Before we left the next morning, and while drinking the free coffee, I spent some time examining a tree I'd never seen before that was planted next to the parking area. I attempted to look it up on the internet, but couldn't determine exactly what it was. I couldn't tell if it was native, or one of the trees chain hotels can plant that won't survive; especially if the manager doesn't keep up with the grounds.
The photo isn't the best, but the flowers in the morning light were a deep purple. It appeared to be thriving, so I have the feeling the architect used species that can survive in the locale climate.
Breakfast was part of the deal, so we ate what was a satisfying full breakfast before we packed, loaded the car, and headed out. It was relatively cool, and the clear skies forewarned of a hot afternoon.
There are two ways to head west from Snyder. One route is through Lamesa into Hobbs, New Mexico, and the other is taking a little jog to the northwest before turning west toward Rozwell, New Mexico. We chose the latter, since I wanted to see the city with the history of government coverup and aliens.
I wasn't expecting the scenery during the first of the trip to the New Mexico border. I was thinking it was mostly desert, sparsely vegetated, and very dry. It wasn't. The amount of plowed acreage was astounding, and many water wells, with piping, dotted the fields. There was some drier areas, but not nearly as much of the real estate was barren as I expected.
What was remarkable were the number of empty houses that appeared on the highway. I have a feeling they were farmers, or ranchers, at one time, but without the resources to drill for water, or a few bad years, the effort became futile, and they abandoned the property. Maybe the were lucky and sold it, but some probably lost their dreams to a tax lien, handily satisfied at a public auction. I doubt many had the mineral rights under their land, and if they did, the money to be made from the oil could allow leaving a hard life. I'm thinking most just sold out ( if they could) their children moved away when they could, and some just passed away in a lonely place.
Outside of Tahoka, Texas, we came upon a historical marker:
Traveling through the town of Brownfield led to a small section of the town refurbished with brick streets. The section was rough. Brick isn't good paving, unless the brick is set in concrete. This wasn't and the paving was showing the signs of uneven settling. I'm sure someone thought it was a good idea, but considering the amount spent, it will need replacing far sooner than conventional construction.
Somewhere during this time, we stopped in one of the small towns for some coffee. As we prepared to go, a chicken started across the highway, dodged the cars, arrived at our side, and promptly repeated its effort to cross back to the other side. After that, it continued on its path toward a house behind the business across the highway.
The closer we came to the New Mexico border, less signs of civilization appeared. The entire area we'd been driving in is called the High Plains, and flat is the best way to describe it. History shows it was only hospitable to nomad tribes of Native Americans at one time, and even white settlers didn't do much with it until water wells were drilled.
Reaching the border revealed only a change in pavement type, and a "Welcome Texas" sign in the rear view mirror. The highway was straight, the surrounding area was completely flat, and if it wasn't brown, it soon would be. I stopped after a few miles, and took a picture of the long straight highway. Rozwell was ahead, and it would be awhile before we arrived.