“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”
– Charlotte Eriksson
I stay as true to the original route as possible through Dallas, Fort Worth, and all the cities in between. Honestly, this is a tough part of the ride.
Start. Stop. Red light, green light.
Green, Yellow, Stop.
The knuckles of my clutch hand have had enough, the phalanges have become fused together and my thumb is stuck in an action figure pose.
Soon I am on the west side of Fort Worth heading down Camp Bowie Blvd.
A brick road, a wonderful brick road.
Camp Bowie Blvd. takes its name from the Thirty-sixth Infantry Division camp that was located in the area from 1917 to 1919. Camp Bowie was named after James Bowie, the Alamo defender.
Today Camp Bowie Blvd thrives with trendy shops and upscale properties.
Some mid-century motels remain in certain sections. While the signs might seem as fresh as ever, most of the properties provide lodging to long term rentals and a blind eye to shady behaviors.
The historic Ridglea Theater stands on the location where the Cottage City tourist camp once served Bankhead Highway No. 1 travelers. At the time the tourist camp was five miles outside of the city of Fort Worth.
Times have changed. Today, the icon seems to be in the middle of town.
On to Weatherford, Texas.
Miles of great Bankhead exist between Fort Worth and Weatherford. Curving and weaving, dipping and rising, among tilled fields, pastures, and those master-planned communities.
Some like this section seem hidden. Blind curves would have created dangerous travel in the early 20th century.
These Bankhead segments are not abandoned. Still utilized by locals for local business. Again, I am in awe that these roads have held up so well with little to no maintenance.
Weatherford, Texas, is home to the Vintage Car Museum that is right off the town’s square and right on the old Bankhead route.
I get a quick photo of the Machine in front of the pumps before I make my way inside.
The Vintage runs off donations and has several unique and rare rides.
This is a 1939 Alvis, it was manufactured by an English company until the factory was destroyed by a bomb during World War II. Check out the odd “new” induction system – it looks like it has a pre-war turbo.
Ready to find some more of that Bankhead Highway, I bid farewell to Weatherford and search out more forgotten pieces of the old road.
Soon a sign appears. A Bankhead sign.
They seem to be everywhere now. No need for me to get on the interstate when I have this seasoned blacktop headed in the same direction. More character and soul than an interstate could ever have.
Mineral Wells is my next stop. While the Baker Hotel is the big draw to the town, I select someplace a bit different, unique, and honest.
The Laumdronat – Washing Machine Museum.
How fun is this. Wash clothes and learn about the history of washing clothes.
It is not just antique washers on display, cases line the walls with trinkets and wonders of the washateria, including this hanger dispenser.
A quick stop at the Crazy Well for a drink of water infused with lithium and I am ready to roll.
And a photo with the recreation of the Crazy sign.
Oh – and a quick “World Best” burger at Woody’s
World’s Best? It certainly is good.
Woody’s is located in a Quonset hut – Google it if you need to. Serving the citizens of Mineral Wells and the veterans who once trained at Fort Wolters since 1951.
I will end Across the State in Eight (part 4) – A Bankhead Highway motorcycle adventure with a pour from Cisco’s own Red Gap Brewing” Big Chief Bock”.
Stay tuned for part 5 of the Bankhead adventure that will journey further out into West Texas.
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