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As the crow flies, this post covers a 1000-mile trip, and I zagged and zigged enough to double that distance.  More than half the trip was done by train, as accounted for in Traxter 5.

Let’s start by heading south for the Rio Grande, the place of much current attention.

When I was there, the temperatures were in the 80s F.  West of the national park, the flats of the former sea bottom were vast, and strewn with some well-preserved old ferrous metal,

like this one at Jackass Flats and

this at the ghost town . . . making this a ghost car.

With the Rio Grande behind us, this is looking north toward Alpine on  Texas 118.  That’s the Chihuahuan Desert all around,  and Forrest Gump would feel right at home.

This is the rail crossing in Maverick TX, looking west, the view presumably seen at this hour from a locomotive of a New Orleans-Los Angeles Sunset Limited  . . . at sunset.

The train portion of the trip was chronicled in Traxter 5, clicketyclacking  on a 24+ hour trip up to Oklahoma, where I rented a car at Will Rogers airport.

This is a must-see, the memorial where the Murrah Building once stood.

Since this post is called “road photos,” I drove NW to Canadian County and chose El Reno to start my way east on remaining portions of the “mother road.”  

I plan to do a separate mural post, but I have to slip a few in here.  Yukon is the boyhood home of Garth Brooks and many others, of course.

I had planned to spend a few days in Tulsa, but then I discovered that the Woody Guthrie et al. center is open only Wednesday through Sunday, and I arrived on Monday.  So I postponed my visit to Tulsa, paid respects to the whale in Catoosa, and kept east and north . . .

I followed 66 through Chetopa and east all the way to Carthage MO,

passing through the border town on Joplin along the way.  A lot of famous and infamous people lived here.

This law car was parked outside Boots Motel in Carthage MO. 

From here, I backtracked west and north to Manhattan KS and Wamego KS, my general destination, home of a former co-worker.  Little did I expect to find the handiwork from the land of my parents.

And here was the end of the trail, a cattle operation on prairie land in the Flint Hills.

An open gate on the grazing ground means that all traffic, human and grazing beast, must pass through that same portal.

The day I arrived was sunny, calm and warm, but the next day, the wind kicked up and brought some very wet snow, and created muddy roads.

These young steers greeted us as we brought more hay.

Let’s hold it up here, because early the next morning I headed back for the train.

All photos, any errors, WVD.

Related:  A week after I left Big Bend, a half foot of snow fell there, and the warning were no longer for heat but rather icy curving roads.  Here’s a video of snowy Big Bend just after I left.


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