Nothing says road trip like a stop at a local attraction. As a kid, we always headed west for vacations to visit Indian ruins and natural wonders like the Painted Desert. As we traveled those long, straight highways through sage-strewn flat land, we looked for the huge billboards advertising an Indian Trading Post coming up. They promised unusual exhibits like dozens of live rattlesnakes or the real saddle of some famous outlaw.
In reality, it was a tourist trap full of trinkets probably made in some factory back east. But we loved the chance to get out of the car and spend the allowance money we had been saving, taking lots of time to wander the aisles and look at everything.
Natty Flat is not exactly that sort of tourist place. It started out as a small Barbeque restaurant and a store to sell western goods. Those are not cheap trinkets, either.
Two brothers were ingenious in combining several talents for this enterprise. One owns the restaurant, where the BBQ really is outstanding. The other runs the store, which sells furniture as well as other western goods. He also makes most of the furniture. The over sized rifle in the picture is one of his creations. It has already been sold so don’t hanker for it.
Red cedar, which is plentiful in the area, provides the materials needed for his craft.
This rocking chair is the main landmark for Natty Flat. The telephone pole gives prospective for its height.
Throw in a little western decor and it draws the people in.
Behind the windmill is the store.
They do a good job of putting a few brightly colored annuals to add more interest. The Prickly Pear Cactus blooms also pop.
Petunias make this water trough attractive.
The owners’ sense of humor is evident in several places. The above sign is hard to read, so here goes:
This rock never fails. It’s 100% correct.
Here’s how it works.
If it’s wet, it’s raining.
If it’s dry, there’s fair weather.
If it’s dusty, there’s a dust storm
If it’s white, it’s snowing.
If it’s swaying, it’s windy.
If there’s a shadow under the rock, it’s sunny.
If you can’t see it, it’s foggy.
If it’s jumping up and down, there’s an earthquake.
If the bottom is under water, it’s a flood.
If it’s dry and still, just wait a minute, and it will change.
If everything is moving and you’re not, you’re drunk.
These really are the restrooms for the restaurant. But they are not the traditional holes of an outhouse. Just a modern day toilet inside.
Note the pretty Yucca blooms beside it. Flowers make anything look good.
Among Purple Sage, Prickly Pear, and a dying cedar is an old decaying wagon.
Rusty metal and Prickly Pear is the perfect depiction of West Texas.
See more at Natty Flat. It’s just south of I 20 at the Stephenville exit. I think it’s worth a stop, especially for the grub.
“Keep away from folks who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain