…that belong to Dons and Dawns
Day 3: In which we visit several goofy places in Texas, but not until after chasing critters through the desert.
(NOTE: Despite the real world passing of our beloved Lucy, she will continue on awhile in this con report.)
We were just about to get on the bus at 7:00 this morning when, as it so often does on these trips of ours, all hell broke loose.
(Flash: I must agree with Dad’s assessment of events.)
It seems that a big old jackrabbit chose to sleep under the bus and as we approached across Aunt Pearl’s lawn, he took off running. We humans, of course, were holding leashes loosely and talking and didn’t see the rabbit.
But Lucy, Sasha, Sadie, Flash, Leon, Abby & Bea did.
(Lucy: Humans can never know what madness comes over a dog when a rabbit takes off running.)
(Sadie: I dunno. You’ve never seen my dad at a used game sale.)
(Sasha: But we’ve seen our dad at a used book sale.)
(Lucy: Yeah, I guess you guys have a point.)
(Leon: I’d never seen a jackrabbit before! Holy crap, they’re big!)
(Flash: And I’ll bet they’re tasty, too!)
Lucy had Flash riding in his usual place on her back, while Leon was riding on Abby’s back. The whole mess of them took off like a shot after the rabbit and we all took off after them. I have no idea why the goats were involved in the chase.
(Abby: Because it’s fun to go running. Also, Leon was yelling “Giddy up!”)
(Bea: Plus, it’s a known fact that a couple of running people can gather up a bigass crowd of runners.)
Sasha was in the lead when the lawn gave way to open desert. She was determined to get that jackrabbit. Sadie was not far behind her.
(Sasha: Chasing rabbits is what a basset hound was born to do. Being a sporty model basset means I can chase ’em faster!)
(Sadie: It was thrilling!)
The rabbit was pulling ahead when suddenly, three more rabbits jumped up and ran in different directions. Naturally, the critters split up to chase them.
(Flash: As we have noticed on previous trips, Texas is full of jackrabbits.)
We had been chasing them for about 15 minutes, with Sasha & Sadie being completely out of sight when Grace yelled to me “Use the stun thing, dummy!”, at which point I cursed myself roundly and pressed the clicker on my keychain that both stunned all of our critters AND teleported them to lockdown in the Meadow Room.
Then we all got on the bus and headed out, sweaty, swearing, dirty and considering the advantages of goldfish as pets. The amount of critter love was at a low point. Later, there will be baths, oh yes. And for the critters, too.
(Flash: Son of a bitch! It happened again! Back in the friggin’ Meadow Room!)
(Sasha: Dogdamnit! I nearly had that long eared bastard!)
(Leon: What the fuck just happened? Abby and I were about to cut off a rabbit. I was ready to pounce!)
(Bea: I had just leaped over a rock, then POOF!, I’m back here.)
(Sadie: Ok, that right there was some strange stuff! How did we get here?)
(Abby: I don’t know, but enjoy it, because Mom says we are in for a long stretch.)
(Flash: Well, if we’ve gotta do time, this beats the hell out of a cage.)
(Lucy: Well, I’m damned tired, so I’m gonna nap.)
(Sasha: Yeah, Sis, you get some rest.)
While Data drove, we humans took showers and I had the SmartBots wash up the critters.
(Flash: Torture me all you want, you mechanical screws! You’ll never break me!)
(Leon: Give me a bath, eh, you damned Dalek? I will SO pee on you first chance I get.)
(Sadie: Well, you’ve got to admit, the SmartBots are fast and efficient.)
(Flash: So is a laxative, but I don’t want one of them either.)
Cleaned and refreshed and with the critters drying off in Pet Prison (I swear I heard a harmonica)…
(Sasha: That was Leon playing “I’m In The Jailhouse Now”)
…we humans got out of the bus to visit the World Famous Cattle Museum. I believe that we all learned a great deal about beef cattle and the ranching thereof. No fridge magnets, but the t-shirts were pretty cool. Oddly, right across the street was a Barbecue joint, but we were all still full from breakfast.
(Sasha: Dude, let us at that barbecue! I could eat the hell outta some ribs and brisket!)
(Sadie: Yep, bones right here, please!)
Our next stop was the West Texas Museum. For about an hour, we learned all about the history of western Texas, much of which involved settlers braving the harsh environment, which included marauding Native Americans, Mexicans, people from other states, outlaws, coyotes, drought, starvation….
(Sadie: Who the heck starves surrounded by cows?)
(Abby: Apparently, Texans did.)
…disease and rattlesnakes. All told, West Texas was a pretty fucked place to live back in the day. And parts of it aren’t much better today.
