and then it stretches over 500 miles south beyond that to the Gulf of Mexico, or more or less the same as the Sahara! Then to top it all yesterday when we left Austin we did so in fog for goodness sake!
Actually once we got on the road it wasn't quite so bad. We took the I-35 north, although a road, it's like a ribbon city with a repeating pattern. The so called 'box stores' line the route that never sleeps with endless monotony. I-Hop (pancakes), Whataburger, Wal Mart, HEB (supermarket) Home depot (B&Q) Best Buys (Electrical) Target ( Dept store) Super 8 Motel etc etc and then the same all over again. On this stretch though, that monotony is sometimes broken by gigantic overpasses linking the development to the east and west. We found ourselves back amongst the lorries, sorry, trucks and even found some of those concrete barriers that Malc loves so much, where the lanes narrow alarmingly and he just hangs on. Add to that the trucks that come hurtling onto the freeway with scant regard to the existing traffic. But we've had all this before.
Nearing our campsite, we left the racetrack to join 'Frontage Road' (there is one of those in every town, running parallel, with one way traffic the same way as the freeway) and straight into a very new experience, this frontage road was two way and there was a small truck coming at us! Well he did actually stop as there was a yield sign but it did cause my heart to leap out of its usual spot! And Malc to express his surprise rather graphically! However we survived and by the time we got to our destination my heart was just about back where it belonged. If all that sounds confusing...it was!
This morning was much more promising, bright sunshine but a bitter wind. We braved the frontage road again in Toad, warily passing the very short ramps feeding the Freeway; knowing that it was our turn to yield should an 18 wheeler come careering off, we made our way into Waco. If you recall we had chatted to a chap in the hot tub at the camp site on Mustang Is. who had told us about the Dr Pepper Museum here and that's where we were headed.
It was very interesting, with material presented in a variety of ways to keep your attention, lots of artefacts and quirky little tit bits.
Didn't really know much about the elixir before but do now! Bet you didn't know you can use it in cooking or that it is served hot - we tried it in the soda fountain on the premises and it was yum!
And do you know why it's called Soda pop?
Or that it precedes coke by a year. There happened to be a film crew there today, apparently filming a fashion show for local TV, sadly they had enough models!! www.drpeppermuseum.com/About-Us/History-Of-Dr--Pepper.aspx
We also visited the 'famous' suspension bridge that spans the Brazos, another photo opportunity, where Malc made friends with some more birds!
Oh, and just a little something for our boys - these roads were about 2 miles apart and we're actually camped between Leo and Ross - spooky eh?
We never expected Texas to be cold; well you don't do you when you see how far south it is. Even its northern border is about the same latitude as north Africa