On the road again
Another day, another breakfast venue!
No sooner had we set off than it was Texas-time. We crossed the state line on an ordinary country road though, so no fanfare, no song and dance and just a small, unassuming sign.
Mind you, there was a reminder on every sign from then on.
We had a long drive today and my hero had identified a couple of places worth taking a break. The first one was in Marshall.
The Marshall Depot was the home of the Texas and Pacific Railroad Museum.
Here, we met Laura who gave us the lowdown and he who knows about such things was quite impressed.
After a quick look around the displays, we ventured outdoors into the intense heat where Laura unlocked the caboose…
This was where the crew had made themselves at home on the immensely long journeys they made and it was kitted out rather like a caravan inside.
The huge engine alongside was there to be explored too.
I could see my seat waiting there, so climbed inside and made myself at home.
I even waved to a fellow driver across the way
Mind you, it wasn’t easy to see where I was going – what a good job the rails are there to keep the train on track.
That was that then, for the T&P. We thanked and said ‘bye to Laura and set off on our way once again.
We knew we’d have to take the Interstate later, but for now, the US 80 was just fine.
We were heading for Kilgore and the East Texas Oil Museum.
We watched an introductory video in which we learned that this museum had an international reputation for excellence and led the world in its field.
The first few exhibits were focused on life in East Texas when the oil was first discovered. I admired the way the ephemera had been displayed and yes, it had been well put together.
As we admired the immaculately presented Ford motor car, however, we were corralled by the “Master Docent”, an elderly gentleman who wanted to tell us his story. We were ready to move on, though, eager to learn about what we’d come here for: oil. So, at the first opportunity, I did my best to escape.
“C’mon over here!”
He spotted us moving on before he had finished what he had to say. He was standing by an old ice box; the predecessor of a fridge, and wanted to tell us about how his Mother made him ice cream on the 4th of July. Thankfully, by now, another family had appeared and with the cover of additional people standing around, we made our escape into the next room. I felt mean, for after all, the man had a wealth of information to share. But we had limited time and didn’t really want to stand listening to his ramblings when we’d come to view the museum.
So when we stepped into the next room and heard a voice calling to us and attracting our attention, we looked up for fear of having been followed! How could he have climbed that lamp post though?
We had nothing to fear. The museum was set around several dioramas, some of which had “live” action figures telling a story and this chap was introducing the story of how the discovery of oil brought huge changes to this area.
Most were set in a bit of a ramshackle scene which could have used some of the same focus as the first displays.
Some were a bit spooky, like this newspaper editor whose chest inflated and deflated rather extravagantly but who was otherwise lifeless.
But I think it was the “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” that pushed us over the edge. It was time to hit the road again and leave the people of Kilgore to tell their story to some less cynical visitors!
Almost two hours later, we were approaching our destination.
Well, it seemed like a good idea…
With the skyscrapers of Dallas shining like the Emerald City on the horizon, we counted down the miles to Fort Worth.
Even the flags are bigger in Texas!
We plan a couple of days fun here in Fort Worth and have just enjoyed dinner at Riscky’s, possibly the first meal I’ve had in ages that didn’t include shrimp!
Goodnight then, from the Lone Star State x