We’re 1100 miles into a 1900 mile trek to Santa Fe. In a Honda Element the two dogs are wonderful, veteran travelers. Their Mommy and Daddy are in the movie business so they are accustomed to traveling to various locations. Fortunately they are from New York City so they don’t cop any “Hollywood” attitudes. I delayed my onset about an hour Saturday so as not to hit Columbus, Ohio during Ohio State’s game day traffic. The rout was well under way when we cruised through. Same for yesterday as we hit St. Louis during the Ram’s game. Leaving on a weekend has worked out well because traffic has been light. Other than Tulsa this morning its clear sailing through the prairie and the desert from Springfield, Missouri. Yesterday was a long, 600 mile leg and I should have arranged a hotel in Rolla.
There have a few interesting stories along the way. I stopped for dinner yesterday in southern Missouri, the Ozarks, very redneck country. Having New York plates identifies me as an “eastern liberal,” I’m sure. I pulled into this local restaurant hoping for a good steak dinner. This is cattle country with the old stockyards of Missouri still present. Last June I had a fantastic filet mignon dinner in Springfield. I walked into a mostly empty place as I’m still on Eastern time and I’d driven through lunch. Three people were seated at a table, locals who greeted me and asked where I was headed. I’m sure my response of the very socialistic city of Santa Fe, along with NY plates, was interesting for them.
Their conversation, at the table next to mine, was about whores and prostitutes, not a subject I normally enjoy for dinner conversation. One elderly gent chain smoked cigarettes so I assume Missouri doesn’t yet have a smoking ban for public places. It could also be they didn’t care. One man sat with his back to me and had a “Don’t tread on me” sticker on his cap, he didn’t know enough to remove his hat in a restaurant. He also was going “commando” and I was given a broad view of his crack while I had dinner. Soon the woman, who it turns out is a prostitute (explaining that conversation) discussed some local politics with the elderly gent with the smoking habit and they talked about a recent race where he was a candidate. They discussed his opponent’s asking him directly if he was the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan for which he refused an answer. Of course that means he is… An interesting meal since the steak was rather poor. Who needs a good steak when you get local color of this quality?
Last night we were at a La Quinta Inn, very nice with an indoor pool and spa which I enjoyed. The spa is great for relaxing after ten hours on the road. You get sore, tensed muscles at my advanced age. Tonight we stay in Elk City, Oklahoma which is halfway between Oklahoma City and Amarillo, Texas. In June I pushed to Amarillo and it was a long day. With just 800 miles to go I decided to split the second half into 400 mile segments. Well, we’re on our way. Hopefully I’ll get to our hotel early enough to do some writing.