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`Dallas` soap ranch
30th Apr 2008
'Dallas' soap; drive to Carlsbad, New Mexico

As I mentioned yesterday, there were two main reasons for my being aware of the city of Dallas - the JFK assassination and the soap opera 'Dallas'.  My mother was an addict of this and I can even remember the theme tune in my head. So it was imperative that I visit the legendary Southfork Ranch in Plano.

The mansion was privately owned and, during the soap's heyday, was only used for the outside shots.  All indoor shots were done in a studio.  It's a wonder that they ever bothered to rent the mansion, because even the outside was often no good, and camera tricks had to be used to make it more suitable.  For example, the balcony from which many characters were thrown or fell is a good 6' from the edge of the pool, but everyone always miracously landed in the water; in reality the shot was made in two halves.


I then drove for nine hours to Carlsbad, New Mexico.  America is sooo big that what looks like four inches on the detailed page of the map is actually 490 miles. My 9 hours took me to the South East corner of New Mexico, through some rather amazing scenery.

The scenery as far as Big Springs was dull dull dull.  Literally nothing to see.  But turning off the freeway and into the desert allowed me to see some really beautiful sights.  A typical sight was a red dusty field with either mottled brush or deep furrows, with the occaisional nodding donkey oil well.

The wind was very strong all day, and driving through arable farmland the dust was blowing all around me.  It was like a day on the windy beach, but the dust was 20' tall.  I often had to drop my speed and turn on my lights, at 5pm.  The dust formed sand-dunes at the side of the road.

Eventually I arrived in Carlsbad, tired, dusty and dehydrated.  I was tempted to camp tonight to offset the cost of the gas I burned but negotiated a decent rate at a motel, allowing me to shower and return my outer layer of Texas to the earth.


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Next: Carlsbad Caverns, the Roswell incident, mesa and deserts of New Mexico
Previous: Dallas, JFK; Fort Worth and cowboys

Diary Photos

`Dallas` soap ranch

Southfork Ranch, Dallas, TX

Pool, Southfork

JR`s car, Dallas, TX

Miss Ellie, Dallas, TX

Southfork Ranch entrance, Dallas, TX

Texas. Flat and dusty.

Typical view, Texas

Nodding donkey, Texas

Dust storm, Texas

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