Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Great Wide Open




Erick, OK

I dreamed about this place, as strange as that may seem. I visited it once before, years ago, and not long after had a dream in which I woke up in a strange bed in this long-since-decayed town and asked the girl next to me, "How did I get here?" She gave me a reassuring smile and answered, "You've always been here." Odd, I know. Erick is one of a thousand little stops along the old Route 66, ghost towns that years of rust and neglect by the outside world have transformed into inexplicably lovely still lifes. These places died on the vine, a vine which was strangled by a much larger and more powerful growth designed to make travel easier for the masses: the interstate. But they remain -- living museums of a bygone era and generation. And they are absolutely worth taking the time to stop and see.



Shamrock, TX





Amarillo, TX

My evening in a nutshell: Dinner and a room at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, where kitsch is Texas-sized. A monster steak and a couple of beers. Surprisingly good conversation with some other folks who were passing through. At around 6AM I heard the words, "It was nice to have met you," and a little laugh, followed by my motel room door opening and closing. It's been a long time. I don't think anyone will begrudge me a night of good, semi-clean fun. Ready to hit the road again. I'll be in Albuquerque later today having dinner with an old friend. Oh, and it's 24 degrees outside right now.

Stats:

Stopped in Amarillo, TX for the night at 6:48PM CT. Total number of miles traveled: 1,721. Number of bite marks on my neck: One (but it's a doozy).

Most Recently on the Playlist:

Mazzy Star -- Rhymes of an Hour

National Skyline -- Permanent Haze

Sneaker Pimps -- Post-Modern Sleaze

15 comments:

pea said...

Ha. Your midnight romp has left you a bit muzzy. You might want to change your tag for this post.

Chez said...

Uh, yeah. Thanks. : )

Donal said...

Are you changing your name to Chez Least Heat Pazienza? Reminds me a lot of Blue Highways.

IrishGirl said...

Title of post reminds me of Tom Petty song, are you the "rebel without a clue"? Hope your time in TX is blessedly brief!

kanye said...

I'm sitting here trying to figure out what it says on that plate.

Going by that meal, my first guess was, "HOME OF THE ANGIOPLASTY", but now that I've read a little further, I'm thinking, "HOME OF THE PENICILLIN SHOT". :)

Actually, I'm sitting here, alone, in a quiet, empty house...my wife and kids are out doing some last-minute Christmas shopping.

I'm looking around at all of this crap that we have: The toys, the furniture, the kitchen sink...all of the things that I'm tethered to...and I'm pretty envious of you right now; of the fact that you can throw everything that own into a tiny car and just...go.

It's been a long time since I've known that kind of freedom; that feeling of being consumed by the irrational thrill of uncertainty.

I guess everything has its price, eh?

Chez said...

I wanted a home. And my family. I wanted to be with them for Christmas. I got this. We play the best possible hand we can with the cards we're dealt.

Anonymous said...

Take 66 through Tijeras canyon into Albuquerque. I'll give a wave as you go by.

black said...

Did you go through Texola on your way west? Should have gone into the Sand Hills Curiosity Shop, Harley's quite the character.

Fungi said...

Make sure you stop in Texarkan on the way back. There is a delivery waiting there for you. Don't worry, there's a forklift.

CNNfan said...

Chez said, "I wanted a home. And my family. I wanted to be with them for Christmas. I got this."

And this got you... Now, I got that you are driving away your loneliness by driving away from your loneliness.

Let us know if you escape, or how fast it travels thousands of miles to catch up with you.

Amy said...

Good for you! I'm glad you're having some fun on the road. I grew up on the KS side of the KS/OK border, surrounded by towns of 2,000 or less, and when in high school, got into an argument with my English teacher and most of the class about my prediction that small towns would be dead in 50 years. That was 23 years ago now, and it is sad to see that the prediction is in fact coming true. PS - I live in LA now, and it's going to be a balmy 75 on Christmas. I hope your fun continues when you get here.

pea said...

I know, Amy, the weather here makes up for a lot. And Chez, apologies. I have the wicked soul of a copy editor.

Tom Mullen said...

Over-heard in Amarillo:



"I wonder if that guy is some gay faggot from back there in's New York City"

em said...

These pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing and be safe.

Adrienne Saia said...

Back in the proverbial saddle, eh? Good for you, Chez. :)