Its mostly crop land here, not so many cows, though I know when we all hear Texas we think giant cattle ranches and Lonesome Dove. Those exist in Texas too, just not so much in this part. Texas may be one of the most diverse states in the country, due in part to its size. It is one of our favorite states, and Malcolm has said on more than one occasion that if he moved he'd like to go to Texas. I'm inclined to agree. It is in my top 5 for places I'd move to. There's just something about it there.
Just a little ways north of Wichita Falls, it became a different world.
The roads didn't look too bad, but if you just turned your attention a few inches past the white line on the shoulder, you knew something went down here the night before...
...and that something was ice! Lots of ice!
Lots and Lots and Lots of ice!
And though the roads didn't look too bad, a number of people had found out earlier that it doesn't take much ice to cause "issues."
I've made the observation a number of times that dangerous things are also beautiful. Wonder why that is? Storms are beautiful, but dangerous. Many predators (leopards, snakes, poisonous frogs) are beautiful, but obviously dangerous. And ice...probably one of the most beautiful acts of nature...and oh so very dangerous. There is also oil here, as there is in much of Texas. Truth be told, I think you'd be surprised how many states have oil. I know I was surprised at how many places we see these wells being pumped. I know we think Texas and Alaska when we hear American oil, but its in a lot of other places. In fact, my original Montana hometown of Baker is an oil town. That's where the town money is, not in the cattle ranches. Oil is everywhere!
I love the overpasses in Amarillo! I love that they used cowboy boots (or are they cowgirl boots? maybe?) as the "L's" in the name. Texas has a lot of pride. You see it on every corner, from government buildings to private residences sporting the lone star on their porch. Yards, parks, streets...its everywhere. Texans LOVE Texas.
We pulled into a strip mall parking lot in Amarillo and walked a couple blocks to a Texas Roadhouse. Its one of Malcolm's favorite places and he was craving a steak. Chatted with the waiter there for a bit about the weather as we watched a solid line of trucks creep eastward behind a line of snow plows. I wasn't aware that snow was common down here, at least not enough to warrant having snow plows. But they had enough equipment that it was obvious they do deal with the white stuff some. Waiter boy said they have a few small snows a year, but this was the worst storm they've had in a long long time. Everything had been closed on Thursday, including the Roadhouse, and the roads really weren't much worth anything even after the work they'd been doing on them for the past 24 hours. They even had the road graders working on the ice right along with the snow plows. It was pretty bad.
After dinner we pulled out and headed west cause we didn't feel comfortable parking at the shopping center all night. We hoped to go just west of town and park, but turns out, even though the roads were opened, trucks weren't leaving. So we had to go almost all the way to Santa Rosa, NM before we found a place to park. And even then it was on an off ramp, which was quiet and peaceful, but not always smiled upon by the highway patrol. They didn't bother us though, so we had a nice quiet night without the rumbling of a neighbors truck or refer unit.
Today, Sunday, we're on into California. Crossed the line this morning. I talked to Dad and Mom earlier and even in Chattanooga, they got 4 inches of snow mixed with ice. That's like the storm of the decade for them! Had it been during the week, they'd have canceled school and everything else for days on end. As it was, they did dismiss school early on Friday, so Mom got an almost three day weekend.
I know this storm effected a huge chunk of the country, and a lot of the trouble was ice. I'm have lots of blogging friends that were in this storms path. My sister in Nashville, Small Farm Girl in Kentucky, and several others. How about you, Jim, at A Rancher's View down in Texas? Were you in all this ice and how did your calves come out of it? Just curious, how many of you were effected by it?