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Saturday Sep. 24th: Silent Wings & Camel Burgers

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

Yes, I’m carrying my mother-in-law’s purse while I photograph a jeep. It’s not a business-as-usual trip for us!

We (Ann, I, and her mother Rosemary) began yesterday’s trip from Tularosa, New Mexico to Lubbock, Texas, by saying our goodbyes to Ann’s aunt and uncle. They were good sports about the “Secret Caravan” descending upon them. With that successful venture behind us, we hit the road for Abilene, though we didn’t quite make it that far. A Going Out of Business sale at Hastings was partly responsible for that, but more on that later.


Yesterday’s trip from NM to TX.

Our first stop was the local Lowes grocery store in Tularosa. We HAD to buy some frozen green chiles to bring back to Washington State with us. I can’t wait to make Chile Verde with them.

Soon, we were back in the motorhome. It was a beautiful drive up to Ruidoso (7000ft), then down to the “alien” town of Roswell, where Ann had one final McDonalds’ biscuit sandwich with chiles. She can’t eat the english muffins, but I can :-).


A McDonald’s billboard on the way into Roswell. Much better than the “I’m Lovin’ It” marketing campaign.

Next it was on to aging town of Tatum, where Roadside America assured us were some metal sculptures. This pair of jeeps were the first two “metal sculptures” we saw:


Two Jeep trucks at the western edge of Tatum.

The sculptures weren’t quite as impressive as those in California’s Borrego Springs, but they were still pretty cool, especially the cacti. Made out of 3/8″ steel plates, they were sturdy, but so were the prices!






From Tatum, we quickly crossed into the flat plains of Western Texas, oil rigs dotting the landscape. All along the way, gas prices continued to drop. The lowest we found (so far) was $1.75/gallon.


After one wrong turn, thanks in part to my phone’s gps, we arrived at in Lubbock at our first destination, the Silent Wings Museum. It’s a museum dedicated to the WWII glider program based in Lubbock. It’s not a huge museum, but its focus on gliders and their history makes it unique.


Me at the entrance to the museum. The 24th was the Smithsonian’s 12th Annual Museum Day.

Inside the museum, we found numerous references to jeeps and two actual jeeps. Though neither one was what I would call museum quality, they did help tell the glider story. This first one had a GPW frame and MB body, among other issues. It was listed as a 1944 MB.

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This one had a gas inlet sticking out of the side. It had a GPW frame. It was difficult to see it inside the glider.2016-09-24-silent-wings-jeep3 2016-09-24-silent-wings-jeep5

Here are some other photos The one below shows the glider that filled the main room.


Behind me is a training device for budding pilots.


When I finished wandering through the museum, I asked the employees if they had any information on a story I was told about one or more jeeps that were tested for use as gliders (similar to the rotojeep). They knew nothing about it, but they’ve given me someone to contact who is their goto expert on glider history.

After the museum, we decided to look for another Roadside America attraction, Safety Town, However, before we got there, we ran across a “Going Out of Business” sale at the local Hastings store. Ann and Rosemary both wanted to do a quick check of the store for bargains. (Note to self Bring a good book next time!!!) While Ann was very quick, Rosemary was a little slower. Finally, one-and-a-half hours later she finally emerged from the store. So much for our timetable!

Once my blood pressure dropped, we made it over to Safety City, a miniature version of Lubbock that teaches kids about roads, traffic, and signage. Though it was locked behind a chain link fence, we still had a good view of it. there was a bridge, lanes, stop lights, stop signs, and more. It was very cool!!



By this time it was 6:30 and I was hungry. After a quick check of Yelp, we decided to try the highly rated Twisted Root, a burger place with all kinds of different burgers. One big reason we chose it is because they offered a bison burger on a gluten free bun, perfect for Ann.

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The interior of the place was great. The menu was interesting and included a specialty burger that evening of Camel. Of course, I had to try that one. Ann had her bison burger and Rosemary had the Freshman burger, one that included an egg and bacon. She enjoyed it, but couldn’t finish it. She always couldn’t finish her onion rings, which worked to my benefit. They were delicious, as were the fries. I’d definitely recommend the place if you want a good burger in an eclectic place. Also, a shoutout to the staff, who were particularly helpful and friendly.

Rather than drive to Abilene last night, we decided to camp at the local Walmart. We’ll hit the road at daybreak, tour Abilene and some of Fort Worth, then find a place to camp in the Fort Worth area.

(See the next day’s adventure here:




5 Comments on “Saturday Sep. 24th: Silent Wings & Camel Burgers

  1. Idaho Todd

    Oh Dave, I don’t think that purse goes with your shoes! But it does make your eyes dance… The burgers look delicious. I could tell you were in Roswell, there was a Chevy hubcap on that jeep pickup, now that’s alien…

  2. David Eilers Post author

    My shoes and purse are supposed to match? I am lucky to walk out of the house without my shirt inside out.

  3. David Eilers Post author

    Brian: We’ll be in Dallas for a couple days, then head north to OKC, then begin our trek west through Colorado, Utah and northward to home in Washington State. This is just a quick visit to Texas to visit with my niece who’s in her freshman year of college.

  4. Gayland Leddy

    Drop by 820 Jeep when you are in Ft. Worth near the intersection of I-20 and South East Loop 820. Not the prettiest shop in town, but they have been servicing jeeps for over 30 years. Bob Bryant is an old Seabee buddy.
    Email me if you need a phone number.

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