Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Day Ten - Monday, 30 June

Bill's Road Book

Day 8, 30 June: 550 Miles, 10 hours, Note 3

I-40: 60 miles to Clines Corner, 55 miles Pecos River, 60 miles to Tucumcari, 40 miles Texas border (change to Central Time, one hour back); 70 miles to Amarillo, 92 miles to Shamrock, 15 miles to Oklahoma border, 20 miles to Sayre, 50 miles to Clinton, 40 miles Canadian River, 20 miles to ElReno, 30 miles to Oklahoma City. Council Road RV park, see map. Leave I-40 at exit 142, turn right into Council Road.

Note 3 Albuquerque - This will be a long hard day on the road in the RV. It is 565 miles to OKC. Bob and I will be off on the road by 7:30 as it could take us up to 10 hours. New arrivals might want to think about staying in a motel. The cars should make it in about 7 hours plus stops. We also lose an hour today with the change to Central time at the Texas Border

Bill and Bob set off first; Simon & Rhiannon went to fetch Jane & Chris; Martin and Helen were in the 2nd car. The plan was that all would meet at the Cadillac Ranch at Amarillo, but B&B got tired of waiting for the others so they plowed on. They jogged along at 75-80 mph and arrived at the fair City of OKC (Bill's words) in due course and of course they rang me up.

Along the way B&B were amused by a very foolish driver of a Volvo estate car (AKA station wagon). Apparently this tried driving across the central grassed area which included a nice muddy ditch after the rain storms across the area. This in spite of a sign that says not to drive on the central reservation – such signs of course don’t apply to Volvo drivers, that’s universal. But of course he got well and truly stuck. The girlfriend got out of the car and went for help and this must have been quick in coming as the car was gone by the time the Tourists arrived. Bill enjoyed capturing the whole stupid thing on film.

They pulled over at the famous Cadillac Ranch.

A group of kids on an organized school trip were just arriving with their keepers.

After the Old Gits left, these school kids were just leaving about the time the Tourists arrived. Some of them gave Simon the remainder of their spray cans so he could make his contribution.

Now, I believe Simon is in a band of some kind called Drone. I forget if they do grunge or garage or what. It's all noise to me even if his 94 year old Grandmother thinks it's brilliant (sorry, Simon). The reference to Helium, well it just floats over my head...(couldn't resist).

I think whoever came up with sinking old Cads into the mud out in the middle of nowhere was a genius. I've not seen it and Simon's pictures had my mouth hanging open. This reminds me of the Graffiti Bridge in OKC, which seemed to get a new coat of paint every single weekend and provided an outlet for kids from all over OKC on a Sat night. Even I helped paint the thing once. It's been torn down for a long time now.

Oklahoma City

(this looks like the drive into Oklahoma City to me...)

I was watching the clock from about 2:30 on. Bill rang about 6pm and gave me some directions to the RV site on Council Road just off I-40, which took me a while to find. Bill and I had each assumed the other would be staying with them; typical of us to be confused like that. I didn't bring my things to stay with him at the RV and he wanted to show Bob a cool place to run the next morning.

Everyone was ready for dinner and since OKC is my hometown one might assume that I knew my way around it, which isn’t necessarily true! It’s been 17 years since I left there and a few things have changed, my capacity for remembering among them. I faithfully carried the Yellow Pages for the maps and the address listings in Rita's car with me. Everyone thought that was funny, but I couldn't have survived the week without it.

Bill wanted to do chicken fried steaks at Del Rancho but I couldn’t find one listed in a neighbourhood I was happy to go to at night. Bill’s next choice was the Outback Steakhouse but it wasn’t listed in the phone book and I wasn’t happy with his guessing the location (when we passed it later, it was now a sushi house).

I had the Tourists following me, Bill was getting quite goofy and grouchy -- which I choose to attribute to low blood sugar and I'm sometimes right. Bob was quieter and quieter and I decided any food was a priority. When I spotted the Cimarron Steak House I whipped the car into the parking lot. This turned out well: it had interesting d├ęcor, good service and food (but I was the only one who had a chicken fried steak). Jane was absolutely enthralled at seeing an older man at the next table with a long white moustache wearing a black cowboy hat. I thought about taking his picture but decided, even if I asked him, he might not feel it was very polite.

Helen & Martin were staying a nearby motel. S&R slept over the cab, Bill on the dining table, Bob was on the couch and C&J in the back bedroom.

I drove home across town down Pennsylvania Ave, as the entrance to I-44 from I-40 was closed for works. I enjoyed the drive, though I was quite tired and not altogether happy driving in the dark – not sure my contact prescription is as up-to-date as it should be for driving. Because of the high price of gas I’d not spent a great deal of time just exploring OKC and so this trip did show me part of the city, including the place where Grandma and Grandpa’s house used to be. I’m pleased to say that the developer who forced me to sell to him has yet to find a buyer for the block he bought up.

I got home about 11pm. This wasn’t the way I had envisioned things going, but it was what it was…

1 comment:

Rick Stone said...

Two comments: 1) If you liked the Cadillac Ranch then you should take a drive to northeast Nebraska. There is a complete replica of Stonehenge except it is done with old cars and is called Carhenge. 2) If the price of gas was a bother you should have told your RV drivers to slow down. Since I've dropped down my driving from 65 to 60 my fuel mileage has gone up from 9.5 to 10.1 mpg. (I say fuel becuase the "petrol" we put in this beast is diesel.)