Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 6 away from home - August 15th, 2013

We have to keep those windows clean for photo taking.  You missed a spot Gregg.

8.30 a.m. on August 15th, 2013, we left the hotel in Little Rock Arkansas.  The mileage on our car read 9,546.  It was a very nice hotel but did have an iffy wi-fi connection and it kept kicking us off.  It did, however, have nice rooms with comfortable beds and that after all is the main thing. We are heading for Starbucks again but for coffee and not for the wi-fi.  It is two-and-a-half miles away according to Gregg's Siri.  There is a pattern here.  We also stopped at our bank to pick up some cash which 'she' directed us to.  It was just an ATM kiosk in the middle of a parking lot.  The first one we have ever been to that was not attached to a bank, new to us.

An interesting thing, we have just realized starting our third full day on the road (we spent the first few days with my in-laws) that we are acting like we are in a hurry.  But there is no ship to catch, no job to hurry back to.  Gregg and I need to slow down and change our thinking.  We are looking forward to getting out to the Southwest but we need to see more places in the area we are driving through.  We love looking at the passing scenery which has changed from state to state but the next visitor center we come to, we are going to stop and find some interesting places around us.  I am wondering how long it will be before we will actually adjust our thinking?  Gregg thinks a year at least.  Maybe next time we will have it all down pat.  We are noticing the further away from where we live, the pace of life is slowing down.  Maybe we will learn to slow down too.  

A lot of trucks on the road to keep us company.  They pass us on a regular basis.  The speed limit out here is 75 mph.

The states we are driving through on Rt. 40 west from here on will be Oklahoma,Texas, New Mexico and Arizona until we get to the Grand Canyon.  Today we are detouring slightly so that we can see Santa Fe. Before that we will be going to the Palo Duro Canyon State Park.   Smelling the roses?  You betcha!  We had the trip tic from the AAA but because we decided to go to the Grand Canyon first, we are now on an entirely different route.  Gregg just quipped that he never met a plan that couldn't be changed.  

10.04 a.m. at Exit 74, now if we had taken that we would have visited the town of London.  

10.15 a.m. We are still in Arkansas and we found an overlook but it wasn't too long before we left. There were lots of steps that Gregg climbed first and as I was just about to he said not to bother, there was a river in the distance and that was about it.  I have a sore knee today and he didn't want me to make an unnecessary climb for very little reward.

I have been using my IPad for taking photos.  I have to get used to that feature.  Two C130 Hercules flew over but I couldn't see what I was taking.  I forgot to take my sunglasses off!  I realized after the planes had flown well passed that I was taking photos of my face, so no photos of the C130 Hercules.  It gave Gregg a good laugh, more at the expression on my face than anything.  I really must remember to take those sunglasses off next time.  They are becoming attached! There are times when I feel such a turnip!

From Gregg's map on his phone we are in the Ozarks.  To the south is Lake Dardanelle.  We are still in Arkansas.

At least we have slowed down for the moment.  Another thought, it reminds me how much I love the sound of those propeller planes as they fly overhead.  They were pretty low, so their base must not be too far away.

11.29 a.m. we entered Oklahoma and I actually took a photo of the state sign this time, missing others all along the way.  On the other side of the freeway we saw that two cars had been pulled over by the police, people coming out of Oklahoma into Arkansas.  This was their welcome into the State.

11.34 a.m. we saw our first Indian Casino.  No we didn't stop.  Those slot machines are addictive!

11.40 a.m. we just drove over the Big Sin Bayou.

12.00 noon we stopped at the first information center/rest stop. What a pretty place!  It has teepees for their picnic tables and lots of flowers.  A lady came up and talked to me about the color of one bush and we both agreed we had never seen such a vibrant color on that particular bush before.  I can't remember its name.  The building of the visitor center was beautiful too.

The people inside were so friendly and very helpful, and gave us all kinds of booklets about Oklahoma.  It leaves you with a great first impression. Our welcome here was a lot better than for those people over the state line!

The painting behind the counter was gorgeous.  I wish I had asked more about it but I am wondering if it depicts a scene from The Trail of Tears.

I will share more photos of this place probably when I get home if not before.

12.28 p.m. we entered Muskogee County.

15.50 a.m. we pulled off and had a driving tour around Chickataw.  The town is a nice slice of small town Americana.  Carry Underwood was from here.  A sign proudly proclaimed their daughter.  I took a photo of a lovely Native Indian statue and a dog.  I tried to find some information about it but had no success.

