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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Driving to Lubbock

It rained the night before well past midnight. Yesterday morning the cars in the parking lot were covered in a half-inch thick layer of ice. I had to pull the van door violently open to get in, start the engine, and let it warm up for 30 minutes before anything even melted. It was 22F outside.

The fields in the early dawn were glazed over in ice, even in Brownwood at 8am with the sun fully up. It didn't get passed freezing until I hit Lubbock at 12:40pm, right on schedule.

It was a pretty drive. I stopped for most of the historical markers, which were plenty in the first hour. I drove through the deserted towns of Goldthwaite, Lometa, Brownswood and the Howard Payne University campus, onward to Coleman, Sweetwater, Snyder.

The terrain at first was rolling hills, but north of Brownswood and over one butte with a foggy view back on town, things began to flatten out. Pump jacks and wind mills popped up south of Sweetwater. Near Snyder the Caprock Encarpment and its red soil came to view. It wasn't that boring of a drive at all. Flying hawks overhead entertained me.

But it was cold and blustery. A quick visit to Lubbock's Maxey Park, home to what seems like a million Canadian geese, conglomorate here. The banks were covered in goose shit. A few hungry souls marched toward us in hopes of food.

Mark also showed me the rest of town, which I didn't see much of last time. Lubbock's main industry is agriculture, with giant storage silos around town, tractor sales around the loop, and cotton gins. There are also plenty more restaurnants from last time, although I don't remember much from the last time, nor did anything along the way on Highway 84 look familiar.

The highlight in the evening was a nice meal at the Triple J Bewery and Chophouse. We ordered samples of all nine beers but never ordered one pint, although I will note that their Dos Czechies is quite flavorful and well-bodied for an amber. We shared a veggie pizza and left two hours later. I was tired and went to sleep, after reading yahoo! news that McCain won the Republican primary in South Carolina and Sen Clinton the Democratic primary in both South Carolina and Nevada. Romney won Nevada but didn't even place in the top three in SC: McCain, Huckabee and Fred Thompson placed there.

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