Day seven. We made it all the way to Amarillo, Texas! We have gone over a thousand miles! Today, we drove 390 and I picked up NO new license plates ... none. Can you believe it?
Up and at 'em this morning, as we have another long day. Now realize I figure anything over seven hours driving is a long day. This will be an eight-hour stretch from eastern Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas. Should be an amazing campsite tonight!
8 a.m.: We are on the road. Just drove by the rest of Lake Eufawla. We could only see a small section from our campsite. According to a man that lives six months at the campground, the lake has a thousand miles of shoreline.
9:15 a.m.: Made the gas stop of the day. It is nice that we only have to get fuel once a day. We are at Okemah, OK. I know, that means nothing to most of you. Oklahoma is rolling and green. I like it. Paul? Not as much perhaps. There is a lot of wind and he is not enjoying keeping the camper on the road. It makes me want to sleep ...
9:50 a.m.: Just an observation. We have been passing from one Indian nation territory to different one every half hour or so. We are in the Seminole Indian Nation territory now.
10:02 a.m.: Kickapoo Nation now. We are mid-state, around Oklahoma City. There is some road construction going on and the ground is roughed-up. Very red. It reminds me of Georgia soil somewhat, but the shade is different. I want to stop and touch it. The landscape is rolling. The trees are changing. There are these short trees with very bent, rather than long, straight branches. When I see some, we zoom by before I can actually get a picture. Maybe when we stop for lunch there will be one I can photograph. I need to look up and see what they are. Definitely don’t have these back east! Mesquite trees! Commonly found here and used for firewood, to make bowls and other crafts.
10:56 a.m.: Passing Tinker Air Force Base. We have to keep track of these Air Force Basses, you know. Paul said all the gates to the base are names after fighter jets. I will take his word for it.
Apparently we are now in the middle of the United States. If you draw a line from each corner of the nation to the opposite corner and make an X, you will end up here ... I need a map.
There has been this pinkish stripe across the horizon for hours now. We have decided it is dust. New Mexico had a horrible dust storm a few days ago and we wonder if this is dust caught up in the atmosphere. Off to the right side we can see it end. Interesting.
Now that we are west of Oklahoma City I start to feel like I am in the west. The landscape is changing. The trees are stubby and busy in shape. Houses are lower to the ground (due to this incessant wind perhaps?), the soil is really red, and cows dot the landscape. This is what I think Texas will be like.
11:40 a.m.: OK, not dust – SMOKE! We are almost under it, the vehicles coming our way all have headlights on, and we can smell it. We drove through it for about a half hour, then it cleared up. I will need to find out if we had a wild fire or something else. Googled it and found out that there are several wildfires in the western part of Oklahoma, having burned over 400,000 acres so far. This is from a download on google: A combination of weather, including low humidity, high temperature and strong winds, joined to create near perfect conditions for the fire to flourish. A burn ban remained in effect for all of the western part of the state Wednesday. The national guard has been called in to fight the fire. Regular forces cannot control it. WOW.
1 p.m.: Lunch at a gas station. There are no rest areas on I-40 in Oklahoma. NONE! So if you are coming this way, be prepared.
1:39 p.m.: Welcome to Texas! All the signs say extreme wildfire danger. No wonder, with the fires raging in Oklahoma to Texas’s east. The wind is coming from the north at this time.
3 p.m.: VERY FLAT AND WINDY. I could hardly stand up when we got out of the camper to check out a Texas rest area. And there are windmills, miles and miles of them. Makes good sense. I bet this is one cold place in the winter.
Thirty-seven miles to Amarillo!
Seeing a number of old-time windmills also, the ones real people would have used to get water for their cows. We are passing a fair number of abandoned small ranches, small houses with several fenced-in areas that look like cattle corrals. My guess.
4:30 p.m.: Oasis RV Resort. We have gone from redneck to snooty.
We look like the poor cousin here. I asked at check-in if it is always this windy and was told yes.
I could not live with this, but man, how great to dry laundry or fly kites!
Looking to the bright side, Regina