If you are interested in famous people who came from Oklahoma you can click here.  It is a long list but a few that I noted were:

Geronimo, Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie, Chuck Norris, Gene Autry, Gary Busey, Lon Chaney Jr., James Garner, Ron Howard, Brad Pitt and many others.

 I didn't make a note of the time but not too far up from Chickataw we stopped in Henrietta and had lunch at the Classic Diner.  Nice people and good food.  I had a turkey club sandwich and Gregg tried the BLT.  They had a pickle bar and you were given a small plate for your choices of pickle, there were several.  

I took a few photos going in and out.  We saw a motel when getting back on to the highway advertising rooms for $24 a night, and then I saw this place.

This pretty horse looked up as he heard the click of the shutter.

2.40 a.m. we crossed the North Canadian River.

2.46 p.m. we entered the Seminole Indian Nation.

2.50 p.m. since we left home we have driven 1,645 miles.

3.18 p.m. we saw signs to Tinker Air Force base where they maintain the President's plane.  We saw an AWACS flying out of Tinker.

3.30 p.m. we drove past Oklahoma City.  Gregg showed me the hotel from the freeway that he stayed in on many a business trip here.

4.55 p.m. we stopped at Weatherford for fuel and an ice-cream.  We also booked a room in Amarillo.

6.05 p.m. central time we crossed over into Texas.  The mileage now shows 1,840 miles since leaving home.

Cars passed us from New Jersey and New York.

6.45 p.m. central time we stopped  at the Gray County rest area.  It has a tornado shelter which was advertised on the road sign just before we pulled in.  It looked like part of the building was built into the side of a hill, and all four bathrooms were the tornado shelters.  There were two on each side of the building.  It was another wonderful rest stop.  

I saw my first hummer in a tree.  He was too fast and flew away before I thought to get a photo.  I was so taken by surprise that I was mesmerized.  We did, however, see some very interesting bugs, yellow grasshoppers, flying insects and the prettiest flowers. 

I am sure we would have moved on sooner if it were not for these and taking in the surrounding sights. The area reminded me of the Badlands in North Dakota.  

7.28 p.m. and we have 46 miles to go to reach Amarillo.

The speed limit is 75 mph in this area.  Not too far from the hotel the land became very flat.

We saw huge windmills .  The line of them went on forever.  There must have been over a hundred of them.  One propeller blade of the wind turbine is over 50 feet long.

Around 8.30 p.m. we reached our overnight hotel and we were very glad for it.  It was right off the highway and the trickiest exit from the main road that we have encountered so far.  We could see the hotel but when we turned right onto the road that was an obvious choice, it wasn't too long afterwards that we realized it was one way.  Fortunately there were only a couple of cars heading in our direction. When Gregg later asked how to get into the hotel he found we had to go a really convoluted way round . We are very thankful we didn't arrive in the dark.  The sun was just starting to set when we walked into the hotel.

And that is about it for this post.  


  1. It's good you have a reliable iPhone, Denise. You made me laugh when you mentioned Gregg was driving the wrong way on a one way street. That has happened to me, too, in Hawaii. Luckily, I was never ticketed nor crashed into someone. Lol.

  2. Hi Denise, I am SO enjoying this tour!!! I love classic diners, there are very few left in Montreal. Looking forward to seeing more of your photos and the places you visit. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. I'm just sick!!!!! You went right by our town (Crossville, TN--on I-40).. We could have met you all for some coffee or lunch... I had no idea where you were going...

    AND--near Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas is Mt. Nebo --where you could have taken a break. (You remember all of my posts from Mt. Nebo, don't you????)

    Oh Well... I'm so sorry we didn't know.

  4. Your iPad is doing a great job, Denise. I am having such a great time traveling with you. That is a gorgeous flower. I always send Art ahead to see if it's worth it for me to climb something too.

  5. Didn't know Will Rogers was from OK

  6. What are the temperatures like down there right now?
    Jane x

  7. Greg is looking very relaxed. Slow down and smell the roses. The information centres are always our first stop in a new town.I am enjoying this ride with you.

  8. Goodness sake, what a busy day. I wondered where you were rushing off too on Day 2 or 3. Lovely part of the country. I have several "bird' pals out that way who correspond with me.

    Have fun and I think the red flowered shrub in one photo may be Crepe Myrtle. They come in small shrubs these days thanks to genetic engineering. Dianne

  9. Hi Denise, I am going backwards some reading your trip post. What a fun road trip to the Grand Canyon! WOW! The visitor center is beautiful and your ipad is taking great photos. Have fun and enjoy!

  10. Fantastic trip, I'm delighted by your adventures!