We left New Mexico last Wednesday, and here we are in Jackson, Tennessee on Sunday. After all that vast, brown, crunchy beauty of the Southwest, I have to say that the green grass, fully leafed trees, and overabundance of water in creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes are soothing to my eyes and my psyche.
We came east last year about three weeks later than this, and I seem to recall that things were not as far along as they are this year. The second week of April, 2011, found us driving into spring as we went further east and northeast. The first day of April, 2012, feels more like early summer. Not complaining. Just sayin’…
We’ve driven into and out of Amarillo (safely, this year), spent an overnight in Oklahoma City, another in Russellville, Arkansas; all the while cruising eastward, stopping in small towns offering us Antiques Malls, and Historic Route 66.
Daytime temperatures were in the low-70s in Silver City when we left, and they’ve been gradually creeping up as we move onward towards the great state of Maine. It was 87 when we arrived in Russellville last night, and it feels close to that here in Jackson.
Along the road in Texas, I saw billboards encouraging me to Stop in Shamrock, so when the exit rolled up alongside us, I slid off I-40 and headed into town. I mean, with my Irish heritage, and a town named Shamrock… what else could I do? I didn’t recall stopping there before, so why not now?
Imagine my surprise when I was confronted with this sight:
Okay, I was here last year. And as soon as I turned right onto the main drag I knew without doubt that Shamrock had been one of those disappointing little towns that promise the unsuspecting traveler great times on the billboards… and fail miserably on the drive into town.
This year, I was in for a pleasant surprise. There was a sweet little antiques shop in an old gas station on the south end of town. It was open, I made a U-turn, parked and went inside. Amongst all the other “stuff” – a lot of it really nice – I found a sweet little curio cabinet.
It’s no more than 18″ tall, maybe 16″ wide, and about 10″ deep, with glass sides, top, and door. With a well-made wooden case, and in excellent condition, it was one of the great “finds” of the trip!
It can stand on its own or be hung on the wall, and to my eye it is perfect for displaying some of my jewelry in the gallery this summer. (Yes, I am planning to open my gallery again to sell my work and that of a couple of others.)
We’ve come almost 1,700 miles since leaving Silver city – averaging around 330-350 miles a day. That means an average driving time each day of around 4 to 4-1/2 hours – a long time for a leggy poodle to spend “resting” in the back of Tumbleweed! So, with stops for play at places like a fenced cemetery, a fenced grassy entranceway to a baseball stadium in Little Rock, and an honest-to-God dog park in Memphis, we’ve been traveling anywhere from 5-6 hours each day.
Tomorrow we head for Knoxville, TN – a 5 hour drive – so I expect we will be on the way for more than 6 hours. But, Tuesday we get a reprieve. Asheville (our planned overnight stop) is only 1-1/2 hours from Knoxville! That means we’ll have time to walk around town, see some galleries, find a good play place, and relax before heading on to see our friends Loolie and Hershey, and their people (Katy and Scott) in High Point, NC. Once there, we’ll have a couple of days breather before heading north again for home.
On the way to El Paso to get the laptop fixed way back in early March, I came across this funky, junky, antiques place…
I actually found some nice “treasures” that I can use in my found object jewelry…
and lastly, Mr. Max on Route 66…