Wills

Marfa Lights viewing

and onwards

E on US-67/90

The Alamo

José Toribio Losoya statue

Buffalo head

Boss House of (Alligator) Steaks

US-77

According to the Find Your Spot quiz, Round Top, Texas was the number one place in the US that I absolutely should not move to. Of course I had to check it out, and while it’s not that bad in person (hell, you could probably rent a house here for a hundred bucks), I still can’t help but think that a City Confidential episode or tornado target is in its future.

Royers Round Top Cafe

Round Top, Texas

Round Top, Texas

Note to road trippers in this part of Texas: most diners and restaurants are closed in the afternoon or evenings – assuming that they aren’t closed completely for December-January. I lucked out at the Chappell Hill Sausage Company which closed just as I was arriving at 4pm, but the reward was some astonishingly outstanding BBQ sausages (and homemade oatmeal walnut cookies).

Lunch at the Chappell Hill Sausage Factory

Eastbound III – Roswell NM

Life Is Good in Roswell!

The signs welcoming you to town indicate that it’s “the dairy capital of New Mexico”, but Roswell has clearly hitched it’s tourist dollar wagon to the rapidly stale alien kitch zeitgeist. The International UFO Museum is the King Hell tourist trap in town but the knockoff alien “museums” surrounding it are much more interesting. Apparently, all you need is an alien “grey” dummy and a pickup truck full of old computer parts, circuit boards, and industrial contaminants. Correct spelling is not necessary but the savvier museums have free Wi-Fi. I especially like the Apple StyleWriter printer reconstituted as an alien stasis machine. The rest of town is your usual assortment of southwest blight with a Wal-Mart the size of an aircraft hangar and little else to do except drink and listen to metal.

Alien Autopsy - Roswell UFO Museum
DIY toxic waste w/alien


Pleiadian band
Defending the Planet w/coffee


Roswell road
Scrubs Plus, Artesia NM

Eastbound

I’m off to NYC for awhile so blogging is haphazard at best. One side-effect of all this traveling is that I’ve become a de-facto connoisseur of airport bars. I have come to the conclusion that the most dismal airport bar in the country is the Gibson Guitar Lounge at SNA. Nothing like a moldy old recent poster-sized photo of Lynyrd Skynyrd to put you in the mood for cross-country travel.

SNA_gibson

 

Unconditional PDX love

Prior to last weekend, I’d spent maybe a hour or two total in Portland, Oregon and those stops were pretty much limited to the I-5 corridor for refueling and a literal run through Powell’s. I was really looking forward to our visit over the weekend and after logging forty-eight or hours in the 503 area code I’m ready to load up the car and relocate after I get the NYC bug out of my system.

To enumerate:

  • Public transportation that makes sense: I’ve noted this before, but it needs to be repeated: Portland’s rail and bus system just makes sense. It’s low cost. It goes places where people want to go. It’s relatively inobtrusive.
  • Montage: Home of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve had on this or any other planet and a bread pudding that can make stronger mortals weep. Yes it’s that good. Ultramega bonus points for being open until 4am on the weekend.
  • Powell’s: Sorry Tattered Cover, Powell’s is the best bookstore in the world.
  • The Governor Hotel: Every city needs at least one hotel that would be the location for a David Lynch movie.
  • The Cup And Saucer: Punk rock breakfast is urgent and key.
  • The Paradox Cafe: Especially when you can have a punk rock breakfast anywhere in town

Vaguely progressive trustafarian granola cities are plentiful, but it’s nice to see a largish city actually put the political and social beliefs of its population into practice.