George’s Birthday Adventure: Episode 2

When we last left you in our tales, we had bedded down for the night somewhere in Louisiana. Running later than we’d have liked, we were pressed to get to Austin to retrieve Jester from his work-related visit. Having returned his rental car, he was sitting at the airport waiting on us so we couldn’t be leisurely in our advance through Texas.

So off we rolled, finally free of the pounding storms that plagued us on our first day.

Grave architecture in Justiceburg

Texas, Texas, and (you guessed it) more Texas…

Texas is rather large as you well know so there’s a variety of ways to cross it. We took the long way…not so much for the love of Texas but simply to head up into northern New Mexico and Arizona, thinking we might make a few stops we’d missed our last time through a few years ago. Plus, having spent the bulk of the first day of travel on interstates, I was due for some backroad driving, my favorite kind. Winding our way back north, we were treated to an up-close view of the quintessential Texas scenes of wind farms and oil derricks.

And as we worked northward, we stopped in Goldthwaite and ate at a local restaurant (Peabody’s). While nothing earth-shatteringly amazing, it was definitely a welcome break from the typical interstate-exit food. Sadly, we were only flitting through and wouldn’t be staying for the town’s upcoming Goat Cook-Off that was so prominently announced on banners across town. I can’t tell you how fun it would have been to stick around for that!

The intriguing geocache location in Justiceburg, Texas.

Abiline busting at the seams…

Pushing a little further, we ventured into Abiline hoping to bed down for the night. And here’s the problem with loosey-goosey travel…sometimes there are conventions in town that have all rooms booked. Not knowing exactly how far we would travel each day, we had to leave our plans open and so we found ourselves victims of a power-lifting tournament and had to move further along I-20 than our road-weary selves would have liked.

Which is how we found ourselves in Sweetwater, Texas at yet another Best Western. Just as friendly and accommodating as it’s counterpart in Louisiana, we were quite pleased with our Best Western track record. I’m really not shilling for the hotel chain, it’s just that traveling with a pup in tow can be a difficult and I appreciate when it’s made easier.

One of the saddest sections in Justiceburg - the three small graves in front of the parents'. Their children died at age 19, 9, and the day born.

Geocaching pitstop…

We’d almost made it through the enormity of Texas by the end of day 2 but still had a long way to go to reach the Mojave Desert. It was clear we wouldn’t make it there on Day 3, much less in time to set up camp so we pushed through to Holbrook, Arizona with little excitement, good or bad. We did stop to grab an interesting geocache at a remote cemetery in Justiceburg, Texas however. These kinds of geocaches always provide thought-provoking insight into a place.

Examining the gravestones, you get a glimpse into the lives that have been lived in the area, leaving you to imagine what came between the dates carved into rock. From the heartbreak of a lost child to the obvious pride in a fallen soldier, there are countless untold stories in cemetery. Giving pause to consider the lives lived during such times as the Civil War and Great Depression does wonders for the perspective of your own life.

Westward Ho…

So Camp Granola continued westward quickly, wrapping up Day 3 of George’s Birthday Adventure.

And now for your moment of green…

A tree with the beginning buds of spring in the near-barren lands of a west Texas cemetery.