Somewhere between Pecos, Texas, and Odessa, Texas, the road curves. For miles before the curve, signs warn motorists of this upcoming event. The curve finally comes without reason. Really, there is no obvious reason for the asphalt to take this gentle three degree or so gentle turn except that, possibly, with so much space it just seemed like the thing to do. The flat land meets the sky forever in this part of the world. A gentle curve in the road is not something to be missed.
Interstates mean deliberate exits to visit places like Odessa. There's no such thing anymore as just pulling over into a parking space and looking around.
Odessa seems like a lot of borrowed stuff. In 1881 Russian railroad workers named this wide, flat prairie bend in the road Odessa after the city in their homeland. Apparently the plains of Russia and the plains of Texas look alike.
Odessa also boasts of a replica of Shakespeare's original playhouse.
We exited for Odessa but not because we wanted to see if the place really looked like Russia or because we wanted to see the playhouse replica.
We got off the Interstate and went to Odessa to see the 8 foot tall Odessa Jackrabbit statue. We had some trouble finding it. Odessa is full of rabbit statues. None of the ones we saw, though, seemed tall enough to fit the bill. So we pulled into a convenience store to ask for directions to the real, the 8 foot tall, Jackrabbit statue.
The woman behind the counter of the 7/11 had few teeth. When I asked her about the statue of the 8 foot tall Jackrabbit, her smile was as broad and as barren as the Texas plain on which she had spent her entire life.
Folks in Odessa are pretty proud of that rabbit.
For the third annual Odessa rodeo the event's organizers thought it would be a good idea to have an event called 'Jackrabbit Roping'. The citizens of Odessa thought the idea was terrible.
So, instead of Jackrabbits being roped at rodeos in Odessa, the town is full of statues of Jackrabbits.
This particular statue really is eight feet tall.
We spent over an hour in Odessa looking for and admiring the statue.
As this road trip winds down in Brooklyn in a few days we might consider the notion that the barrenness of West Texas compels people to do some pretty interesting things. Sometimes folks even get off the Interstate, spend a hour of precious travel time looking for an 8 foot tall rabbit statue, and feel pretty good when they find it.