17 March 2015

road trip 2015: Albuquerque and into Texas

It was great to spend a couple days with Karen Meizner and her husband, Russ Bowman. And Murphy, the malamute.
This is Karen and Murphy on the sidewalk outside Tractor Brewing Company in Nob Hill, just off Central Avenue which is part of historic Route 66. I was thrilled to note that the bus line number for the bus on Central Avenue was 66.

Karen and I worked together, in a consulting capacity, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal in the early 1990s. I stopped at their house in West Virginia in 1995 when I moved from Texas to New York. Soon after that visit, they moved to Alaska and lived in Sitka and Haines. We hadn't seen each other since my West Virginia visit. We had a lot of catching up to do and lots of future tripping too, and just talking about stuff. We walked the dog, we did lunch at Flying Star Cafe, we ate at Zacatecas, we watched Better Call Saul, we talked and talked. Hieronymus (my Ford Fiesta) flirted with Karen's Fiat Cinquecento, Bella.

I took off this morning toward Fort Worth. The blue-highway route started with a bit of historic route 66 and, after being mostly on Interstate 40 to Tucumcari, I "detoured" onto U.S. 54 to head Northeast toward Stratford, Texas, the seat of Sherman County. Downtown Tucumcari looked more abandoned than I remember from a trip through in the early 1990s after the SAH conference in Albuquerque.

Much of the landscape between Tucumcari and Stratford is flat, but not all of it. There is a modest canyon near Logan, N.M., and a few sections of rolling hills. Just before Dalhart, the county seat of Dallam County, there were some large cattle feedlots. The XIT Historical Museum is in Dalhart so perhaps the feedlots belonged to successors of the famous XIT Ranch which operated in the Texas Panhandle from 1885 to 1912. I remember cataloging books about XIT when I worked at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth. South of Stratford, there were quite a few oil wells and one stretch with a very strong petroleum smell.

The Sherman County Courthouse is a modest neoclassical building with a couple flowering trees out front and a plaque that indicated Sherman County was named after Texas revolutionary soldier Sidney Sherman, not as I had suspected after General William Tecumseh Sherman.

On the way South from Stratford to Amarillo, the landscape was rollier with quite a significant drop in altitude just before getting to Amarillo. Still, not nearly as high as I'd been in Taos, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque.

Now I'm at the Buffalo Inn in Canyon, Texas, with plans to visit Caprock Canyons before hurrying up to get to Fort Worth for the ARLIS/NA conference which begins on Thursday evening.

1 comment:

Jason W. Dean said...

Hi Sherman!

It's Jason. The museum in Canyon is excellent, and is in the building where O'keeffe attended normal school. They have one of her works as a result. Here's a link to their website: www.panhandleplains.or