Sunday, October 7, 2012

West Texas, Odessa, Midland and Abilene

Travel interfered with our travels…and as promised, now that we’re back here’s our blog posting to bring you all up to date to September 3rd.

On August 30th in the continuing blistering heat of 100F (40C) we crossed into Texas looking very much forward to the cooler weather in Ireland and England; although Tom promised all and sundry over there that once we arrived the weather would improve. It did! For the months of July and August Ireland and England had record amounts of rain and cold while the USA had record heat and drought…we know - we endured it.
Immediately one crosses the Texas border there’s a feeling of prosperity. West Texas is booming thanks to the oil industry; there are derricks working all over pumping oil and trucks crisscrossing the roads transporting the oil. Our first stop was in a little town called Midessa, aptly named as it’s located halfway between the towns of Odessa and Midland. This part of Texas is called the Permian Basin and is where most of the oil is found. While there we visited the Permian Oil Museum in Midland, not exactly what one would call exciting but very interesting and educational. The exhibits included numerous photos of the early days of the oil industry, a reconstructed old oil town, an explanation of how oil rigs work, how blow outs happen and how fires are controlled. The museum also had an art gallery with paintings by Tom Lovell which had been commissioned by the museum founders; an interesting collection of formula one race cars showing the evolution of racing cars and how car shapes changed over the years. Outdoor exhibits included a large collection of defunct oil equipment which, as we would have needed an engineer interpreter to explain, we just drove around and had a quick look.

From there we drove to Abilene believe it or not Abilene, Kansas where Eisenhower was raised is called after this town in Texas…the connection being the cattle drive from Texas to Kansas. We just stopped for one night as there is nothing to see in this Abilene. The following day we drove to Dallas but, once again it was too hot to do anything outdoors so we took Adele’s friend Barbara's advice and headed to the Galleria Shopping Center where we parked our car under cover and entered the center on the third floor from where we looked over the balcony to discover an ice rink on the first floor (ground floor), what a surprise! It was over 100F outside and people are ice skating. We bought coffees then sat and watched the skaters including women in burkas skate round on the ice. We think we have seen everything now! The Zamboni cleaned the ice every hour, imagine that job description! We spent the day walking round the shops and checked the ice rink from every level.
Next day we packed for our month long trip which for Adele was not easy as, although she hoped for good weather, expected it not to be good. We moved the RV into storage at the RV Park and headed to an airport hotel for the night where we parked our car for the month…Park/Sleep/Fly is a great service!

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