DOWNTOWN CAROLTON: On the way to Clifton we passed through this wide
spot where we turned right. If your planning a vacation here you'd best bring along
some reading material cause this place looks like it's about to disappear.
A CAMEL, A MAP, AND CLIFTON
You never know what you're gonna see on a road trip,
even then you may not believe your eyes.
Story & Photos by IRA KENNEDY
According to them folks who ponder quantum field theory, if
universes are parallel they ain't supposed to get tangled up. Here's how it works:
You come to a fork in the road. You gotta choose one but other is out there too
acting just like you chose it instead. So if you ever made a really idiot decision,
relax. Somewhere in the universe you're there enjoying the benefits of a right smart
reckon them physicists have never put their theory to the test. Back in San Saba
county when we kept choosing the left fork in the road I suppose we worm-holed our way to
that other universe where we asked that old feller for directions from the get go.
The parallel universe, having presented us with a second chance kept poking its head
through the fabric time and again. At least that was the theory I was
pondering. And naturally I kept this to myself cause I could just hear Ms. Intrepid
"The universe is not like a husband. You can't
nag it to death to make it change its mind."
While I was off somewhere in never-never land Ms.
Intrepid slammed on the brakes and yelled, "Camel!"
And there it was waiting right alongside the fence
line. A camel in a cow pasture. I piled out of the car and walked up for a closer
shot. Every time I raised the camera the camel would turn its head the other
way like it was shy or something. Then, not knowing at all what a camel call should
sound like, I started grunting like a hoarse bull. That kicked the lid off and he
sauntered right up. I don't know what I said but he gave me his prettiest smile and
That's when Ms. Intrepid said, "Watch out. He
might spit on you."
Well, I'm clueless about camels in general and camel
spit in particular but I wasn't hanging around to get educated. I recall camels were brought to Texas
back in the 1860s for the U.S. military but that was a long time back and further west.
After consulting the highway map I determined
Carolton was just up the road. "Was" is the right word and still is.
I don't know what you gotta do to get on one of them highway maps cause there are
towns that should be shown and ain't, and towns that ain't no more but are on the map.
Carolton falls somewhere in the middle, and from the looks of things it's still falling.
Anyway, I had Ms. Intrepid stop for a picture.
Some of my favorite things are those about to disappear and photographing them lets us
hold on just a little longer. Sooner or later we're all going to be numbered among
the things of the past. And if we don't do some remembering, then we oughta
be forgotten altogether... Well, back to the road trip...
I was getting pretty parched round about
this time and my Dr. Pepper was long gone, so when we came upon Cranfills Gap, which
actually had live bodies and a convenience store, we stopped for a couple of sodas. Before
we left I captured a picture of Nigel the Land Rover in front of their old timey green
feed store. Seeing what I was up to, a young girl kept riding her bike back and
forth so she could get in the picture. That was fine by me cause the shot needed a
little red to set things off.
We were heading east on Hwy 219 taking in the
incredible surrounding vistas. There will always be debates about where the Hill
Country ends and I reckon this pretty close to the edge but not altogether out.
Needless to say we were both getting pretty tuckered
and home was a long way away. Still Ms. Intrepid thought we oughta give Clifton a
little of our time -- after all it is "The Norwegian Capital of Texas."
One of the first things we noticed was Bosque
Coservatory (formerly Clifton Lutheran Colleg- photo left) perched on a rise
overlooking the town. The organization offers a local outlet for visual and
performing arts an annual photography show and a nationally recognized art show. The
community is really tidy. Seems it's never hard to tell when civic pride is at work.
On the way out of town we passed a store called,
"SMR Good Dougnuts". I made a note of that in my little memo pad, which
was about all I had the strength to do.
We were done in and heading home. That's where the
heart is, as well as the couch, TV, refrigerator and real food .
You might be wondering if we're still tangled up in
that parallel universe. The quick answer is "No". And here's my
explanation: If you look at the map you'll notice that we
made our share of right-hand turns after San Saba which helped us worm our way back to
normal which is a comfort but not nearly as entertaining.
PAGE 1: HEADIN' OUT / PAGE 2: SAN SABA
PAGE 3: DEMOCRAT & COMANCHE /
PAGE 4: DUBLIN
PAGE 5: CLIFTON / THE MAP
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