(Sasha: If you are a dog, pretty much all of Texas smells like either a cow or a jackrabbit, but West Texas smells like dry & dusty cows and jackrabbits. And rattlesnakes.)
(Bea: NOT a fan of rattlesnakes!)
We bought a bunch of gift store stuff and were about to depart town when we spied that most dangerous of road trip encounters, a used book store.
(Flash: Oh shit, we can kiss at least an hour goodbye here.)
(Abby: Yep, time for a siesta.)
(Sasha: Hey, Sadie and Bea, come take a walk with me across the meadow. I want to talk to you.)
The book store was small (the 10 of us pretty much filled it up), but had some good finds, including pulp reprints, ACE Doubles sci-fi paperbacks and a rather surprisingly large mystery section. All told, we dropped a bundle there. The owner said it was more than he usually made in a week.
By now, we were getting hungry, but good eating was still a couple hours away, so we raided the Chocolate Closet. Just a nibble, mind you, but yum yum!
After that, we settled in to play some card games (“Set”, “Falling”, “Zombie Fluxx” and “Aquarius”) until we reached our lunch stop “The Best Damned Chicken Fried Steak In Texas”. Yes, that is the actual name, which was gotten when they won a statewide competition. Now, there were other places nearby to eat, but I would risk the unholy wrath of my ancestors if I didn’t try the best CFS in Texas, so in we went, accompanied by the now on parole critters.
(Flash: I’m so hungry I could eat a whole steer!)
(Leon: Me too, brother cat!)
(Abby: WTF? You guys just ate like, a dozen meadow mice each.)
(Flash: Mice are but a snack, eater of plants.)
(Abby: How about I butt your tiny tiger looking ass across Texas?)
Inside the place, the staff was great and had our grub to us in no time. The critters got plates of food and we all chowed down.
Folks, if I die right now never having eaten another thing, I’ll go happy. Mom, Grandma Bertha, I love you and your chicken fried steaks, but this place would school you. Mmmmm by God mmmmm!
(Sasha: Holy Moley! Dad ate a CFS that would have taken me 5 minutes to walk across!)
(Lucy: And he still finished all of the mashed potatoes and fried okra!)
(Leon: The rest of the humans ate like starving wolves, too.)
(Abby: Not one of them ate a salad.)
(Flash: Of course not, because…)
(Abby: Shut it, furball!)
(Bea: Heehee. Abby: 2, Flash: 0)
Despite us now being waddle inclined and feeling drowsy, we locked the critters on the bus and went over to a small roadside attraction with a sign that said “See the Underground House!”
(Sasha: WOAH! Pentallian high security force fields!)
(Sadie: With Argizian Industries sleep gas backups!)
(Flash: Yep, Sadie is infected now. Next thing you know it’ll be a Star Trek vs Star Wars debate.)
(Sadie: No it won’t! Sasha and I both agree that Trek beats Wars any day.)
(Lucy: Now just wait a damned minute there…)
Underground houses are always pretty neat and this one, though small, was very nice. It was also at least 30 degrees cooler that the 110 degrees above ground. We almost had to pry Avis out of it.
I don’t know what the hell happened back on the bus, but Sasha, Sadie & Bea were barking and baaing at Lucy, Leon and Abby, who were barking, yowling and baaing back. Flash looked as though he was amazed or maybe disgusted by it all. Even three of the SmartBots were making noise. There was no damage done to anything, so I suppose it was some critter argument.
(Flash: I love these guys, but I will NEVER understand geeks.)
After shutting up the critters, Data started driving and we all settled in for a couple of hours of watching alternate universe episodes of Doctor Who, which dogs, cats & goats all seemed to agree on.
(Flash: Please, Ceiling Cat, do NOT let anyone ask who the best Doctor was. We all know it was Pertwee.)
These episodes were titled “Revenge of the Beastmen” and starred a thirtysomething Diana Rigg as a rather steampunkish Doctor. All four episodes were excellent. Some of us may have napped a bit.
(Sasha: Mom hit the sack halfway through the first episode.)
Around 6:15, we pulled into the Pecos Bill Campground and parked the bus for the night. As I write this, prep cook Zach is getting things ready for a dinner of pasta, veggies, sausages and refreshing beverages. For desert, I shall be making fresh peach ice cream.
(Lucy: Did he say “sausages”?)
(Abby: Did he say “veggies”?)
More blogging tomorrow, on the short final leg of our trip.
Destination Sign when we started: Valhalla
Destination Sign when we ended: The Wrong Side Of The Tracks
Radio Station of the Day: Oldies Radio, Philly Sound Edition