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STOP #273

I hope you all forgive me for my little April Fools prank post earlier this week.

Six weeks ago when we were first entering Big Bend National Park we pulled over to the side of the road to take a photo of THE POD in front of the Big Bend National Park sign. Tricia used the "wide angle format" on her camera to try and capture the horizon full of mountains in the background, but instead she captured this warped image of the back of THE POD.

We didn't notice the odd photo until the next day when we reviewed the photos from the day before. The instant I saw this photo I began writing an April Fools post in my head and for six weeks I've been sitting on that photo and the subsequent story to share with you.

Tricia always tries to proofread the blogpost before I actually post them, usually just to correct my comments by sharing her own. When I read this one to her she was literally in tears, that alone made writing it worthwhile.

I also want to thank all of you who commented on Facebook and didn't spoil the fun by outing me. I think I could tell who was being nice and who was actually fooled.

I also had several close friends who have my cell phone number either text or call me with their concerns. They all fell into the "fooled" category. One person, who shall remain nameless, went so far as to call me to offer their help. He went even further and phoned his insurance agent to ask how I would go about fighting the denial from my insurance company. He relayed to me that there is an arbitrator I should get in touch with to try and settle my claim.

I was on the phone with him for a long time and Tricia kept motioning to me to tell him it was just an April Fools prank, but I wasn't sure if it was him who was prankng me with a highly detailed story to try and catch me off guard. After thirty minutes I was sure he had no clue it wasn't real and finally gave up the ruse. Even after I told him I not sure he 100% believed me, or ever will again. Keep in mind I haven't spoken to this person in probably over two years and he hardly ever gives me a Like or Comment on Facebook.

Even so I was glad we got to chat and I told him so. If you're reading this, you know who you are, I hope we stay in touch my friend.

Our travels today were basically all Interstate driving. First it was 20 miles North on Interstate 27 followed by 60 East on Interstate 40.

The entire stretch of Interstate 40 we traveled on today parallels the Old Route 66. In some areas the Interstate was actually built over the Route 66 roadbeds so it no longer exists.

Since there isn't a whole lot to do near this National Grasslands campground we are going to backtrack towards Amarillo and visit a few of the Route 66 attractions that still remain today.

Campsite #4 at McDowell Campground in the McClellan Creek National Grasslands

Sites all come with a picnic table, standup grill and firepit.

Our waterfront property for the week and it's only $10 a night.

THURSDAY - Today is our best weather forecast for the week so we took off to go check out those Route 66 attractions we promised.

Everyone is familiar with the famous "Cadillac Ranch" in Amarillo, TX, but how many of you have heard of the "VW Slug Bug Ranch" located just 35 miles east on I-40 in the town of Panhandle, TX? I didn't think so!

What about "The Leaning Tower of Texas"? Sure, the leaning tower over in Pisa, Italy is world renowned, but it only has a measly lean. Not very impressive if you ask me! Now this water tower here in Groom, TX, it leans at gravity defying 10° and is balanced on what appears to be just two legs.

MONDAY - Today we are headed out to see some more Route 66 attractions. The town of McLean, TX is famous for it's "Devil's Rope Museum". In case you didn't know, I sure didn't, Devil's Rope is another word for barbed wire.

The museum also houses a small Route 66 museum and another small room which is dedicated to the history of the devastating dust bowls of the 1930s.

We weren't all that interested in the history of barbed wire, but there were dozens of sculptures created using just barbed wire. We didn't take any photos inside the museum (we weren't sure of their policy), but it was well worth the price of admission, FREE!

When arriving in the town of McLean we were surprised by all the murals painted on buildings all over town. It's a great way to "dress up" an otherwise "less than desirable" place to visit.


These giant sized wind turbines are technically not Route 66 attractions, but they were all along the route today on both sides of the highway.
The cows don't seem to be bothered by them, but I bet the birds don't feel the same way!
I thought it was funny that the grass behind this irrigation rig is all green, but in front of it was all brown? Waiting to get watered I guess.
First up is "The Leaning Tower of Texas" in Groom, TX. A local resident purchased this used water tower and installed it on his property, intentionally crooked, to draw attention to his truck stop along Route 66. Guess what, it worked for over 30 years!
Heck, the rear two legs don't even touch the ground.
Here is the "VW Slug Bug Ranch" I told you about in Panhandle, TX.
You don't have to be a VW to get a free custom paint job here.
Come on Tricia, get in the truck! We gotta get out of here before the painters show up.
This mural was on an inside wall above our lunch table in "The Chuckwagon" restaurant in McLean, TX
This one was on the opposite wall.
In a courtyard across the street from The Chuckwagon we spotted the next two murals.
Then at the end of the block were the next two colorful murals.
Around the corner we found the next three murals painted on an abandoned building. They were obviously older murals.
This 1929 Phillips 66 station was reburbished. I'm pretty sure the truck was from the 1940s and gas pumps were from the 1960s.
The outside of the Devil's Rope Museum. Notice the two huge balls of barbed wire on top of the pillars and the square one on the ground ready for the recycler.
Anybody want to take a guess what this is?
Maybe this will help. It's an underground Texas sized rest area along Interstate 40. The bathrooms also serve as a tornado shelter.
Complete with Texas shaped BBQ grills under each pavillion.
Quite the view from up here isn't it?
Even the railing is sporting the Lone Star theme of Texas.

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