Day 19 July 19, 2016 El Paso TX to Ozona TX
Left hotel and stopped by store for supplies. Tried to find historic buildings in El Paso with no real luck. Back on the road eastward, Claire gives us history lesson on El Paso. Passed more flooded pecan farms and some sheep. The valley is irrigated and very green. The land further out is just dirt with a few scrub brush and grass. Saw roadrunner. Followed the Texas Mountain Trail. The land is flat, flat, flat in all directions. Further along we began to see tiny dunes beside the road with minimal vegetation. The Texas Mountain Trail finally reached the mountains. They are not big, but they are mountains. Passed through another border control inspection. Back in the valley again we saw several dust devils and many mesas. Stopped by Missionary Mary Chapel out in the middle of nowhere. Stopped at Fort Stockton and ate lunch in front of the train station. Saw a giant roadrunner. Headed back on the road and it was very windy. Mesas everywhere now. Started seeing polka-dotted mountains covered with beaver tail cacti. Drove to top on large mesa onto plateau and it became flat again. Drove the Chihuahua Trail. Camped in Ozona at the Holiday Inn Express. Mileage: 379.5
We went shopping to get supplies at Wal-Mart. No blue chips. That’s what Susan and Pam snack on all day. I will eat a little here and there but those 2 are addicted. Pam saw a bunch of nuns in WM – Susan and I didn’t see any. Is Pam seeing things, maybe it’s that migraine medicine? We then drove back into downtown “historic” El Paso. The most interesting thing we saw was a sphinx that looked like a nun. Since there was no history in El Paso, I googled and gave them a history lesson. Yes, it used to be one city and it split when the USA took over the Texas territory. Rode back roads when we could but most of the trail was on I 10. Stopped at a sketchy gas station but there were no others for MILES. You don’t understand, MILES. There is nothing out here. The Antenna motel was across the street. It had no name, just an old TV antenna on the top of the sign???? I worked 5 hours today from the back seat. I had internet most of the way, but I got a lot done because there was nothing else to do except occasionally take a picture of a mountain when I saw one. There is so little here that the bill boards say xxx Hotel 300 miles. Next services 80 miles. Really folks there is nothing out here. In one of our boring moments we googled I 10. There are 880 mile markers, it also has the widest road in the USA near Houston, its 26 lanes wide. I hope we are on back roads there.
We hit border patrol again and they stopped us. They asked us again if we were US citizens. You know our van is dirty enough to have gone back and forth across the border several times and the back is so full of stuff (rocks) that it could be bodies, but they never ask anything but “are we citizens”. Next time we will answer in Spanish. Then we saw the sign “do not pick up hitch hikers”. Don’t they know we still have our dates in the car?
By this time we had gotten so bored and silly that we were trying to find anything in the mountains and scenery. Pam said the mountains are trying to get out of here because they are so boring….
We passed thru Van Horn. Pam said their chief industry was 50’s/60’s motels. There were a ton of them. Pam saw a mountain she called the pimple mountain. Susan said “it’s black on top so it’s a black head”. We went thru Kent and all there was is an old empty building that says “no nuclear waste aqui”. That was it. Can’t see why Dandy wanted to stay in this place.
We then got on the Farm to Market Road. Yes, this was part of the route. The speed limit was 70. We saw a little church with a historic marker so we stopped. We got out and made pictures and were almost finished when a car pulled into the area pretty quickly. We were in the middle of nowhere. I can’t believe 3 middle age women ran to get in the van and lock the doors and leave so quickly. We didn’t want to stay around and see what they wanted. They immediately turned around and left. Glad to be back on our way. We went to the Oasis of West Texas, Valmorhea. It did have a tiny water wheel???? Seriously.
Lots of dust devils back along the road. Then we saw the Alpine turn off. No mountains, no trees, why Alpine???? Susan googled it and it didn’t look Apline’y. It looks duster than everything else we have been seeing.
Drove into the metropolis of Ft Stockton. Unless you like Mexican food, you are out of luck. Pam can’t eat it right now so we ate on a picnic table at the old train station. The wind BLEW everything everywhere. The lady at the welcome center said we could eat inside. We took pictures of the items around there (see pictures) and then hit the road again.
Started seeing more mesas and a few oil wells. I looked up what to do in Ozona. I found a top 10 list. It had 2 items on it. Seriously. Pam made supper for the buzzards. She hit a bird that flew into the windshield. L We pulled into Ozona and the first thing we saw was tree stand city. Hunting must be big around here – must be the only thing to do. I’ve never seen a tree stand store. Got to our camping site, Holiday Inn Express 10K points and $34 for the night. There is nothing here but we hope the “steak” house might have some food that isn’t Mexican.
Pam and Susan wanted to know about shopping so I googled it. Oh there are lots of places – a general store, a drug store, Napa Auto parts, ….. wow the list goes downhill from there.
On the way we drove thru the town and it’s actually a cute little town “the biggest little town in the world”. We saw the old courthouse, bank and hotel, then we drove to the restaurant. On the way we took pictures of the Tree Stand (hunting stand) store. I’ve never seen so many in one place. Our restaurant looked like a whole in the wall but the food was pretty good and they had food Pam could eat. After dinner, we drove back to the town and walked thru the park in the square. There was green everywhere and a gazebo. We also saw the large old oak tree. Then we came back to the hotel and colored. Susan gave us maps of the states and we colored all the states we’d been in. I won but Pam’s map looks like someone cut off the top of the US. Now she is coloring the map for where we have been together, this trip and last year’s northeast trip.