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Welcome to Tatum, NM

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Made it to Tatum, NM today.  I got off I-20 a little past Sweetwater, TX (home of the world’s largest rattlesnake roundup; I did NOT stop there!!)  I was looking forward to getting off the interstate and onto the smaller roads and seeing some of the small towns.  Well in 180 miles I only went through 5 towns, and they were mighty small. The first 150 miles were nothing but cotton fields in various stages of dress and undress, and miles and miles of wind generators. Boring!! Then the last 30 miles were all scrubby ranch land and some oil derricks.  Not much better.  The speed limit on the two lane road was 75 mph!!  That’s because NOBODY USES IT!! You could probably go 100 mph and no one would see or care. I picked up an oldies country music radio station that I really enjoyed…Charley Pride, Dolly, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, etc.  I have not heard of a country oldies station before!

The closer we got to Tatum, the more cool metal art signs I saw.  That’s Tatum’s claim to fame, the whole town is filled with metal art signs!  All the street signs, business signs, park benches.  Aside from that, the town is teeny and only has a couple restaurants, gas station, farm store and of course the ubiquitous Dollar General.

Tatum also has Randolph Rampy Park a couple blocks from the center of town; free camping with full hookups for up to 3 days!  Well, no water at this time of year.  The electric power posts are all sad and bent over but they work. It’s just a basic cement lot with 5 electric posts & sewer hookups, a few picnic tables and the community building next door has bathrooms but no showers.  (It’s closed right now)  I’m told there’s also a decent wifi signal from the community building but I could not pick it up.

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The first thing I did was drop the camper and leave Roxie in it (it’s hot today) and go to Tiny’s Burger Barn for their special, a big hamburger, fries and drink for $7.99!  It was very good. Today’s lunch was not dried apples and Fritos, it was a real apple and some almonds.  Not a big improvement.  So I was starved when I got here!  I also stopped in at the Steak House and got a piece of lemon meringue pie to go.  The owner’s mom makes the pies but it didn’t hold a candle to the pie I got at Syl’s in Ontonagon, MI.  So far that one holds first place by along shot.

The creator of all this cool metal art is Tex Welch and I stopped in at his place but it was closed, the sign on the door said it was closed due to his wife’s cancer and old age.  Not sure if it’s his or her old age.  I was disappointed, there were some really small roadrunners on a spike that I wanted, if they’d been affordable.  Oh well, look at the money I saved. Here are a bunch of photos I took.

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And finally, a Texas sunset photo!

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