OMG, woke up at 9am. Left at 10:15am. Finally set our car clock later by 2 hours to be on the proper time...Central. So off to a really late start. Continued on I-40-East from Amarillo TX across Oklahoma. Picked up I-540-North around the OK-AR (AK is Alaska, guys) border and drove a bit further to Fayetteville AR (entering a new state for both of us). Fifty degrees at trip start. Got up to 70. Elevation at start 3,533. Downhill from there til Arkansas where we climbed again to 1,666!?! Wouldn't have guessed. Lowest gas prices ($3.49) of the trip so far in Amarillo. 497 miles today. Moving time 7:24. Criss-crossed Rt 66 soooo many times.
Bad dreams last night about our neice C. She had an unhappy childhood. Later into drugs and other missteps. We think she has thought about "ending things." We worry. Can't fix it. Thinking about this all day. Mike bought me a malt--comfort food. I felt comforted.
Amarillo looks much less "dark" in the day. Nice modern downtown. Friendly feel. Still a little sparse with people.
Not a really exciting day. No people to meet or particular sights to see. Besides really nice welcome centers, rest of the stops in TX are OK-clean but basic. Some just called parking or picnicking areas with nowhere to "pottie." Many churches with HUGE crosses. In photo, notice cross size next to buildings and trees on lower left. Hard to find an NPR radio station. SW in general has many, many Christian radio stations. Sometimes that's all you can get. Stuckey candy stores are abundant. Haven't seen them in Michigan for a long time. We used to stop for their pecan logs. Finally found a few turbines in West TX.
Looking for gas. Passed two closed gas stations. Now at the blinky-light-better-get-gas-quick point on the gas-o-meter. Found an open station in lucky Shamrock TX. Gas price of $3.83. Mike had been here before on St Pat's Day in 1983, driving my white Pontiac in our move from MI to CA. It was little more than dirt crossroads, a post office, and gas station then. Funky bad. It has paved crossroads now and apparently much improved at one point but going downhill again. Many empty storefronts and houses, abandon vehicles. Still funky bad. One iconic art deco gas station at the cross roads worth seeing though. It may be a museum, but closed.
Eastern OK still desert-y. Western starting to look more like home. Green trees and grass (didn't realize how much I missed it), multi-colored wild flowers (instead of mostly yellow). Oklahoma City nicely decorates its freeway entrances with "mosaic" rock designs and different types of art or media on each overpass. Weatherford OK has a lot of wind farms. Yay! And lots of RED dirt. Starting to see cows in the pasture again, mostly black. Saw one field of a few long horns. Saw one llama amongst some dairy cattle. Mike says for coyote protection. Much native Indian reservation land along the freeway. Just to name a few--Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Seminole, Muscogee, and Thlopthlocco (try to say that one) tribes. Lots of casinos, too.
Ate dunch at the Delta Cafe in Shawnee OK. Mike loved the chicken fried steak (can't find that at home very often). They had an old fashioned ice cream parlor and that's where I got my malt.
Entered Arkansas near Fort Smith. Filled up again. Price $3.69. Landscape became much more hilly. Crossed the Arkansas River, first "big water" since the Pacific. Many beautiful high and long bridges that cross deep valleys (instead of water). Safer. Sweeping views. Seeing the beginnings of fall color change. A few maroon red trees, but still mostly green.
Sleeping in Fayetteville, home of the U of Arkansas Razorback tonight. AR apparently has not hopped on the non-smoking-period bandwagon. We got the last non-smoking room at our hotel. Arrived about 7:30pm. Lugged our stuff in and I headed right for the hot tub. It was too hot for me! Can you believe it! I'd say 105 or 106 degrees. So I hopped in the pool and did 16 short laps. Felt goooooood. Real good to stretch those shoulder and hip muscles.
No people to visit tomorrow, but one place to visit--Hurricane Deck, MO. I'll tell you "the rest of the story" tomorrow.
BEST OF / WORST OF:
Most dangerous spot of the trip at Texas rest stop.