Spelunking We Will Go

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April 19th 2013
Published: April 20th 2013
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On the Road Again!On the Road Again!On the Road Again!

Of course we may not ride our bikes, but we just have to have them! Notice my new wheel cover - "Life is Good"!!
We have headed back out on the road to a destination that we all remember visiting as children - Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico. Due to the storms predicted for Wednesday evening in OKC, we could not pack up Stormy until very early Thursday morning. After last May's hail storm, I am very reluctant to have the motor coach out in the un-predictable Oklahoma weather. So, that meant that I got up at 4 a.m. for the short drive to Edmond to retrieve Stormy for our voyage! All the while, Cynde slept snuggly awaiting my return and eventual departure. After fueling up, I got to the house about 5:30 and called for Cynde to "get up"! We hurriedly loaded the coach and got away from OKC around 6:30 a.m. I chose a south and south-west route that would take us through Wichita Falls, Texas, then to the west toward Lubbock.

We made really good time, until we began heading west and into a stiff wind. The hills of the southern Texas Panhandle did not help much either! After we got west of Seymour, Texas, the countryside turned extremely beautiful! There was brush and rock covered hills, valleys, and canyons.
Buddy's Big GlassesBuddy's Big GlassesBuddy's Big Glasses

Cynde is dwarfed by Buddy Holly's glasses. His trademark frames have been re-produced in large scale and now mark the museum dedicated to his short but incredible career.
Very dramatic canyons! We were actually on the southern end of Palo Duro Canyon - the second largest canyon in the United States. It stretches from Canyon, Texas, just south of Amarillo to a point about 60 miles to the east of Lubbock. It is so dramatic in that one moment, you are on the outskirts of the canyon and you quickly and dramatically rise to the high plains of West Texas. You are instantly surrounded by beautifully tended farm lands. This is an agricultural area where "Cotton is King"!

If you are like us, you never really considered Lubbock, Texas as a destination. Sure, we all remember that Lubbock was the birth-place of Buddy Holly. But, did you also remember that Mac Davis was also born here? Natalie Maines - the Dixie Chick who bad-mouthed then President George "W" Bush? Texas Tech University is an extremely large university with a beautiful campus. The local architecture is definitely Texas! Big and impressive. Much sandstone, brick and ornate stone. There are wonderful museums - documenting the area's rich ranching history, archeological wonders and other cultural wonders.

We visited the Buddy Holly museum where we learned that Buddy was able
When in Rome!When in Rome!When in Rome!

Ok, so we did try to impersonate the unique look of Buddy!
to bask in his success for only a short 18 months! He hit it big, but tragically died only eighteen months later. Although his career was cut short by that tragic airplane crash in 1959, his music was a critical influence on The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and so many others! When you listen to some of The Beatles early music, you can quickly pick up on Buddy's influence in their song-writting as well as their musical sound.

Lubbock is home to the Grand Central Station Antique Mall on Avenue "Q". This great antique store is located in an old furniture store with an untold amount of floor space. We scoured the mall's many individual stalls for our prized "California" pottery. We really hit pay dirt, locating several unique pieces, as well as some great McCoy and Hull pieces. Cynde found a great Hull ceramic swan with two smaller swans. They are very delicate, ornately painted, and perfect for our "sales" collection. I say sales collection in that we continue to purchase ceramic wares for our retirement business, but we have yet to sell a single piece. I have applied for and received our sales tax ID,
Cynde's Rather Unique LookCynde's Rather Unique LookCynde's Rather Unique Look

Not sure what else to say! The glasses say it all.
but we just have not been able to get any of our wares listed on Etsy or Craig's List as yet. Maybe when we get back! The purpose of our trips is primarily to find our wares. The Florida trip was successful, but so far, Lubbock has been the best!!

The next stop in Lubbock, and one you should not miss if the opportunity arises, is a visit to the Silent Wings Museum. This great museum is dedicated to the pilots of the glider planes used during World War II. These were huge airplanes that could carry troops, jeeps, and other equipment. They could fly silently behind enemy lines without being detected. The only problem was that once their mission was completed, they could not take off into the skies again. They were gliders with no motors! So, the crews had to join the fighting on the ground. There were just over 6,000 men trained in the glider program, and currently there are only 60 or so left. These gliders were used on D-Day at Normandy. They were somewhat the un-sung heroes of many battles.

Texas Tech University houses two unique museums. The first is the National Ranching
Silent HerosSilent HerosSilent Heros

These are the gliders of World War II. They were a powerful component of the fighting machine that lead to the Allies victory!
Heritage Museum. This museum was funded, in part, by the granddaughter of Burk Burnett - an early day Texas rancher, and the name-sake of Burkburnett, Texas. This museum has collected over seventy structures from across Texas, each having a unique history and purpose in the development of present-day Texas. These structures have been moved to the museum site and reconstructed around the museum campus to tell Texas' story in a chronological manner, beginning in the early 1700's with the Spanish explorers and settlers. Visitors could easily spend three or four hours roaming these grounds exploring the rich Texas history. Unfortunately, we did not have time to visit the second museum, The Museum of Texas Tech University. However, it is extremely impressive, and if done as well as the NRHM, I am sure it will satisfy any history buff!

Tomorrow, we plan on exploring the Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark. This is an old archeological site just on the north edge of Lubbock. As I understand, many pre-historic fossils have been found at this site. Sound like great fun!

After Lubbock Lake, we will head southwest toward New Mexico and our next destination, Carlsbad, and the surrounding area. We
Training PostersTraining PostersTraining Posters

This is a training poster for the glider pilots. Notice the three "enemy" leaders in the top left of the poster? Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito.
already have reservations for a special cave tour on Sunday morning - the Left Hand Tunnel Tour! Sounds intriguing - it is by lantern light! No tight spaces or crawling through the mud! We are a little too old for those adventures, but are certainly looking forward to our tour. And of course, we will have to drive up to Roswell - who knows, maybe we will be the ones chosen for a "close encounter of the third kind"!!!!!!

Happy Travels!


Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Nuclear ThreatsNuclear Threats
Nuclear Threats

The museum also has a display of media used during the cold war. As school kids, we all remember training for nuclear attacks. This poster is encouraging families to join the national Civil Defense.
Cynde Just Getting the PointCynde Just Getting the Point
Cynde Just Getting the Point

Yes, cacti do have sharp needles. These are unique cacti in that they are long in shape rather than somewhat oval. During times of drought, the needles were burnt off the cactus and fed to the cattle.
Early Day CabinEarly Day Cabin
Early Day Cabin

Of course, I am analyzing how this was built, and if I could build a replica out at the Rockin J.
Longhorns on the WayLonghorns on the Way
Longhorns on the Way

These are spectacular bronze sculptures of Texas Longhorns moving along a dusty trail. There were about 15-20 individual "cows" meandering around the front lawn of the National Rancher's Heritage Center.

20th April 2013

Who knew?
Who knew there are so many interesting places to explore out that direction? Amazing how much is right under our noses waiting to be discovered. I'm loving coming along down "Holloway Highway!"
20th April 2013

Keeping Up With You.
Love the pictures and reading about Your adventures.

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