After a decent lie in (which annoyed the cleaning crew no end) I loaded up the bike and headed south. The ride was uneventful. The development around Midland and Odessa was amazing. It’s a real boom there due to the energy they are now able to extract at economical prices. My family rememberst traveling through the area in the early 1980’s when the opposite was true- the area went through some hard times.
I stopped for lunch at a BBQ place in Odessa called Jack Jordan’s. They had a smoker fired up right in front of the restaurant, and it smelled great. In the restaurant there were clear signs that the owner is a gearhead. Ducati posters, a signed poster from the Pratt & Miller Corvette ALMS team, and tons of airplane stuff. Upon entering the bathroom I was confronted with this:
I had a brisket sandwich, which was pretty good. The sides were a little bland, but the flavor of the brisket made up for it. I think I probably was supposed to add lots of BBQ sauce, but I wanted to see what the food tasted like, not the sauce. I was pleased to note that they had left, if not all, at least some of the fat on the brisket. That really made the flavor jump out. Also, I suspect they were using some sort of vinegar-based basting concoction, because the bark was very tender and had a faintly sour and tangy taste. It was delicious. Next time I am through there I shall try with the sauce and see what I think.
The drive through this part of Texas is fast, and there’s a lot going on, but there’s not much to look at unless you’re a fan of explosive development and geek out about oilfield services equipment. Not much worth taking photos of, plus I wanted to make good time so I could finally see my parents again, however briefly.
The drive from roughly Fort Stockton south gets much better. The scenery gradually changes. You pass a huge pecan grove, which I’d never noticed before. By the time you get to Alpine you can tell there are mountains ahead. The drive south from Alpine to Terlingua is a great motorcycle road. Nothing very tight, but lots of higher-speed sweepers that let you settle into the corner and roll on the throttle. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed riding a motorcycle like this.
I got to La Kiva around 4pm and almost didn’t recognize the place. The level of rebuilding going on is staggering. I will try to get some good pictures to post (or to send over to my Dad’s blog at www.la-kiva.com )
We had a lovely dinner at the Startlight Theatre and heard some good live music., including “The Mines of Terlingua” which is really starting to grow on me. (It was featured in this documentary: http://www.ghosttown24.com/p/home.html )
Then we went over to some friends of my parents and watched the stars from their back patio, which overlooks a sharp dropoff with a stunning view.
Because the fifth wheel didn’t make it down, my accommodations are my tent, which is a little earlier than planned. I pitched it next to my bike in the parking lot and went to sleep.