As I was leaving the restaurant I noticed quite a large gathering of people in what is after all a small town of only eight hundred people. There was a parade of vehicles coming down the street and it turned out to be 25 wounded soldiers going off on a deer hunting trip!
Sterling Main Street
I got talking to a lady who was standing outside a very plush office and it turned out that this was their Ranch Office. I got talking to her husband Jim and asked him how large the ranches were in the area. Apparently they can be as large as 60,000 acres and I think although evasive and very modest he owned one of the larger ones!
He then introduced me to Doris McClellan a well-known children's author who signed two books for me. Her husband Bill was in Korea and is a Second World War Veteran and was one of the first into Japan before the peace treaty was signed. I wish we had more time to talk as he surprised me with his clear recollection of some of the events of the time. For instance when they took over one of the Japanese bases they had left it perfectly clean and tidy with new sheets on the beds all ready for the American Occupation!
As I left the town I met Mike again who had not had a good days hunting and he invited me to meet with him in Midland so that he could show me around the oil industry.
Mike adds scale to the most dangerous piece of equipment in the business
We had lunch with some of his staff and then went to the oil field and the museum dedicated to the growth of the industry in the area.
This is Texas
Mike and the crew
I had a snooze and then left for Odessa so that I could find somewhere to stay. After Kermit I will have over 200 miles of nothing but road and desert before El Paso. I intend carrying plenty of water and supplies as there are very few areas between the two towns.
After arriving at a motel I met Louis who is also in the oil business and he was fascinated with the machine. He was really kind and brought me a burger back for supper.
His wife has had breast cancer three times and is now in remission. He said that when they lived in Louisiana he noticed the large number of cancer cases and blames the fact that all the toxins etc feed their way into the Mississippi River.