Day 2 Recap: Ft. Worth – Lordsburg. Great food, dissing TX and the quest for more Trucker Nods

A rare, stopped moment
A rare, stopped moment

I wrote my day 1 recap cruising on a mixture of adrenaline and guilt, as Adam was staying up to edit video. So I figured I’d stay up as well and see what I could knock out. At 5 AM Saturday I think we both wondered what we were thinking. In fact, I know we were. But we were dedicated to getting another early start and making the most of the daylight. Also, we’d made plans to meet Kevin Libick, a youth worker who lives very close to the hotel we were at in Fort Worth. Adam met Kevin at a conference last year, and while I’d never met him, the temptation of free breakfast was tough to beat. We had a great time that made the minimal amount of sleep and early AM worth it – so thanks Kevin!

From there we began the drive through all that is west of Fort Worth, including actual cities of Abilene, Midland/Odessa and El Paso, as well as places like Pecos and Sierra Blanca, where I had stops or events against my will last year. But more on that later.

One thing we decided to do was to alter the number of stops we made in order to get farther along. So after a lot of stops on Friday, we decided to stop pretty much only for fuel and food, and to try and engage some folks where we could.

Truck driver Kelly teaching a rental driver
Truck driver Kelly teaching a rental driver

One of those happened at a gas station in Abilene, where I ran into Kelly, a big rig driver who delivers fuel to stations. I asked him if he had any advice for people driving big rental trucks like the one we had? I explained that while I consider myself a good and conscientious driver, I don’t drive vehicles that big all that often, and I figured there had to be some trucker wisdom to impart, as I don’t want to be “that guy” out on the roads. Kelly was happy to share some thoughts, and it was mostly the kind of thing you learn in driver’s ed, but it was fun to have someone willing to go on camera for a couple of total strangers.

One good night in Dallas
One good night in Dallas

Adam and I both have a distaste for Texas. Aside from Austin and San Antonio (and the world famous Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels (home to the core of the band Sixpence None The Richer, with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work and be friends), the rest of the state just doesn’t hold up. Too hot. Too humid. Too cocky for a place that hot and humid. I have, if I may say so, a really good sense of direction and navigational skills to match, but I have been lost in Dallas more than any other city in the nation, and I hold that against Dallas. And aside from a night there that spawned this picture of me with 3 of the bands I used to work with, very few fun times.

I can’t speak for Adam’s distaste of the state, but he once mentioned that it started with the JFK assassination and went downhill from there. Also, his percentage of obtaining Trucker Nods (as mentioned in the Day 1 post) went down significantly in Texas, and then rose up again in NM, so I think that’s being weighed into the equation.

But I digress. West Texas is generously populated with massive yards of things that appear to be on sale, and though there was no signage pointing to any branding, it seems that all of these places could unite to form a massive statewide network of stores called, “All Things Rusty”. I can’t even tell you what was for sale except that it was metal and the color of Carrot Top’s steroid-amped hair (I’m guessing that the ‘roids affect his hair as well as the rest of him).

Free range truck stop cows
Free range truck stop cows

We also ran across Truck Stop cows. Three cows just munching on some grass at a truck stop somewhere outside of Odessa, I think. I tried to get their faces but they only showed me the rear view.

Food

Pappy’s plate-o-delicious
Pappy’s plate-o-delicious

On a positive note, we had some great food today, with Pappy’s BBQ in Monahans, TX leading the lunch charge. We each had a mix of brisket and chicken, with jalapeno beans, corn and for bread. I don’t think either of us spoke a discernible word while the food was in front of us – it was mostly groans and quick breaths of air. Yowza! For dinner we checked out El Charro in Lordsburg, NM (Go Mavericks!) It’s a very humble spot right across the railroad tracks and by the only stop light in town. We were famished and El Charro did us right. Beef enchiladas that were tender and perfectly cooked, nice and spicy salsa and fresh chips washed down by a couple Negra Modelos and we were ready to call it a day.

My annual allotment of circus peanuts
My annual allotment of circus peanuts

Penske Cab Confessions for the day: circus peanuts and Moon Pies.

We spent the night in Lordsburg at the Hampton Inn where my dad and I stayed last year. And I had a chance to reconnect with Jim Arnold of Badlands Towing. Jim went a long way out of his way to help us out last year, and it was fantastic to reconnect under far better circumstances. That whole thing is another post that I’m prepping.

That’s a recap of Day 2. As always, please take a minute to like/follow/search 1 or all of these things:

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