The first day of our Rocky Mountain adventure was spent driving from Dallas to Amarillo. We added some time to our trip by avoiding the shorter route through Fort Worth, which includes some of the most treacherous construction traffic we’ve ever experienced.
Driving west toward Abilene and then north to Amarillo requires plenty of caffeine and a touch of transcendental meditation. The former keeps you awake while the latter gives you something to do besides look at the seemingly endless miles of oil and gas fields, horse and cattle ranches, wind farms and decaying Texas towns and snaking trains hauling shipping containers from untold points of origin (chances are China).
The topography in this region of Texas consists primarily of gently rolling plains speckled with shrubs and grasses sprouting from coarse sands to tight clays and shales.
Upon arriving at the Amarillo KOA, we were engulfed in a thunderstorm that brought drenching rains, gusty winds and penny-sized hail. The storm was so sudden and strong that it produced a microburst of 60- to 70-mile-per-hour winds that destroyed a historic hanger at the nearby Amarillo airport.
We hunkered down in the cab of the truck waiting for the storm–and the flash floods–to dissipate. Finally, after 30 minutes of being buffeted about, we got to work setting up for the night.
Chef Cliff grilled pork chops to perfection, accompanied by cob corn and Italian pole green beans. We even had time to meet some fellow Airstreamers from Garland before taking a late-night walk cooled by northern breezes.