We'd been drivng for awhile down through the extremely skinny Oklahoma panhandle into the northwest corner of the Texas one. Our Rand McNally had a couple picnic tables/rest areas marked along US-54 from Guymon, Oklahoma, to Logan, New Mexico, so we figured we'd stop at one in Texas to stretch our legs and maybe use a restroom. Even if there wasn't one at a picnic area, there is one in the Guppy.
On the positive side, it did have a book on stick with some moderately interesting local trivia. Texas is full of these historical markers; depending on what part of the state you're in, it can feel like they're as common as mile markers. At some point in the past, this spot had actually been a pretty nice rest area. It sits next to a planned river (as the S.O. and I tend to refer to the washes that have water in them about three days out of the year; the Southwest is full of them), it's set off the highway with a nice circular drive in and out, and at one time it had had some fairly nice ramadas with picnic tables. I'm not sure which particular administration in Austin decided "screw rest areas" but it's pretty obvious maintenance for this one vanished from the budget quite awhile ago. This is what you're greeted with now.
Looking on the positive side, I'm not sure just what type of bird decided that ramada is prime nesting territory, but there were definitely lots of birds' nests built from mud around the underside of the roof. We startled them enough that I didn't get a good look before they vanished in a flurry of feathers.
We get tourism advertising from the State of Texas on a regular basis, thanks to having camped at a Texas State Park (Fort Richardson). Somehow I don't think rest areas like this are ever going to make it into the tourist brochures.
The truly bizarre part is there were still trash barrels with plastic liners in them. Does anyone ever come around to empty them? And if they do, why bother?