South Texas...

Posted on 19th May, 2016

Our plan today was to see if we could make do with a poor weather set up and we head to south west Texas to a town called Fort Stockton.  This is really not too far from the Mexican border and probably isn't the best place to be. We set off from the Best Western in Irving at 11 am on a 436 mile trip.


We knew the day wouldn't be a chase. The risk was across the non-chaseable US/Mexico border. Our main aim was to be able to see a bit of lightning pass by, but as we approached our destination, torrential drizzle indicated that we wouldn't get even that. 


Our tour took us down the I-20 through Abilene - whereby we stopped off in a place known as Jason's Deli - which obviously I loved. This fantastic little sandwich shop had massive portions of deli - style food. I jokingly put a post of the below selfie and a comment that I would no longer be an optometrist, but used my storm chase as a ruse to get back out into the USA and start up a chain of sandwich shops. A fair few friends found the funny side of it!  

Jason in front of Jason's Deli

Outside Jason's Deli - Abilene (Texas)


 From here we continued our journey towards Fort Stockton, stopping briefly for a toilet stop in a Huddle House in Monahans.  Quite a strange experience with a frosty reception from the waitress. We stayed for a very short time before continuing our journey south.


We arrived in Fort Stockton around 8pm and needed to quickly drop off our luggage at the hotel (a Motel 6) and make a move to the nearby Tex-Mex restaurant "Alfredo's" for an evening meal. We had long given up on the chance of any storms - the weather could only be described as slightly foggy with a touch of heavy drizzle at best. In the words of a well known football chant - we'd come a long way for nothing.  The food was ok, which was probably the best thing to be said about our stay in Fort Stockton.


Motel 6 - Fort Stockton, Texas

View from my room in the Motel 6 - Fort Stockton (Texas)


After the meal we returned to Paul's room to socialise and breif on the plan for the next few days. We were also keeping watch on the weather as a few interesting storms looked as though they were heading our way. One did eventually produce a few cloud-to-ground lightning strikes but nothing of interest (and as such wasn't even worth trying to photograph or film). 


The main interest of the night was in the room nextdoor. Raised voices, crashing about, and several Mexican men looking as though they were under the influence of some unknown substance and...did we see blood? It seemed some drug-related crime was going on nextdoor and with the sounds of violence cranking up, the hotel manager came and tried to sort it out, resulting in a visit from the Fort Stockton cops. We may have come for a lightning show, but it definitely felt that we had front-row seats for the live action version of Breaking Bad!

Our aim for the morning is to head north towards the central plains for a slight risk of storms in South Dakota.  It looks a long drive (approximately 1038 miles - *Thanks mum for finding that out for me!), so I'll be hitting my pillow shortly. Let's hope no more drama occurs before morning starts!

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