Right now I’d like to be remarking on an unremarkable drive from the Texas Panhandle into Oklahoma. After severe weather rolled through last night, we got an early start in perfect conditions on smooth roads. Today’s mileage was right in our sweet spot of 300 or less, too, and we did manage to arrive at our destination before 3:30pm.
What made this a zero-fun day was, again, the wind. Once the sun was up and the air warmed, a relentless blast from the south hammered on the curb side of our bus. Like the duck that appears to glide effortlessly across the surface but is paddling furiously beneath, I kept Ernie on the road and (mostly) between the lines, but it took constant effort and focus to do so.
There’s a reason they farm wind out here.
High-profile vehicles like ours were sitting ducks. I saw very few professional drivers traveling at the 75mph speed limit. Likewise RVers, with a few exceptions — I watched two travel trailers develop a “wag” that almost yanked them off the road, and I observed a motorhome make a sudden swerve, catch a gust of wind and nearly lose control right in front of us.
We kept it cool and steady. We stopped twice at rest areas for relief, as well as once for diesel and once for groceries.
We’re now set up for two nights in central Oklahoma, a stone’s throw from an Interstate off-ramp at what I call a “concrete park” — not a lot of character, really, but everything we need is here and near-perfect. Reasonably priced, too.
Making good on a tease in yesterday’s post, Deb and I had special dinner plans last night. “The Big Texan Steak Ranch,” an Amarillo institution for over 60 years, offers free limo rides from our campground to the restaurant. We couldn’t pass that up.
Truth is, The Big Texan is garish and flashy. There’s nothing reserved or subtle about it. It’s a tourist trap, a feed-people factory. I’m sure all that keeps some people away.
It’s their loss.
Not only did we have a ball at The Big Texan — we dined on some of the best beef we’ve had in a very long time. It was yet another great meal on the road, and given the chance we’ll definitely go back.
Now, as we settle in Oklahoma for 48 hours, it’s time to rest and re-charge.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.