They took us to NASA where we toured space exhibits and had lunch with Astronaut Dr. Tom Jones who took time to pose for pictures.
The next day Stan and I drove to Austin for a two day visit with Major General Len Smith the Assistant Adjutant General of the Texas Army National Guard, Stan's son, and his wife Cindy. The LBJ Presidential Library and State Capitol building were scheduled for visits, but first, the one thing every visitor to Texas should experience:
The Salt Lick Barbecue at Driftwood Texas.
Just looking at the picture of the Open Pit Barbecue makes me hungry all over again.
Hundreds of people waited up to two hours to be served.The festive atmosphere, music and beer made the waiting an experience in itself.
The building was filled with several floors of picture, videos, sculptures and page after page of his home spun quotations and salty humor.
It should be in print and on-line by Sunday February 1st.
It was a fun interview and I even got to give Leah, the reporter, a ride in the sidecar.
Thanks Joni for setting that up. Your contacts in the publishing world never cease to amaze me.
Following the visit and dinner with Joni and Gary it was time to continue the ride west.
Saturday morning I left Stan and the cold Texas rain behind, or so I thought, and headed off toward Kerrville, Texas.
After camping in a night that dropped to 31 degrees I renamed it Koolville.
That was one night I should have opted for a motel.
Fortunately Stan had taken me to a Lowe's Home Center the day before and I purchased a small electric heater. It ran all night and managed to ward off some of the cold.
The next day I headed off on I-10 for Fort Stockton, on my way to Roswell, New Mexico.
Camping was great at the KOA and by morning I was ready to visit Roswell and it's famed UFO Museum and research Center.
Passed through Pecos, New Mexico on the way and got a great picture.
Glad I spotted that sign in time to get a good picture.
And then a beautiful bronze sculpture.
Texas and New Mexico towns are not too close together so before crossing the state line into New Mexico I was running very low on gas.
There didn't seem to be any towns near enough on the Interstate so I took a chance, pulled off I-10 and headed for a small town a few miles away.
I made it, but I was running on fumes before I got there.
But the good thing was that it was Sunday morning and a small church had a service that was about to begin.
I walked in during the first hymn and was made to feel right at home.
They had no organ but had two guitar players, one of whom had a great voice and led the song service. What a beautiful service at St. Jame Lutheran Church in Harper, Texas.
Dr. Jessie Marcel was a man I had read about years earlier.
He was 12 years old in 1947 when his Father, a Major in the US Air Force was the first member of the military to view the site where a reported UFO had crashed.
His Father gathered up pieces of the craft and brought them home to show his son at 2am in the morning.
Air Force officers picked up the alleged UFO fragments the next morning and took them away.
Although first reports from the base information office referred to it as a UFO, the air force soon put out a news report that it was a weather balloon.
Dr. Marcell said, "some people have called me a UFO nut, but I know what I saw and it was not of this world." He never wavered from that belief.
One of the exhibits showed the early news paper stories.
The UFO Museum Research Center.
I spent several interesting hours at the UFO Museum.
It is well done with tasteful, thoughtful exhibits and presents a clear picturfe of both Government and Private UFO Research.
The $3.00 admission seemed very reasonable and I said so to the the lady at the desk. She said it is to make the facility available to all.
The next stop on my ride for today ride was the Carlsbad Caverns, a great place to visit but a hard place to do pictures since it is kept dark with lights on special features.
It was a great tour and one that I will cover in more depth on a future entry.
At this writing I am sitting in a Days Inn Motel waiting for the Arizona winter rain storms to end so that I might continue the journey to San Jose, California, home of some Grand and Great kids.
There are flood warnings out for creeks and washes throughout the Tucson area and I will stay inside where it is both warm and dry.
Watch for me.
I'll be in the Right Lane America.
Del "Lonnie" Lonnquist