Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Diversions on the way to/from Corpus...

Not a long post today. Just some meanderings on my way to and from Corpus Christi last week. Speaking of Corpus, Tropical Storm/Hurricane Dolly passed through today. I'm about 2-1/2 hours north of Corpus, so we got a little of it around 6:30 tonight. Just a nice rain and a little wind. But the best part was the nice smell that comes from a rain...especially if you haven't had one for awhile. There's a name for that smell...it's called "petrichor." There's a scientific reasoning behind it, but who cares about that. Everyone loves that smell...and as as far as I know, no laundry detergent company has been able to authentically duplicate it in their dryer sheets or fabric softener. I guess Mother Nature has one up on them.

I love the nostalgia that American highways still have to offer, so I always try to catch the little bits of history that are disappearing across the country. Considering how much history the rest of the world has to offer with ruins and ancient cities, America is considerably lacking. And we keep tearing down the remains we still have. I think it's important that we capture what little is still there because it all tells a story. I've changed some to black & white because...well, if you have to ask, then you don't understand.

So here was my first stop off the highway on my way to Corpus. That's about all there was on this side of the highway for Oakville. There was more on the way back, but that's later in the report. The gas tanks aren't working anymore in Oakville, so they took off the "& GAS" letters on the sign, but you can still see the silhouette. Oh, well...as least they still have "FOOD."

This was right next door. There was nothing left of the "DRIVE THRU" other than this sign.

Just thought this was an interesting name for a town. There has to be a story behind the name. Turns out it's a Texas ghost town and I found this about Swinney Switch...in addition to the Bake & Rummage Sale raising $2,390 for the fire department.

So that was about all the interesting shots going IN to Corpus. Played around with the camera while I was there and got a couple interesting shots.

There was almost no downtown life at all, but got this kind of neat pic while I was walking by a bar. By the way, neither one of these lame, experimental camera shots will ever make me want to go back to get more. I think I've seen all I care to see of Corpus Christi.

Now I'm on my way back to San Antonio. I had to stop for this one. While still newer than the Route 66 versions, it was still picture-worthy. I'm surprised it hasn't been torn down.

So now I'm back at Oakville, going the other way. As I'm on the way to take a picture of an old gas station, I pass by this place and had to turn around to take another look. The "Historic Oakville Jail." I park and get out to look around. This place has been lovingly restored and is beautiful on the outside. I tried going inside, but it was locked. There was a little pamphlet on the door, so I grabbed one...turns out it's been restored into a B&B. In the middle of nowhere...literally.

This is the little courtyard outside. I read the pamphlet and there is absolutely nothing close by. So if you want total seclusion in the middle of nowhere, with no views of streams, rivers, hills, mountains or anything other than trees, shrubs and brush, the Oakville Jail is the place to come. According to the pamphlet, "antiquing" is in the town of Three Rivers which is seven miles away. The nearest museum is 13 miles away. Fishing is ten miles away. San Antonio is one hour away and Corpus is 1-1/2 hours away.

Here is a "fixer-upper" located across the road. A little paint and some curtains would do wonders. (You can actually see this in the court yard picture above.)

BUT...the pamphlet boasts about having TWO restaurants just five minutes away. Here's one of them.

Good thing they have the "EAT" sign so that we know what to do at Van's Bar-B-Q.

And the other place was at the beginning of this post at the Oakville FOOD & GAS, which doesn't have gas anymore. So you have two choices of cuilinary delights at Oakville, but you better come with a tank full of gas.

This place was also next to Van's Bar-B-Q. And that's all you get with the Oakville Jail B&B. Now, mind you, the lowest price for a one-night stay for 1-2 people at the Oakville Jail B&B is $245.00...which can go up to $585.00 for 8 people. Oh, yeah. Sign me up. Oh, and no pets allowed. So I'll have to leave the kitties at home while I experience a relaxing and excrutiatingly boring night(s) in the middle of Nowhere, Texas.

I was getting nervous about running low on gas (gas stations are few and far between on this run), so I got off at the next gas sign at "Mike's Gas Stop." Keep in mind that I'm a female driving alone in Texas getting visions of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but I try to see past that. So I get some gas at Mike's (also in the middle of nowhere)...who tells me that the pumps pump at half the price, so if I want $20, just pump $10. So I give Mike $20 and pump $10. Am I going to argue with Mike out in the freaking middle of nowhere in Texas??? Hell, no! I'd happily give Mike $20 for $5 worth of gas just to get the f*** out of there!

And across the street, I see this!!

Now I know "Horney" usually brings up connotations of "other" things, but the only thing I could think of was of all the poor deer who lost their lives to this stupid-ass building...AGAIN in the middle of nowhere.

Signs that haven't been torn down yet...probably because they're still on private property.

And I found this for sale, if anyone is interested! A streamlined gas station from the past just asking for the taking.

And the sign is still there. You just have to buy a "b" and change your name to "Bubba."

Last, but not least. This is an interesting sight which I have seen quite a few times since I've been here. These are the fins/blades/whatever you call them from windmills.

I took this picture outside of San Francisco, but these are what they're from. I think they must be manufactured in the San Antonio area, because I've seen them being transported quite a few times. They're a few truck-lengths long, which isn't that interesting in itself, but when you seen them maneuvering in town, that's a sight. When they get to an intersection, they have to block off traffic in all directions for a half block so they can make a VERY wide turn. Kind of neat to watch.

So that's my "adventure" to Corpus. Hopefully, my next one will be a bit more exciting.


islagringo said...

I would love to go on a roadtrip with you! You have an eye for Americana which is great fun! You should think about turning "Mike" into the Dept of Weights and Measures or whomever controls that stuff in Texas. What a ripoff.

Isla Deb said...

Thanks, Wayne. I would consider turning Mike in, but then would have to worry about Bubba coming after me. For ten bucks, I think I'll let it pass. :-/ For my next trip, I want to do the Route 66 trip through Texas. That should be fun...including all the diners, dives, drive-ins and remote hotels. I'll try not to think about "Texas Chainsaw Massacres" on that one!

jamqueen said...

great reporting, Deb! Really enjoy reading about a different part of the country. It's so unlike New England....I'll be going out in the country in Maine in a few weeks & hope for a few good shots.

Small Change said...

ok deb, you gave me a bad time when i asked you if you were "enjoying the sun" and you pointed out you lived in Texas. well, not EVERYONE loves the smell of rain, hello Seattle!! no, I'm only kidding, I know exactly what you mean- I had no idea it had a name for it...and I do like that smell...even though we get more than our fair share of it! great pictures as always :)

Isla Deb said...

jamqueen - I am SO jealous of you going to Maine. I just love it up there. And you're right...the East Coast is VERY different than Texas. Positive and negative things about both, I suppose.

small change - I guess the weather is always a relative thing depending on where we live. You want more sun...I want more rain. It's always something!