Amarillo, Texas is a city in the middle of nowhere. It is a necessary city, one that cuts the grueling interstate drive across the nothingness into halves. I’ve been through before, but I’ve never stayed for more than an hour, because, why would I? There are far more interesting places west and even east of here. Plus, it’s Texas. In my mind it’s the home of cowboy-republicans who drink too much, talk too much and carry a gun, right?
Believe it or not, Amarillo has been kinda fun.
Okay, I was FORCED to stay because I was having work done on Sacajewea, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve had a nice time and found Texas to be surprisingly pleasant. When I was at the mechanic’s, I heard a real cowboy use the adjective “cotten-pickin” in a real sentence, which was a treat. There are Waffle Houses (more on that later), which gives any town good marks in my book. It’s easy to navigate (Interstate 40 bisects the place). And if you want a 72oz steak and you can eat it in under an hour, you can have one for free.
The trailer park where I’ve stayed is quite possibly the most stereotypical one in existence. It’s sandwiched between the airport, the interstate and the railroad (all of which cause a cacophony of noise). The planes overhead have included everything from Cesna’s to jet fighters (WOW, THOSE ARE LOUD!). 75% of the people staying here live here, or have lived here for many weeks or maybe months. (You can tell because they build little forts around their trailers from various stuff.) There are 4 trees, none of which are more than 8 feet tall. The grass is brown (all the grass is brown in Texas). There’s an all-nude show club next door, and an enormous sex-shop up the street. Cats roam everywhere, and everyone has a dog or three.
All that being said, it’s rather homey. The planes are kind of fun to look at, the people are very friendly, the park, while totally stereotypical, is clean and the showers are hot. It’s kind of romantic, in a rather strange Texan way.
Okay, so there’s something about trailer parks where people who work there have too look official. They all have golf carts and they put-put about on them all day long doing various work, or non-work as the case may be. This park is no exception. I met Bobby, who works here, as he put-putted around on his cart. He told me on my first day here that he was “headed east” from California, when I told him I was “headed west.” Though he lives and works here, he still identifies himself as having a direction. He is not the first person I’ve talked to with such a designation. Some kid who was hitting on me asked me which direction I was going to see whether or not I wanted him to tag along (alas, he was going east. ::eye roll::). Even the mechanic who worked on Saca’s 4wd told me the story of how he had lived in California for some time and “headed back east.” Being this halfway stop has somewhat defined the people who live in Amarillo, but, as a traveller myself, it’s very welcoming.
Okay, so maybe I’m over-selling it. The wind is awful, the lack of trees would kill me in the summer, if I had to listen to truck engine roaring all night, every night, I might go insane. BUT. AS A TRAVELLER. It’s a nice place to stay.