Some days of this trek seem unforgettable while others start off the same but end with a bang. We rushed out of our Midland hotel back to the route on 158 and finished the last 6 miles into Garden City TX. Talk about a small town. The gas station wasn’t even open because it was Sunday. Every building was seriously run down except an old jail and a historic courthouse that had recently been restored due to a Texas restoration project. It was obvious that there wasn’t anything worth visiting in this town. The only real thing that caught my eye was a memorial for fallen soldiers from the town. I snapped a picture and began a long and lonely walk out of town east to Sterling City. Field of oil pumps surrounded me and I could see miles away in every direction. The side of the US highway provided enough lane that I felt comfortable even with semi trucks blasting past at 90 mph. Once I hit 30 miles of road walked for the day, Mareike swung by and scooped me up so we could beat the sunset to a ranch that had donated a place for us to stay for the night. About 10 miles past Sterling and 4 miles past Broome we found the ghostly road that would lead us to Walnut Creek Ranch. Narrow and winding it was with treacherous pot holes and eroded slants. Cows parked right in the middle sun bathing wasn’t a welcome sight. Honking and revving the engine quickly scattered them away and on we continued until the road turned into rocks. Absolutely no signs were present to lead us, so when we arrived at the first farm house we assumed it was the ranch. We soon realized it was as run down as every building in Garden City so we piled back into the truck and steam rolled back down the rock road. 4 miles down the road we could see a much more sound building around the bend. I drew in a breath of disbelief as we pulled up to meet an old lady with white hair holding a shot gun. She pointed it to the ground and let out a shot that kicked her back half a foot. We soon understood what was going on when she picked up the remnants of a rattle snake. She cut off the rattle and laid it on a concrete light post for us to examine. Immediately I thought, WELCOME TO TEXAS!!!


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