Monday, May 03, 2010

West Texas holiday

Spring Break - Day 1: Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break began on Monday, March 15; the kids and Mom and I had planned to spend the week in New Mexico. Among other things, we were really looking forward to the excellent conditions at Ski Apache. El Nino weather cycles tend to produce large accumulations of snow in New Mexico's Sacramento Mountains, and this year was no exception. Southern New Mexico hadn't seen snow like this for five years!

M and I left Whiskeytown on Sunday the 14th; L and her friend MV would depart the following day with Mom, who had just returned from another trip. I hoped to be in position to do some photography around Van Horn by late afternoon / early evening, so we only stopped a handful of times as we drove west...

We were still in Fort Worth when we made our first stop to grab a shot of UP's "Western Pacific Heritage" locomotive...

Ghost sign at Trent, TX

West Texas windmills - an eastbound stack train passes an imposing backdrop near Roscoe

My friend Chris just happened to be dispatching the UP Toyah desk on 2nd shift that day; we enjoyed hearing him on the radio, especially when one of the train crews mentioned the presence of a "photographer driving a silver Toyota" over the radio to Chris. I'm sure it was pure coincidence that we were able to catch up to a couple of westbound trains in time to get some great shots.

One of the day's photographic highlights - a westbound approaching Kent, TX

West Texas road trip icon - the legendary Diesel Fried Chicken sign in Van Horn.

a quick self portrait at Allamore...

Pacing the UP 7828 west of Van Horn

M shot a movie with his new Ipod (an early birthday present from K) as we paced the westbound toward Sierra Blanca

Sunset at McNary - the end of an enjoyable day

We had dinner in Fort Hancock, where M got to know the local Border Patrol agents and State Troopers. An hour later, we checked into an El Paso motel to begin resting up after our long day. On Monday, we'd head for the mountains...


Tim Barry postscript

A few more reflections on the Tim Barry show...

It was interesting to step inside the Prophet Bar (which I thought I had never been to before) and realize it was the old Gypsy Tea Room, a venue in which I've enjoyed performances ranging from Hagfish to the Old 97s. It seemed appropriate that Barry, whose music I feel a strong connection to, would perform on the very same stage has which hosted some of my other favorite acts.

We would have enjoyed visiting some more with Tim after the show, but Miss L and I both had to work the next day. Besides, Tim had quite a drive ahead of him. His tour schedule designated the day after his Dallas show as a "driving day"; he had a thousand miles of Interstate highway to travel before a Thursday night show in Phoenix. With a schedule like that, there just might be another song or two waiting to be written.

A review of his Phoenix show is available here: It sounded very similar to the show we saw, with the exception of the multi-colored mohawks in the crowd.


np: BaD Radio on KTCK 1310 AM "The Ticket"

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