A short stop in Denver let us see lots of old friends. I keep swearing to myself that I will take pictures of all our friends when we get together, but usually forget. Sigh. What’s even worse, is that I thought I had taken some pictures here, but can’t find them. They can’t go under the couch cushions… how can they get lost on a phone?? So I just have to tell you about our wonderful morning with Darrell and his lovely daughter Brooke, a super fun afternoon with Dick & Eleanor, and great evenings with Lonnie & Laura, Bill S, and Oneida & Kerry.
In addition to seeing fun friends, we had the privilege of getting our teeth cleaned and checked by the awesome McArthur Dentistry team. Dr. Mike Lueck and his team are great! Thank you to all of the team, and a big Hello to all my former patients. Love you all!
I’ve been accused of only putting up the beautiful stuff on this blog. Well, who wants to see ugly stuff?? But just to show you we also do regular life chores, I’ll tell you about the Suburban’s brakes. We drove up to Boulder one evening, and the brakes felt funny in the car. It almost felt like they were overheating… I checked the parking brake, and it wasn’t set. So the next morning I took it to a brake place to have them checked. They felt fine the few miles to the shop, but they put it up on the lift and had a look. They and I agreed, everything looked fine! so they put it all back together and I was free to go. They didn’t even charge for the diagnosis! Thanks, Brake Plus!
We stayed at the same campground as previous trips, in Golden, what I think of north western edge of the metro area. Extra credit if you can find our rig in either of these pictures!
We’ve decided to head farther south for a while to get out of the cold weather. So after a few days in Denver, we headed south. A day’s drive took us to Dalhart, Texas. I pick out our campgrounds or RV parks with internet apps, and chose one that looked fine, and called for reservations. When we drove up to the entrance, we both simultaneously said “We’ve been here before!” On an earlier trip, headed north, we had stayed in the same park and I didn’t remember when I booked it.
Maybe that’s because there isn’t a terrific amount of excitement in Dalhart. But there are some interesting points…
Dalhart was part of the XIT ranch, once a 3,000,000 acre cattle ranch, the largest in the world. (Go Texas!) Turns out those acres were given to a consortium in payment for creating a new state capital building. It was originally planned that the acreage would be resold as many parcels, but they decided they’d fence it first. Only 6,000 some odd miles of fence! Then they might as well try running cattle, so for many years the XIT ranch tried to make a profit on a HUGE spread. It was finally decided to sell it off in chunks, over the years, till all that’s left is the XIT name and a lot of historical artifacts. There is some discussion on how the name was chosen – I think it was from an incomplete EXIT strategy from the beginning.
Here is the Dallam County courthouse. The first courthouse was in Texline in 1876, but the county seat was moved to the new city of Dalhart in 1903. The courthouse there was quickly outgrown, and this nice building was erected in 1922. The monument out front has the outline of Texas, with the shape of the XIT ranch solid in the upper left. It may not look big compared to the whole state, (Texas is big, right?) but the north – south dimension was over 200 miles.
The Empty Saddle Monument is to “Pay homage to the range riders of the past.”
We rode our bikes to the Lake Rita Blanca. The pictures will portray the incredible beauty of the lake… well, it was a decent ride anyway.
The La Rita Theater, was built in the 1920’s and remodeled in art deco style in 1942. After WWII, Dalhart began to decline, and the theater with it. The last movie was shown in 1957. It was then used first for office spaces, and eventually just used as a warehouse. In the 1990’s, The Dalhart Theater Company bought it and began restoring it to its former glory. Unfortunately, it is now closed for COVID reasons, so all I could do is look through the windows. Maybe next time through Dalhart we’ll catch a movie here!
The campground in Dalhart isn’t fancy, but it’s clean and has a train close enough that you know you’re camping.
You know you’re out of the big city when you see billboards like this one:
And here was a sign not far from our campground… Do people in Dalhart like swimming in dirt and weeds?