On our last night in Artesia, we learned that the weather was rapidly changing and was likely to get bad in southern New Mexico very quickly. I checked weather reports for every direction, and found a small cone of an area that was going to be relatively unscathed by the coming storms, so we made the unexpected decision to head back into Texas to ride out the storms.
Once we made the decision to change directions, we were both too antsy to sleep, so we decided to just start moving to get ahead of the storms. I don't enjoy driving at night, but we felt we almost didn't have a choice if we were going to get away from the snow and ice in time. (I'm a Bama girl - I don't do ice and snow, remember?)
The cone I mentioned earlier included several towns in Texas we'd not yet visited, so we just set out, not sure where we'd stop as we went. I planned to drive as long as I could before parking somewhere overnight, then we'd figure out a better plan the next day.
Along the way, we checked a few of our camping apps, and found a Walmart that had overnight parking in Lamesa, TX, but when we arrived at that address, the Walmart had closed down and a police sat in the lot monitoring it, so we decided to drive down to Big Spring. There, we found a Walmart and crashed for a few hours.
Unfortunately, when I woke the next morning, I was sick to my stomach and felt miserable, but we moved on. We stopped for breakfast so I could try to put something in me that would settle my stomach, and then we headed for Abilene.
One of my dearest friends has ties to Abilene, but that's really the only connection I had to the town. And I honestly knew nothing about it, so I pulled up RoadsideAmerica to see what I could find.
Oh what a find! First the cheesy:
(No, he wasn't thrilled about being up there. Yes, I got up there too and was laughing so hard, I almost fell off. No, I'm not sharing the photo.)
Then, of course, the "everything's bigger in Texas" shot:
And then more fun:
But then I discovered the best part of Abilene. They love children's books and have created a Dr. Seuss park with low-to-the-ground statues so children can interact with characters from the books.
The town has a "Storybook Sculpture Hunt" app that parents can download then take their children around town on a scavenger hunt for all the different statues. (They provide directions on how to do an audio tour, too!)
As we drove around town, we discovered several other delightful sculptures that made me wish my kids were little again so I could share the town with them.
Must be related to Tim:
And my favorite:
(Yes, it's on top of a building downtown - near the library!)
Somewhere along the way, I discovered that one of the sculpture gardens features sculptures based on the artwork of Garth Williams. I instantly recognized the name, because he is the artist who illustrated all the Little House books I cherished in childhood. But I never followed his career, and had no idea he also illustrated so many other favorites, including one I read to my boys again and again:
Our delight with Abilene didn't end with the storybook sculptures, though. Look at this beauty:
The Jacob's Dream sculpture garden shares the story from Genesis 28 and it is quite breathtaking. I would have enjoyed spending more time there, but because of the wind and cold, Tim stayed in the car so I snapped a few photos and retreated.
On Monday, we'll catch up to ourselves for a little while!
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