When the skylight blew off we were just south of Amarillo and called an RV dealer there. Apparently they aren’t on good terms with Airstream so when they realized it was warranty work we needed, they refused to do it. So, although it wasn’t on our list, we ended up in Lubbock because it had the next closest authorized service center, Billy Sims Trailer Town. The folks there were as nice as could be and went out of their way to help us out. They ordered the part and as soon as it arrived got us in to have it installed. Still we ended up in Lubbock for 5 nights while we waited for the part to arrive.
One reason Lubbock wasn’t originally on our list of places to stop was because we couldn’t find any good camping in the area. We ended up about 7 miles outside town at Buffalo Springs Lake. I think it was run by the county and perhaps provides water for the area. It was a strange place that was half campground, half neighborhood. You had to pass through the entrance station to get in even if you lived there. Day use visitors had to pay $8 per adult. Luckily we just had to pay the camping fee. There were houses along the shoreline and hillside that you drove through to get to the picnic and camping areas. Some of the houses were quite extravagant, while others were barely standing. The campsites were back to back so your back window looked into your neighbor’s RV and although they touted the sites as paved, it had been so long ago that most of the asphalt was chipped away leaving bumpy, dusty sites among the trees swarming with flies. We have stayed in nicer places for far less, but we didn’t have much choice. The RV parks in town were filled with fans for the Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma game that weekend.
To top it off, it just happened to be Harvest Festival weekend at Buffalo Springs so the place was packed. Every site was taken and there were cars parked everywhere, people driving around on their ATVs (there are ATV trails behind the camping area), and music coming from the nearby main stage. We even had the Zombie run come right in front of our trailer. As I saw the teens in their zombie make-up hiding along the course I thought it might be interesting, but when the runners finally got there it was pretty sad—only about 20 of them went by.
Mostly we hid out in our trailer, but we did take the opportunity to head to town to replace my ruined flip flops (see Amarillo Blues for that story). By Sunday afternoon the place had cleared out so it was a little better. On Monday, we did 2 weeks worth of laundry, ate lunch in town, and stocked up at the grocery store. Chuck washed the trailer. I did some writing.
By Tuesday I decided we had to get out and see something of Lubbock. The National Ranching Heritage Center on the campus of Texas Tech University looked interesting so off we went. The Center tells the story of ranching in the area through historic buildings. The structures range from a reproduction of a 1780s adobe house to a 1950s cookhouse. With the exception of the adobe house, all the structures are original and were moved here. Some are furnished and you can peer in the windows to get an idea of how their residents lived.
It was interesting to see the different building materials. Some of the early stick houses provided little shelter from the elements, and in the dugout a sign said spiders, bugs and rattlesnakes were common visitors. Yikes! One 1872 stone house had a secure second story where the family hid out from Indian attacks. With little wood in this area, kids had to collect dried cow chips and store them in the 1907 cowchip shed to burn later for heating and cooking. All in all it was a fitting exploration of the history of the area and inspired us to watch a few old westerns. 🙂
While Lubbock wasn’t our favorite stop, we do appreciate the wonderful people at Billy Sims Trailer Town for getting us back on the road!