Highway Art, Texas Style

Just back from another foray through the American West. Sigh. I knocked two more National Parks off the “need to hike” list, but that doesn’t come close to telling the whole story of the short but awe-inspiring road trip I indulged in. There was the destination…but first, the journey.

US 180/62 out of El Paso, Texas is one of those long, straight ribbons of pavement road nuts like me dream about. I guess that not everyone cares about the ruins on the side of a highway, but I love them as much as Petra or Angkor Wat.

Salt Flat, Texas is barely a spot on the map, but has lots of cool buildings, as well as this windmill that was spinning like mad. This is a very windy part of the state, and the highway starts to climb into the Guadalupe Mountains shortly thereafter.

Texas 2

Perhaps my favorite feature of Salt Flat was the old school phone booth in front of the boarded up Salt Flat Cafe. Couldn’t help but ham it up a little for the camera! Remember how hard it was to get a call through sometimes? Running out of change, running out of time, your dime falls on the floor, windows fogging up…those were good times, weren’t they?

Texas 1

A few miles past Salt Flat is a row of abandoned concrete buildings spray painted with odd sayings and strange faces. This one is my personal favorite, and is really whimsical:

Texas 3

The eyes are actually on the inside walls. It takes some real talent to make something like this work. I wonder about who did it and why they did it. Boredom? Partying? A traveling artist?

Highway art is a destination in and of itself!

Next blog: hiking Guadalupe Mountains National Park.



Author: barblee

Barb Lee is a native of Western Massachusetts who loves to write, travel and hike the world, and hang out with her beautiful Jersey Wooly bunny Muffin. Her whole life changed when she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in October of 2019. By January of 2020, she was bouncing back in a major way. Now, in addition to all her favorite activities, she wants to help others make the most of life following a devastating diagnosis, while she continues to beat the odds.

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