~Saturday, January 21, 2023~
Day 952 (Travel Day)
I actually got up in time to see the sunrise this morning, though it hasn’t been that brutal since the sun doesn’t come up until around 7:15 a.m.
Being the night owl that I am, adjusting to an earlier bedtime has allowed me to enjoy a few early mornings as of late with all our early morning departures.
Only minutes from where we were camped last night, we found the local Shell station to be a productive stop….a place to dump a little trash and a much cheaper place to fill up on gas…..$3.99/gallon; the cheapest gas we’ve seen in a VERY long time. Could it have something to do with being in the land of oil? Texas doesn’t just produce a huge part of the nation’s oil. It also has more refining capacity than any other state. Plus, they have a very low fuel tax.
We’re eager to get back to Louisiana in a few days where the minute you cross the state line, you feel like you’re in a completely different world. Louisiana is a unique place all its own. For today, our drive on Highway 20 took us east about 400 miles to Kilgore, Texas where we’ll end up at another Harvest Host location called Britt’s Wine & Dine. We’ll see how we feel when we get there, if we’ll be in the Saturday celebratory spirit of wining and dining. On our drive, we of course noticed the things that are unique to Texas……oil refineries, horse ranches and grazing cattle, WhatABurgers, and trains. Why so many trains? Maybe because the metropolitan areas are spread far apart or that transporting goods by train may be the most efficient? Did you know that as of 2020, Texas was the U.S. state with the largest railroad mileage, reaching over 10,400 miles? We also drove by the Roscoe Wind Project….one of the world’s largest-capacity wind farms with 627 wind turbines. In fact, after we passed it, we saw 3 huge semi’s each towing a blade for those turbines, typically 116 feet in length. Now how in the world do they make a turn??
But, what really struck me was seeing signs for another old hometown for me…..Marshall, Texas. Other names like Longview and Shreveport, LA all were familiar. We absolutely have to take a peek tomorrow……my old neighborhood, my school, my church. since I may have to pick my mom’s brain for street names, since I was about 8 or 9 years old at the time.
Around 5:30, we arrived at Britt's just before dark and a little bit of rain. The place was hoppin’ so we weren’t sure where to set the rig down. So while I pulled over, Jeff ran in to ask the manager where we should park. Just beyond the parking lot, there’s a huge grass area (a former schoolyard) that would be our spot for the night. It was perfect, and we were the only Harvest Host guest for the night. Sadie had free reign of the entire school yard. Evidently, tonight is a sold out bourbon and whiskey tasting event, but we were still invited to dine there if we wished. What a small world as the owner is from Napa, CA (our old hometown). He’s traveled the world, experiencing how others mingle their wine and food which carries over to how he runs his establishment…..a fun and relaxed atmosphere of themed tastings. It was a shame we didn’t get to really check it out since Jeff was completely exhausted and we didn’t have enough water for showers to feel refreshed, so takeout tacos from Doc’s Taco Shop would be
about as fancy as we got. Plus, it was football playoffs (yes, we had reception) between the Philadelphia Eagles and the NY Giants. In the end, it was a boring, blowout game with the Philadelphia Eagles winning 38 to 7. Our guys (the Niners), play tomorrow. Should be an epic game against the Dallas Cowboys!