December 2nd, 2015

SMOF License

The Road to SMOFCon, Day 6: Clovis NM to S/w/e/e/t/w/a/t/e/r Abilene TX

Although we originally planned on stopping at Sweetwater TX today, we made such good progress that around lunchtime we checked other places to stop along our line of travel and discovered that the Holiday Inn Express in Abilene was $25/night less and included a 1000-point IHG bonus. I was able to rebook us without penalty, making today's journey Clovis to Abilene, about 275 miles not including the several diversions we made. Despite the trip-planning program not understanding time zones very well, we still got to the hotel before sundown.

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After leaving the hotel in Clovis this morning, we shortly passed into Texas and proceeded east on US-84. With enough time to do so, we sometimes stopped and looked at historical markers, where we learned about history and geography of the area.

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It happened too quickly for me to get a photo of it, but as we came into Abilene, a large airplane took off from Dyess Air Force Base right over our heads, shaking the van with the sound of its departure. "What was that?" I asked Lisa, and she identified it as a B-1B bomber, which I had never seen in person before.

When we got to the hotel in Abilene, I finally had the presence of mind to ask the Holiday Inn Express desk clerk if there were any Platinum upgrades available. I simply forgot to ask the previous two HIX nights. Given how lightly loaded both Williams and Clovis appeared to be, I bet I would have got an upgrade there if I had thought to ask, given how one-night upgrades are often pretty easy to get if the hotel isn't full.

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After getting some things to drink at a nearby grocery store, we once again ordered in a pizza. While that order was processing, we started doing laundry. Like most Holiday Inn Express locations, there is a guest laundry. At this one, the washer and dryer were even free, which was pretty nice. Lisa had planned ahead sufficiently to include a bag of laundry detergent in our supplies. We are mostly caught up now, and will arrive in Fort Worth for SMOFCon tomorrow sometime mid-afternoon. Having got farther ahead than originally planned, we can sleep in a bit tomorrow morning, with our only time constraint being the breakfast room hours.