Day 7: December 25, 2009
A Jolly Holly Christmas
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It hadn't snowed in nearly 24 hours and the temperature had broken into the two digit range when I pulled out of the motel. I pulled through the big intersection and continued on out of town. It looked like the reports of hazardous driving conditions were true. There was a goodly amount of bare pavement but there was also a fair amount of glare ice and packed snow.

By pure luck, there was a clear spot near this eye catching Renault 4CV in Hollis that allowed me to pull over and snap some pictures. A 4CV appeared on this site earlier and I used that as an excuse to tell about owning one myself. I'm doing it again. I didn't own mine through an entire winter and don't recall driving it in a lot of snow. It was rear engined so what little weight it had was over the drive wheels so it may have done alright. I do remember driving it in the cold. Being both air and water cooled, the engine never got too hot or at least the little radiator never did. The radiator was between the rear seat and the engine. A dash mounted switch turned on a fan that blew air past something connected to the luke warm radiator and out a single small opening beneath the rear seat. A door allowed the opening to be closed in the summer. I'm sure this provided many a chuckle to the Frenchman who called it a heater.

Crossing the state line into Texas didn't change much. Bare and covered pavement continued to alternate.

There were long stretches of clear or nearly clear pavement that ended in a patch of ice or packed snow. In a way, the clear bits increased the danger since they could lead drivers to relax or increase speed. I saw many cars off in the ditches but got no pictures. I probably only caught the truck because it's so big. Plus, it doesn't appear to have slid off the road. It looks more likely to be the victim of a fuel or other problem.

It took me just about five hours to cover the 110 miles between Altus, Oklahoma, and Lubbock, Texas. Note that the conditions shown on this page are not the worst. In fact, only the milder examples got photographed. Only then could I spare a hand for the camera. This is particularly true in the next two panels in Lubbock.

In Lubbock, drifting made for some pretty deep snow and what little melting occurred led to some fairly deep puddles. I knew the Buddy Holly Center would not be open but stopped by anyway. I'll be back tomorrow when it is open.

Holley is the correct spelling. The 'e' got dropped on a recording contract so the world knows him as Buddy Holly. Not only was the name surprisingly free of snow, there was a clear spot to stop in front of the grave. After paying my respects -- and taking pictures -- I drove on, found a place to turn around, and drove back past the grave. That's when the third picture was taken.

Today' background is a negative of a photo of the big tree in the park at Altus, Oklahoma.

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