Saturday, November 18, 2006

Notes from the Road (Stephenville Edition, Parts 4A and 4B)

As I've said before, the trip to Stephenville, besides being the most picturesque of all the trips I take to visit my fraternity chapters, always seems to generate some blogworthy material. Today's collection is a combination of the things I saw on my trip there last month and the things from last night/this morning. (On both westbound trips, for reasons of time, I went the "boring" way from Ft. Worth--I-20 west to 281 south, instead of the more desirable 377, mostly to miss all the stoplights. While I think I got there faster, there was less to see, and I went the usual scenic route on the way back. Still, the different route did provide me with a few things I hadn't seen before.)
  • Everyone has seen the giant inflatable gorillas at car dealerships and the like, but I was amused by some of the variation in styles of the balloons in west Ft. Worth; I saw a giant chicken and Elvis within mere blocks of each other.

  • Headed west on I-20, I saw something fairly unique, but totally Texas: the Silverado Cowboy Church.

  • On 281, I was amused by a sign for Natty Flat Road. Moments later, I would discover that there's an entire community of Natty Flat ("a small dot on the map with a big place in your heart") that includes the Natty Flat Smokehouse and the World's Largest Cedar Rocker. (Click over to page 5 on the site to read how Natty Flat got its name.)

  • Another sign you won't likely see on any road in Dallas: LLAMAS FOR SALE.

  • And one more: SPECIAL HEIFER SALE (go ahead, make a "short bus" joke--you know you want to).

  • A great name for an RV park: the Camel Stop (as the link says, it's in Dublin, and yes, I did get a few more six-packs of that town's famous elixir while I was in the area; I wasn't out yet, but it's always good to stock up.

  • The weirdest two restaurants to share a building: A sushi place and a donut shop. (I wonder how much cross-business they get.)

  • And finally, the most direct and to-the-point name for a restaurant: "Let's Eat," in Bluff Dale.
Previous Notes from the Road, Stephenville Edition:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Tripping the lights? Not so fantastic: I doubt that anyone in Granbury reads this blog, but if they do, I have one request: Pleeeeeeease think about synchronizing the traffic signals on 377! There's been a lot of growth in this area since i started making this trip on a regular basis, and the fact that the main road seems to have to stop for sidestreets at every other intersection makes this the one place I really dread going through on my trip, and I'm sure I'm not alone. When a major U.S. highway goes through town, I feel that there's a special obligation not only to get your own citizens from place to place, but also to ferry the long-distance commuters through town in an efficient manner. (I also notice that, in the main shopping areas, the stores are set far enough back from the road that it appears some service roads could be built; I wonder if any TxDOT money is available to either do that or at least get the signals in synch.)

Road kill café: I have no idea why, but I saw more dead possums in the road on this trip than I had in probably any previous five trips combined. The carrion-eaters had a field day today, no doubt...

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