Archive for the “Dream” Category

There is a vacancy at Vickers Ranch.

Lake City Ranch Flag Half Mast for Perk Vickers

I know I’m not the first to ever write a tribute to Perk Vickers, and certainly I won’t be the last. But I can honestly say, I am honored to have met such an honorable man. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thousands of remote, offbeat destinations line the back roads of America, all leaving imprints on your heart as you roll away to somewhere new. As full-time RVers we get the chance to revisit those magical places whenever we want, but life can get in the way and oftentimes the opportunity never seems to materialize.

The Road to Pie Town New Mexico

But when the cosmic road map finally aligns your present journey with an old favorite destination from the past, well that’s a sign you just can’t ignore.

Going Back to New Mexico’s Church of Pie

Recently while headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, we jumped at the chance to drive Highway 60 to get there. That two-lane route is a little out of the way to Sin City, but taking the slow lane would allow us to make a pilgrimage to The Pie-O-Neer cafe in Pie Town New Mexico.

Strawberry rhubarb pie masterpiece

This magical spot perched atop on the Continental Divide won us over way back in 2008 as we traveled with Jerry, and just like our sweet boy, it’s been in our hearts ever since.

Jerry in Cochiti, New Mexico

In Search of Mystic Pie

We waved goodbye to Waylon Jennings’ spirit and booked it out of Littlefield, Texas early one morning, high on caffeine and anticipation of our destination: the sweetest spot in New Mexico, about 3 hours southwest from Albuquerque.

Slice of Heaven in Pie Town, New Mexico

We needed to get there before the Pie-O-Neer Cafe closed at 4pm but were so excited we managed to arrive by 1pm. What a joy to see that the cafe was exactly as we remembered it! The moment we stepped onto the cozy front porch and opened the door, the heavenly scent of homemade pies wrapped its arms around us like an old friend.
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Anyone who thinks there’s nothing to see while driving across the Great State of Texas is a fool. If you look hard enough you can spend weeks visting oddball attractions in the Panhandle, like Jesus in a Box and Cadillac Ranch.

RV Pitstop at Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo Texas

Should you decide to venture far beyond the interstate, then an overnight stay in Littlefield is mandatory. This small dusty Panhandle town is just west of Lubbock. There’s not a lot to this place, which is probably why its most famous hometown hellraiser, Waylon Jennings, would tell folks he was from Lubbock.

Footprints of a Legend at Littlefield Texas City Park

Unlike our first Panhandle Pitstops road trip, this time we knew to slow down and stop to check out the only museum in America dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Waymore’s Drive-Thru Package Liquor Store and Waylon Jennings Museum.

Waymore’s Drive-Thru Package Liquor Store

As fans of both Outlaw country music and adult beverages, we were happy to stop and pay homage to one of the greatest musicians of all-time (yes, that’s right, now shaddup).

Waymore’s Drive-Thru Liquor Store LIttlefield Texas

This little family-run establishment was founded by Waylon’s brother James. On any given day you’ll find him, some other relative or friend of the family running the store and ready give to you a personalized tour.

Waylon Jennings’ first guitar

The day we arrived, Waylon’s niece was our hostess. She happily shared non-stop stories about his life and relatives with a lovely Texas twang that was so fast we only grasped about half of what she was telling us, but she was adorable nonetheless.

Clean-cut teenage Waylon Jennings: Who knew?!

Much of the collection was gathered from family garages and attics, some from e-Bay and some from who knows where. Capitalizing on the Outlaw music connection, they’ve even gathered cool relics like this custom stage jacket made just for Johnny Cash:

Can you feel the presence of The Man in Black?

There’s a pair of Waylon’s trademark “Flying W” boots. It’s obvious, don’t you think? Nobody can ever fill this cowboy’s shoes.

Boots Too Big to Ever Fill

Rumor has it that Waylon didn’t have a lot to do with Littlefield because of some feudin’ that happened between him and this side of his family at some point, but if there is some bad blood there, we didn’t get a sense of that at all.

Waylon Jennings Mural at the Drive-Thru Liquor Store

The cheapskate in me looking for signs that we were going to get hit up for money for this lovely tour. But nope, they weren’t asking for cash or trying to exploit their connection at all; this was just genuine friendliness from salt-of-the-earth people who are proud to be associated with Waylon.

Of course we couldn’t leave without buying something, so we picked up some cheap beer and thanked our lovely host for an unforgettable time.

Some people think Waylon deserves a fancy-pants memorial with more pizazz. After all, you can’t escape the irony of having a liquor store museum dedicated to a genius who died far too early from substance abuse issues. But so what, I say; Waylon was as real as it gets, and so is this one-of-a-kind Outlaw establishment.

IF YOU GO: Be sure to stop and stay at the free Waylon Jennings City Park. It has free RV camp sites for small to medium rigs, complete with water, electric and a dump station, all for a donation. And oh, it even has sanctioned horse-shoe competition courts!

Waylon Jennings City Park, LIttlefield Texas

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The last time we made contact at the Very Large Array, our camera had just conked out after visiting the Trinity Test Site with our Atomic Dog Jerry.

This time around, with Wyatt leading us back from Texas to Vegas for the BlogPaws conference, we decided to take Highway 60 and hit up Pie Town again. I had actually forgotten about the VLA  until we were almost there.

I immediately remembered how cool it is! We didn’t get a guided tour like we did before, but stopping at the vista point was enogh to get a good dose of geek tourism. The pullout is large enough for a couple RVs, and there is ample warning. After all you can’t miss the dishes.

The place always reminds me of an old commercial featuring Ted Turner walking along the fenceline at his ranch. He mentions how his neighbor has been complaining, about his new set of dishes, as the camera pans to reveal a scene similar to this.

Ted likely had dish envy though. His were not nearly as large, nor would they likely reach as far! But there I go digressing again.

The Very Large Array is operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.  The 27 antennae—each one measuring 82′ in diameter—comprise an interferometer providing the resolution of a dish 22 miles across! Mounted on rails, the dishes can be positioned across the across the mesa, close together or miles apart.

Without getting into interference and Fourier transformation of mathematical data to make interstellar maps, suffice it to say, this place is just pretty damn cool.

Geek or not, if you’re a full-time RVer who prefers to travel the backroads of America, this is one of the more amazing roadside attractions you’re going to see. What makes it even more cool, is that it’s not just some attraction, it’s actually in use every day, looking at the far reaches of our galaxy, and beyond.

Besides, it’s just down the road from some of the best pie out there on the open road!

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There’s a rockin’ buzz hanging over Texas and its vortex hovers directly over the Hill Country.

From blues to folk to Tex-Mex, rockin’ music you just don’t hear anywhere else is a beloved part of the lifestyle. In just one month of trailer trash camping along the Comal River, we’ve caught several great club shows by some of our favorite musicians like Ray Wylie Hubbard:

Ray Wylie’s music has taken an exciting direction with the addition of his 20-year old son Lucas:

We became fans of musicians we hadn’t heard before, like Kylie Rae Harris

And Larry Jo Taylor and the Tejas Brothers. You can listen to all three on the KNBT podcast, here.

When we can’t get to Texas, you can bet we’ll be tuning into KNBT FM, ground zero for the best Americana music in the country.

If you love Americana music, there’s no better place to catch live shows than Central Texas!

 

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