It’s time to get out of Dodge. There’s a storm a brewin’ and I’m a goin’.
If you watch the Weather Channel at all you may have seen that central Texas is now marshland. The state is like a doughnut of land with a lake in place of the doughnut hole.
By a marvelous twist of fate I was not anywhere near Pizzaville for the worst of it. (I was actually in a galaxy far, far away. I had a great time, and that will be in a later story.) I was watching the Weather Channel while I was gone, and that was scary enough. You all know how I feel about these big wind and water storms. I’ll take a good ol’ west coast earthquake over that any day. By not being in Texas for the storm, I’m sure I’ve saved years of my life. Years that would’ve otherwise been lost to the stress and fear of being right there.
Tornadoes touched down around Pizzaville (none too close to the RV park). Many people were evacuated from homes and RV parks all around south central Texas. Cow-Chicken-Oil town is completely flooded. Dams broke, river banks overflowed, roads washed away. And so did some homes. Several people lost their lives and more are still missing.
Texas is fond of squirrels. Or perhaps they’re just fond of massive squirrel statues. (And giant beavers.)
You may recall Mrs. Pearl, the Giant Squirrel in Cedar Creek. Well, she’s not the only large squirrel statue in south Texas. There’s another giant squirrel, this time in Sinton, Texas. Why? Because that is the requisite marketing gimmick for pecan shops. Well, that or a giant pecan. Apparently.
And they name them. (The squirrels. I don’t know if they name the giant pecans.)
Ok, so I didn’t really lose my shirt. Mostly because I didn’t have enough money to gamble with in the first place. But it was fun, and I got to check another state, and another Largest/Smallest oddity off my bucket list.
Pye wanted to try gambling. I figured she’d done enough of that the time she stowed away in the RV chassis for 150 miles.
Christmas in a Casino – It’s not sinning if you’re winning.
Yup, I spent Christmas in a casino. But it wasn’t just any casino: WinStar World Casino is the largest casino in the U.S. It’s in Thackerville, Oklahoma, just across the Texas border on Highway 35.
Some folks considered gambling on Christmas blasphemous. I’m not one of them. And it seems I’m not alone – the place was booked solid. There were no more rooms available.
I went with a friend from the RV park in Pizzaville (population: 12, probably). We met up with my sweet Calif/Texan friend. I lost all my money. They both won. A lot.
Since arriving in the Texas countryside I’ve seen loose chickens scratchin’ and peckin’ in front yards. There can be anywhere from five to ten chickens at a time. They aren’t wild by any means, but they are true “free range” chickens. There are no fences and the edge of the lawn will go right to the edge of the road – where the chicken could cross – if it wanted to.
Brightly colored, big metal chickens are all over Texas. I’m sure they’re meant as some kind of warning to the live chickens. Like big chicken crossing guards.
But the chickens don’t ever cross the road. I have no idea why they don’t cross the road. Maybe they heed the silent warning of the big metal chickens.
Hi, remember me? It’s only been a couple weeks since I blogged, but it seems like forever to me. So, I’m blogging instead of doing my laundry or cleaning my house.
Wondering what I’ve been up to, besides living in filth? I’ve been sightseeing the last couple weekends (I saw some historical stuff, and a beautiful park), had a guest stay for almost a week, and then attended a formal event for the newspaper.
Meanwhile, I confirmed that my Yahoo editor has moved on to bigger and better things. I sure do miss her. After several months, it seems they are still unable to replace her. This means my articles sit in the cue, unpublished. *sigh* So, I’m looking for other freelance writing opportunities. (Please let me know if you’ve had success with any platforms.)
Now that you’re all caught up, I promise a few travel posts and a Pye update are coming soon. To hold you over, I bribe you with pie. No, not furry Pye, but a fresh strawberry tart, one of my most favorite desserts.
She’s a baby Alligator Snapping Turtle, and her soft shell is only about one inch long. This is an extreme closeup photo – she’s only about the size of a quarter. Despite her small start, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in the world. Ranger Roscoe is fascinated by her tiny little tail. (you can see it in the above photo)
We’re keeping Myrtle in a tank until her shell hardens and she gets a little bigger – and looks less like a snack. Her little shell will grow to a couple feet across. She’ll also get a big, snapping beak, and may live as long as 120 years.
When I was first in Rockport, Texas last year, I searched RoadsideAmerica.com for local odd roadside attractions. I saw one item: a post stating the World’s Largest Blue Crab was no longer there.
What? NO giant crab? I live for seeing giant, wacky stuff like that. It just makes me laugh; I don’t know why. So I was disappointed to learn it had been destroyed by the big storms, removed, and buried (???) long ago. Ooh, I wonder where the grave is?
Well, I settled for the “Big Tree” in nearby Lamar, and the “World’s Longest Fishing Pier”. Seeing as how this is Texas, the Land Where Everything Is Bigger, I was expecting a MASSIVE tree. Having been a long-time resident of northern California, the Land of the Giant Sequoias and Oaks, I was a bit disappointed when I saw the size of the ‘Big Tree’.
As fortune would have it I get to visit my friends on the Texas coast fairly often. You can imagine my delight during a recent trip when I saw the World’s Largest Blue Crab was back! I made my friend stop so I could take pictures.
Big Blue, the World’s Largest Blue Crab, Rockport, Texas.
One cannot spend any amount of time at all near Austin, Texas without hearing about Longhorns. Yup, they’re a breed of cattle. (see below)
Some type of (pissed off) longhorn with curly horns. I blame the humidity for the curly horns; it does the same thing to my hair.
But – more importantly to many Texans – the Longhorns are a college football team.
Many years ago, I watched football all the time, particularly in the era of Joe Montana (past QB for the SF 49ers). With the exception of watching the Super Bowls for the commercials, I haven’t watched individual games in a very long time. Sadly, there are no 49er fans (that I’ve found) here in the middle of cow country. In fact, I get the distinct impression Texans prefer college football to league football. Since the 49ers are in the super bowl I’ll be glued to the TV tonight. There is ONE 49er fan in cow country.
But guess what? This post isn’t about football! It is about “World’s Largest” goofy sights in Austin. But, wait! There’s more…