Friday, March 4, 2011

Clovis, San Angelo, and the Llanno Estacado

CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO -- Drove up here from Canyon Lake, Texas, on personal business straight northwest through Fredericksburg, Abilene, Lubbock, and the Llanno Estacado and spent the night just a few miles west of the Texas line. My wife Diane and I are staying at the La Quinta on North Prince Street. Did not realize that we were going to pass into the Mountain time zone and suspect this happened when we crossed into New Mexico. Very cold here, much more so than back home in south Texas, and a freezing wind was whipping through the area and driving people indoors.

God bless Clovis, I now truly appreciate the meaning of the word "cow town," as the smell of manure is just slightly noticeable everywhere here. And, on our way out to a casual dinner at the local Wingstreet, a tumbleweed about the size of a dishwasher rolled right in front of the car and got hooked on the front bumper for about 100 feet.

After a relatively stressful 500 mile drive up here it was nice to unwind with a soak in the hotel hottub and enjoy a glass of local Plum Loco red table wine (a little on the sweet side, and definitely too much so as an accompaniment for food, but decent for an aperitif or desert wine). Hotel itself was fine and our stay would have definitely been on the pleasant side if they had not done such a poor job with breakfast; sending guests out without a cup of coffee for the road is a bad way to leave them with their final impression.

On the way back the next day we took a different route, down across the flat plain between Clovis and Big Spring, across Cannibal Draw, and into the "Pearl of the Concho," in San Angelo. There, we toured Miss Hattie's Bordello Museum and had a nice visit with its curator, Mark Priest. A chapter on this fun site will appear in my Texas Confidential: Sex, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in the Lone Star State, which I am pushing to get finished this month.

Now, to get ready for our next trip, to Hawaii!

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