Day 9: From Las Vegas, NM to Wichita Falls

Sunday, September 5

From Las Vegas we took NM 104 to Tucumcari.

Elwood overlooking New Mexico

On the road to Tucumcari

Sunny New Mexico

Looking back to Las Vegas

NM 209 to Grady and NM 241 which brought us to Texas. TX 1050 to Hereford, then US 385 to Dimmit and TX 86 to Tulia and on to Silverton. In Childress, we turned right on US 287, and came to Vernon.

Dark clouds over Vernon

It looks rather like "Riders on the storm" than "Easy Riders"

"A big expand of nothing" Elwood had warned us as to what to expect of Texas. I am sure I was biased, but the landscape just looked like that to me. I was biased. In his book "Blue Highways", Least Heat Moon had made a long list of "nothings" he had found in the Texas desert.

Worse came to worst, and it (again) started raining. So we kept on riding on US 287 through rain and thunder until we arrived in Wichita Falls late in the evening. Courtesy of Elwood, who was so nice to sacrifice one of his free bonus nights at the Holiday Inn, we had a real suite in a full service hotel. We had dinner, shortly before the restaurant closed at 9pm. The restaurant didn't serve any alcoholic beverages, nor was there a bar at the hotel. Later in the evening, Tim and I went to find a watering hole, but the directions we got from the receptionist were somewhat vague, and after walking through dark Wichita Falls, we soon accepetd the fact that our best chances for some beer would be the gas station we had been before coming to the Holiday Inn. After a while, we arrived there, and really, they had beer!

"Sorry, Gentlemen, it's after midnight - no alcohol!" the clerk said as soon as we had taken two sixpacks out of the refrigerator. Oops - what a setback! She gave us directions to a bar which still might be open, but again the directions were unclear, and the farther we went in the direction, the darker it became - not the area you would expect a bar. A speakeasy, perhaps, but we eventually decided to return to the hotel empty handed. On the other hand, on our way to the gas station and back, we had passed at least seven churches. Welcome to Texas and the bible belt...