The landscape changed from vibrant green rolling hills and roads lined with bluebonnets to flat, brown plains as we drove north to the small town of Buffalo Gap where we camped at Abilene State Park. Huge buffalo herds once traveled through the area where the town is today. Many of the cattle drives also came through the area.
We had a great visit with my high school friend Tim, a 7th generation Texan who has lived in Arlington most of his life. He picked a beautiful, sunny day to drive over to Buffalo Gap to see us.
We drove to nearby Abilene to see the western heritage exhibits at the Frontier Texas museum in Abilene. We learned a lot about the history of the area from the prehistoric days to the wild west. Everything was very well done through exhibits and two excellent films.
From Buffalo Gap we continued through the Texas panhandle driving through miles and miles of plains to Lubbock. Around Sweetwater we saw huge wind farms on top of the buttes and lots of oil pumps across the plains. As we approached Lubbock there were huge cotton fields on either side of the road.
The highlight of our trip to Lubbock was a visit to the Buddy Holly Center. Buddy Holly was born and raised in Lubbock and began his music career there. Two of his biggest hits with Buddy Holly and the Crickets were “That’ll be the Day” and “Oh Boy”.
Buddy’s music was a big inspiration to many of the British bands who became superstars later. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elton John all credit Buddy Holly as a big influence in their music. The Rolling Stones first hit, “Not Fade Away”, was a Buddy Holly song.
Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. Richardson (“The Big Bopper”) died tragically in a plane crash on February 2, 1959 while touring across the Midwest. One of the members of Buddy’s touring band for the tour was Waylon Jennings. Waylon was supposed to be on the plane but gave up his seat to J.P. Richardson who had the flu.
To visit Abilene we stayed at Abilene State Park in Buffalo Gap. Our site was a large back in surrounded by woods with water and electric hookups, a picnic table and fire pit. Go here to read my review of this park.
To visit Lubbock we stayed at the Mesa Verde RV Park in Wolfforth. Our site was a large pull through with full hookups. The park has a swimming pool (not open when we were there), two laundries, free WiFi, two enclosed dog walks, and very nice, helpful owners. Go here to read my review of this park.