October 18, 2016 – Sun, 80 degrees
Miles Today: 75
Miles to Date: 18,111
States to Date: 45
Any day that starts with two mugs of black coffee and two helpings of sour cream and Sprite biscuits baked in a butter basted iron skillet heaped with sausage gravy is going to be a good day. My longtime West Texas friend and overnight host Leanne is a phenomenal cook.
It’s cotton harvest time on the South Plains. Modern-day cotton pickers are GPS guided machines that remove the bolls off the plant and mechanically separate the seeds, hulls, and lint. One farmer told me, “I just sit there and play on my tablet, then turn around at the end of the field.”
The plains end abruptly at the caprock. The earth drops 300 feet within a mile. I’m back in the land of sage and buttes, riverbeds, and oil wells. Despite the strong wind, the air is thick and stinks of tar. Post displays a sense of humor on its wells. The town’s founder, cereal magnate C.W. Post, spent over $50,000 in the early 1900’s trying to dynamite the atmosphere to produce rain. To this day, not much falls.
The string of windmills that line the edge of Llano Estacado remind me of Calvary, in a land where Christian crosses are plentiful.
Snyder, Texas may have the single most inappropriate piece of architecture I’ve seen on my journey. A box of courthouse proportion sits in the middle of the town square. Its granite facade has no windows – none. On the center of each face is an entry door guarded by three security cameras. A brutal interpretation of ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.’