Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

" A flyspeck on the map - a rest stop on the way to the ski slope. I can't even get real drugs here." - Booger, Better Off Dead

This is the underside of a picnic area I saw on the roadway. I decided to do an artsy picture. I call this one, "Woody Allen meets Woody Harrelson at Starbucks and they fight over who has to pay for the creamy cappuchinos so they channel the ghost of Woodrow Wilson to settle the issue bloodlessly."

After stopping at the Capulin Volcano, I began to ponder. Although this particular volcano was older than recorded human settlement, there have been volcanoes that have gone off while people were around (Pompeii, Krakatoa, Russell Crowe) and I wondered what would have happened if Al Gore had been a Roman Senator . . . I think it would have gone something like this . . .

Senator Albertus Goreus (the Elder): “My fellow citizens of Roman, it is clear that by starting fires to selfishly heat our house, we are causing what I call Global Core Heating. If you look at my PowerParchment presentation, you can plainly see that the number of volcanoes is directly related to the number of Romans building fires. I suggest that we abandon fire and freeze to death in the dark. Thank you.”

Regardless, we were headed back into Texas. Sneakily, I lulled The Mrs. to sleep by listening to a financial talk radio show. My plan had been to attempt to drive as far as possible before stopping. Preferably, we’d stop at home. If I could only figure out a way to make The Mrs. sleep for another nine hours . . .

A ways past Amarillo, we decided to stop because fluid system pressures had reached a critical level, so announced by The Boy. Conveniently, a rest stop was only two hours down the road. (I know I’m evil). And, what a rest stop it was.

In New Mexico, we’d stopped at a rest stop along the interstate that had a bucket covering a hole where a toilet had been broken off, with a rotting ceiling and a decorative pond that hadn’t seen water since around the last time Courtney Love took a shower.

The Rest Stop of the Gods.

In Texas, along a (sparsely) traveled road, a 65,000 square foot rest stop awaited, complete with:
  • free wireless Internet,
  • driving directions computers,
  • covered picnic area,
  • play ground,
  • cable television,
  • vending machines,
  • free Pez and pantyhose dispensers,
  • and the nicest public restroom I’ve ever seen . . .
There were granite counters in the restroom and marble tiles on the floor. This particular rest area was bigger and nicer than any house I’ve ever lived in or visited.

The Central Brain of the Rest Stop. Oh, sure it looks friendly, but I've learned from movies that all computers look friendly until they lock the doors shut and try to impregnate you with their computer baby.

My guess is the difference between the rest stop in New Mexico and the one in Texas was all the sweet, sweet oil and gas money that fills the coffers of the state (which, like Alaska has no state income tax) so much that they were embarrassed and had to build a rest stop fit for conversion into a palace for the Queen should she decide that England just wasn’t big enough and pick Donley County, Texas as the place to move the monarchy to.

Even the sign for the place cost more than my car. If you notice the monitors, it hooks into the cameras for the central computer brain. Perhaps this is where that whole "computers taking over the world" thing starts - a rest stop in Texas.

We got back on the road. The Mrs. finally put her foot down, metaphorically, and said that, since up ahead in the distance, she’d seen a shimmering light. She said her head was heavy and her sight was dim. We had to stop for the night. In . . . Quanah, Texas.

See, the rest stop is even hooked up to teh Intrapipes. Fear the rest stop! It probably paid for all these nice upgrades itself!

We stopped at the Best Western and grabbed a room. I ushered The Mrs., The Boy, and Pugsley up into the room, and proceeded to make the trip down to the car for the 721 pounds (6 kilograms) of necessities that we’d brought with us. As I opened the trunk, another couple with kids were unloading their car.

“Hey, didn’t we see you at the volcano?” By volcano, they meant the one we’d been at nine hours and hundreds of miles ago . . .

Indeed, when The Boy and I were running down into and back up from the crater, I think we made quite an impression on them. We Wilders are like that – not everybody thinks of running into a volcano, though I will admit the running away from the volcano isn’t an original idea. Soon enough, the Wilders hit the pool, only to be followed again by the people I now call the Stalker Family.

The Wilders and Stalkers had fun in the pool, including the water-phobic The Boy. He impressed the young Stalker ladies by doing math I thought beyond him . . . “If you’re twelve, you were born in 1995 . . . “

My son, six years old, was hitting on the twelve year old Stalker girl.

I’m going to need to keep a sharp eye on The Boy.

Newbie Alcohol Users
10 Years


Blogger Jeffro said...

I've been to that rest stop - NW of Childress on 287?? Pretty dern impressive. Tejas is building some serious new rest areas these days. Never had time to boot up and check out the free intertubes. That Best Western in Quanah is pretty new, too. Sure looks nice driving by, anyhow.

6:03 PM  
Blogger brotherbill said...

Thanks for the tip, John. I've been meaning to relocate and Tejas sounds great. Free internet, TV and clean restrooms are a treat for an old tramp. If, in your travels, you find yourselves back at this rest stop, NW of Childress on 287, look for me. All y'all may see my feet sticking out from the back of my pick-up, and be assured I am home. Stop by and introduce y'selves. Feeding the panhandle panhandlers is permitted.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I understand there are a lot of New Orleanites that have also found Tejas to be quite inviting. They get to live in paid housing and just be friendly state guests. Maybe Tejas should not build so many nice rest stops, get some of those folks back home to the mess they left.

I did start singing once I saw the Mrs. sight grew dim, good one. So here's a hundred bottles of beer on the wall for you!!

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a New Mexican at heart, I'd be inclined to call the Texas rest stop excessive and the New Mexican one...utilitarian. It sounded really gross, though. The hair isn't as big in NM, and there are fewer SUV's. And better skiing. ;)

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a pretty rest stop. Around here its a hole in the ground to pee in. lol

5:37 PM  
Blogger John said...

As a rest stop, it may be the Taj Mahal of rest stops. It is truly amazing to see such a wonderful place to go #1 and #2.

you forgot the free Pez, what we call, "the fifth food group."

Ummm, I think they're still here, but apparently, given enough if I left a trail of breadcrumbs back to New Orleans, that would work itself out.

Mmmmm. Beer.

FYI - whenever I try to post over at your place, well, it tells me I'm spam. It makes me feel sad.

Also, I agree with the commentary. This rest stop was over the rest stop top.

I just need ground. Oh, sure, a hole would be nice, but ground works.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may or may not remmeber a particular road trip we took once upon a time but you commented on how perfectly the Colorado Highway Department placed rest stops. You surmised that the person in charge of placement must have driven the roads while drinking fairly liberally. The placement of rest stops was determined by when his back teeth began to float, so to speak. Along I-25 they're all in different spots now. I guess they've got a different person deciding placement now. Different person, different bladder capacity.

7:19 AM  
Blogger John said...

Peeing is important, Mine!

6:25 PM  

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