Andy Cole's Stormchase blog

Back on the plains in 2019 to share in nature's spectacle

Chris’ 2019 blog, Day 4: Sun, Freedom, UFOs and Softball

The weather reports are glorious for traditional holidays – no storms today, blue skies and Texan heat stretching North, South, East and West.

We are heading North West for 200 miles from Odessa in Texas to Roswell in New Mexico, the famous crash site of the alleged UFO dubbed ‘Roswell UFO incident of 1947’. We will add to their thriving tourism industry based on alien themed stores, museums and I’m sure other entrepreneurial ventures designed to eek hard earned dollars out of tourists lured to the area by a crashed US military aircraft… depending on the conspiracy theory you believe.

It really is refreshing breathing in absolute freedom with no where really to go, no one to answer too and nothing to do other than chase mother nature when she’s out to play. Miles of open road, diverse conversation topics and American themed tunes belting out as we take in all the US movie derived stereotypical Hillbilly features and ghost towns scattered across the central southern states.

We got to Roswell and, as expected, both sides of the Main Street were lined with UFO and Alien memorabilia, useless paraphernalia and museums with conspiracies, lies, truths and a whole load more that failed to convince us either way.

It was actually super cool to see it all and get immersed in the controversy surrounding the supposed UFO crash – opinions are genuinely split and it seems the truth is no way closer to being revealed.

Found a new mate ☝?
Andy and I blended in with our new mates..

Some things you just can’t script, and that was our evening in Roswell. Having been tipped off about ‘Taco Tuesday’ we left our $66-a-night Roadway Hotel room to Los Cerritos or some 99 cent Tacos. They were delightful and we headed to ‘Farley’s Food Fun and Pub’ to play pool and tuck into a refreshing beer.

Our first learning speaking to a group on a 60th birthday party is that, similarly to the UK, the right-left political divide is also represented by a generational divide. I was asking innocent questions about aliens and was told they’re always coming here. Perplexed I probed slightly and the response was, “they’re always coming, just most of the are illegal.” The discussion fizzled out, it didn’t need any further line of questioning where he stands on the Trump debate but here in the heart of New Mexico the far right Republican grip is clear to see.

Five games of pool later and intermittent conversation with a younger group, we offered them an England Vs US game of pool – Andy and I represented our nation successfully and broke out into Rule Britannia in celebration. They offered us to go and watch one of them play in the Tuesday Church Softball League. In tow of our new friends, we made our way to the ground via Walgreens to pick up some supportive beverages. We were whooping and cheering in the most stereotypical American fashion that those around us found it hilarious. On the way out of the ground and back to Farleys I switched off a floodlight, much to the disgust of the losing team and we escaped before any confrontation escalated. Having regrouped, the topic moved to politics and, empirically highlighting the generational divide, they were staunchly anti-Trump and disgusted at our earlier conversation. Final drinks were called and we found ourselves in the parking lot carrying on conversation with a Harley Davidson belting out Metallica and another equally impressive bike that I know nothing about. We were invited back to our new friends’ house and soon found ourselves in a trailer in a dubious Roswell neighbourhood drinking bourbon and coke chatting complete nonsense, watching a TV show with London rappers creating new content and squabbling over cultural differences – a very bizarre and surreal experience but fun and spontaneous nonetheless.

Miles travelled in the day: 229

Total miles driven: 1,056

Tornadoes seen: 0

Supercells seen: 1

States visited; Texas, New Mexico.

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