Amarillo by...midday??

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Yesterday was a driving day.  We waited on the storms to clear for a bit in the morning and then started making our way up through Texas.  On our way out of Waco we indulged in kolaches (that spelling is probably WAY off) which is a fancy name for a big ‘ol pig-in-a blanket and are oh so divine. We saw A LOT of windmills, cows and mesquite trees.  We took a little 5 minute detour so we can say that we’ve been to Oklahoma. We did a whole lot of sitting and the kids took a few accidental naps.

A highlight from the day was certainly our lunch location.  We were wanting some “real Texas barbecue” for lunch so when we got to Wichita Falls we sought some out and man oh man did we outdo ourselves.  I’ve never felt more Texas in my life.  The Branding Iron is a hole-in-the-wall type place where you grab your school tray, pick your choice of meats and then serve yourself the available sides.  They only take cash and give you a mason jar for your drink. The decor was dark and a little gritty with a touch of cowboy flair thrown in. And if all this isn’t textbook enough, to top it all off, the sheriff and his wife came in, nodded to say they would have their usual and took their regular seats. My food tasted like it was served right up on the Ponderosa (wrong state I know but lets not get technical).  Mission accomplished. 

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With a tip of the hat and a spin of the spur we continued towards Caprock Canyon State Park. Evan and I were excited to see what the park had to offer and the kids just wanted to know what was in Turkey, Texas (well Gray and Kyrie anyway, Phoenix just chilled in his carseats and dreamt of milk). They repeated "Turkey Texas Turkey Texas” all afternoon because apparently that is hilarious!  Just beyond Turkey is Quitaque, Texas.  These towns are absolutely in the middle of nowhere and neither have hit 450 citizens as of yet.  Im pretty sure one of them will be the next set for a Hallmark Christmas movie.   Fun fact about Quitaque: it is pronounced “Kitty-quay.”  We were WAY off on our pronunciation but apparently so was the rest of the world because the phonetical spelling can be found on the metal welcome to town sign as you arrive. We were too deep into a pronunciation lesson to be clear headed enough for a picture of the sign. I’m sorry that we’ve failed you.

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After we took 5 minutes to meet all the patrons in town we made our way through the gates of Caprock Canyon and I MUST tell you, that place is INCREDIBLE!  We had no idea what the state park had to offer and it was a beautiful surprise after a long day in the car.  We set up the camper as quickly as we could and took off exploring the incredible scenery.  There are red mountains below the prairies as far as the eye can see (and that is a crazy long distance in Texas). There are bison roaming. There are hills and valleys and deer and prairie days and road runners and SO MANY more animals. There are incredible sunsets! There are truly incredible sights everywhere you turn.  I’ll drive all day, any day, for a few hours of that! 

Yesterdays take-home: God’s creation is truly incredible.  This is something I know but something I’m seeing in a whole new way on this trip.  The views from the passenger seat are a constant wonder.  Each state is so different in so many ways and being able to study them so closely and so close together shows just how magnificent our God truly is.  My mind is already blown by what I’ve seen and I know we are just scratching the surface.

We’re on our longest drive day today and just entered New Mexico. Happy trails!