Two weeks ago I went to beautiful (not) Odessa, TX. Since I decided to stay longer, I needed a few groceries and other supplies that aren't available locally, and Odessa is the nearest place with large chain grocery stores, Target, sporting goods stores, and so on. I stayed overnight at a nearby state park, got my oil changed, and spent more money on groceries than I think I've ever spent in one trip. So I'm pretty well stocked with long-storing fruit (over 10 percent of the bill was just apples!), veggies, shelf-stable milk, cereal, and so on. I have to say, though, that Odessa is definitely not a place I would want to live. It actually smells bad from the oil-production pollution, traffic is horrendous, and Motel 6 is $99.95 a night (so you can imagine what rent is like!) I sort of hope that I just missed the pretty part.
The state park was nice, though. Here are a few pictures:
The dunes were covered with sunflowers. Most had gone to seed, but you could imagine how fabulous it must have been in September. A lot of the plants were at least 8 feet tall!
This past weekend was sort of a "busman's holiday." I went with some fellow volunteers to Seminole Canyon State Park. They have a lot of Native rock art, including some that's restricted access; you can only see it if you take one of the guided tours that they only give twice a year. It was a pretty strenuous hike through some dry river beds and canyons, with a fair amount of bouldering, and some of the rock art is pretty fabulous. There's also some remnants of the railroad era and the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts earned their Congressional Medals of Honor there.
Because it was a fairly big group hike and the people I was with had really good cameras, I didn't take a lot of pictures, but I did get a few good shots.
Which, apparently, are too big to post here. Oh, well, I'll try again later. Impressive water-carved boulders, enigmatic rock paintings (my favorite is the one they call "bunnies in a steamboat"), and pretty fossils. Well worth going if you're ever in Southwest Texas.