Archive for October 7th, 2010

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have been taking a much needed break from traveling the last few days, catching up with an old friend in Oklahoma and visiting with him and his family. This is the first time we’ve seen each other in about 17 years! He was in boot camp with my brother, we became pen-pals and wrote for several years. Luckily he found me on Facebook. (See, Facebook isn’t all evil!) This is definitely the best part of doing this road trip – catching up with old friends and making new ones.  

The first day I barely got out of my pajamas and did nothing all day – a first for me in a very long while! I think it was especially needed after the horrid day of flight delays (five) followed by the straight drive from Little Rock to Oklahoma. I so prefer being in the car to flying – something I never thought I’d say. But when you’re behind the wheel you’re in control of when and where you go, rather than being at the mercy of the airlines. I have never been so happy to see my car (Holly) as I was when I landed.

Speaking of Holly, she’s in need of some attention: she’s already hit 15,000 miles. I scheduled maintenance for her at the Volvo dealership of Oklahoma City and set off yesterday – Day 28 – to find it. Oklahoma City is about 70 miles from Holdenville, where I’m staying. Should be easy with Aidan, right? Well, I’m afraid I’ve gotten a bit to complacent and too reliant on Aidan because he finally failed me!

Yes, I say finally, because I was kinda waiting for it to happen – no one is perfect, not even a GPS. However, his past record of success lulled me into a false sense of security. I didn’t even use my brain yesterday, when we were clearly in the wrong place. You see, I blindly followed him to within two miles of our supposed destination. I saw we were early so I let a bookstore sidetrack me for a few minutes (I’m a sucker for bookstores). I got back in the car with just under 10 minutes to spare. But we were only going a couple of miles so should be fine, right? Wrong.

I drove to where Aidan said “Congratulations! You’ve reached your destination!” and found some warehouses, but certainly no Volvo dealership. I should’ve known we weren’t yet in Oklahoma City. It was a rather suburban area, but hey, it’s Oklahoma, and it’s been 20 years since I’ve been there so couldn’t be sure. I ended up finding the right place by doing two things: putting the name of the dealership in the GPS and calling and confirming the new directions with them. I was about 15 miles away. Luckily they were very nice and still able to help me. So lesson learned – no more blind trust! Sorry Aidan…

On the way back I took my time and was able to get some photographs of the area. It’s very pretty, but I’m afraid so many of my pictures from these middle states are looking rather similar. Yes, I want to get photos of the area, but I think I also have to be better at seeking out some of the more unique places along the way. So over the next couple days while I’m still in Oklahoma I’m going to take advantage and do a bit more research and forward planning. Don’t worry – I won’t fall into my rigid planning, I’ll still take the impromptu detours, but I also want to make sure I don’t miss any that may not be in my direct path…

P.S. – completely forgot a very interesting encounter I had on Day 28! While I was on my way back to Jason’s, taking pictures along the way, I saw this old, rusted trailer at the end of a dead-end road. It was parked at the beginning of a field and looked like it was begging to be noticed and have its picture taken. It was pretty dark (I only noticed it because my headlights flashed on it), so I wasn’t sure if the picture would come out, but I took a few anyway. As I pulled away, a man came out of a house. I smiled, gave a tiny wave and kept driving. I was on the phone (hands-free, of course) with my cousin Tara and just driving slowly through town when I came to a train roaring through the crossing ahead of me. I thought that, too, would be a good picture if I could pull over quick enough. As I did, I realized the truck behind me pulled over too, and a man got out. I told Tara to wait a minute and rolled down my window. (I think her just being on the phone helped me to not be scared.)

“Why were you taking pictures of my trailer?” he asked. “Because I thought it was pretty,” I replied. He scratched his head and squinted at me. “Really? Why?” he asked again. “Yes. I’m just going around Oklahoma taking pictures,” I said. “Really?” he asked yet again. “Really.” He kind of shook his head, said OK, and slowly walked back to his truck, stopping only to analyze my license plate and then left. Jason laughed when I told him about the encounter later and agreed that he probably does know the trailer man and might even hear about it in town. Oh those small towns…  

Read Full Post »