Off of the Grid

Day Four

Just Can’t Make Time . . .

I am just not sure what was happening on our forth travel day. It seemed like we could just not get going. Every place we stopped for food turned into a two hour stop. We kept having to stop for potty breaks for the child, for the puppies and for the mamma. I don’t know when daddy pee’d. It was just one stop after another. This was a grueling day. Today the circumstance seemed to finally hit Xander. He would ask when we were going to see his friends. He always mentions Treyce and Jai and today was asking about Khalil who was almost his constant companion before his family moved to Ohio. It was Wednesday though and we still had 5 states to cross. I had hoped to be across Texas by this day and resting in Oklahoma. Instead we were slugging along. Daniel, Alexander and I were so exhausted. We would get some sleep finally after a long day of driving only to get a late start in the am and then drive until midnight again the next day. It was a horrible cycle for all of us and was starting to take its toll. Fortunately (thank you Winnie) Daniel and I are seasoned road travelers and managed to be exhausted and stressed without biting each others heads off…most of the time. 😉

Giant Cross TX

Texas. Well, Texans are a strange breed of people. Texas as I am sure you know is The Friendly State. Where people are encouraged to drive friendly, be friendly, live friendly, etc., etc., etc.. They also believe in carrying guns – everywhere (but in a friendly fashion) and are very proud. There’s a whole thing to being a Texan. ‘I’ can say this, as I am Texan born. It’s kinda like being Jewish, you have to be born of a Jewish mother to really be considered Jewish. Same rules apply. Must be born in Texas and preferably of a Texan but we won’t go there. Back to Texans. They like to do things BIG. If you haven’t been there and thought the whole everything is bigger in Texas saying was a joke it’s not. They are very serious about it and do their best to live up to that motto, as do the roaches, mosquitoes and other creatures of the state. So I wasn’t overly surprised to see – from MILES away – a giant cross. This picture really doesn’t do it justice. This thing was taller than the water tower for the town. Taller than near-by silo’s and all the telephone poles. Small planes probably fly around this thing for fun – seriously, it was that tall. I couldn’t fit anything large into the image to provide some perspective. Maybe you can see that the white van on the ground could easily drive through the horizontal part of the cross . . . as could a semi. This thing was huge. I guess even God is bigger in Texas.

 
Britten Water Tower Texas

Further down the road, we found this. LOL – Italy has the leaning tower of Pisa, Texas has the leaning water tower of Britten. In case you somehow forgot what country you were in while driving across New Mexico (some people really think that is Mexico – I’m not kidding) we are reminded that we are in the USA. PHEW! ‘Cause I was worried there for a moment! Of course there were the famous Texas cattle and I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of them were free range. Its hard to snap pictures of them while speeding down the road at 65mph so you will just have to take my word they were there and looked pretty happy. I have a special thing for cows. I love ’em! Love their eyes and personalities. I used to live near a big field and the farmer would rent out the field for cattle every other year or so. When we would go out and about, the cows would come to the fence and say, “Hi.” Pretty fun creatures. And yes, I eat them. I accept that I am an omnivore and am comfortable with my place in the food chain. I do make it a point to try (where ever possible) to know where my cow comes from and support organic and natural farms with humane practices. I also say thank you for the sacrifice. It’s my balance and what works for me. But I digress – back to the trip! We got lost a bit in Texas looking for a grocery store in a small town. I am familiar with Texas, Daniel is not. While he was trying to find something on his GPS, I just waved someone down and asked. Texans will go out of their way to help you given the slightest opportunity. Sure enough, this kind lady would not only tell us how to get to the local grocery store, she would take us there as well! Let me tell you, we NEVER would have found the store without her help. So, kind Texas lady, thank you!

 

OklahomaA

I was surprised by Oklahoma. I was surprised by the blood red soil. I have been in Oklahoma City before for work – which should translate to, I have been to Oklahoma but hadn’t seen Oklahoma – and don’t remember it being this striking. It was so interesting to see the green-green grass and then the deep red and rust soil against the blue of the sky. Add a few puffy white clouds and you get the picture. I was captivated.

OklahomaC

 

 
Windmill1Windmill2trees

 

Some fun stuff – I loved seeing the windmill farms everywhere. Had to take pictures of some of the only trees I saw in Oklahoma. And a house that looks like it had been damaged in an tornado reminding Daniel and I that we were driving through a part of Tornado Alley.

 

 

Of course there were 9 million advertisements for hand made Indian items on billboards all along I-40. We stopped at one that advertised a restaurant as well and I snuck over to the shop on a potty break. Of course beautiful jewelry and a lot of crap. The jewelry was really expensive and given the name of the shop,
tornado houseI asked if the tribes were getting a percentage of the sales. “No” was the response. “The owner will go to the artists and just buy what she wants and then brings it back here and sells it.”

For some reason, I was really offended by this. While living and exploring the New Mexico/Arizona area I had the great good fortune to meet many Indian artists. I had a favorite lady who would set up shop in the Salt River Canyon in AZ. I traded with a pueblo tribe in New Mexico coming back from Colorado one year. I am certainly happy that the owner of this shop was buying the jewelry but she marked it up like 400%. It was crazy and I guess that is why I was so offended. I was hoping that if she was going to scalp people (BA-Dum TCHSH) in these purchases, that at least the tribes would be getting a kick-back. I dunno. Maybe I was just in a mood. I ran back to the restaurant, we had dinner and left. And yes, once again dinner took hours. Apparently the computer crashed … as we walked in. sigh – Face Palm

We wanted to at least get across the Arkansas border before stopping for the day. We made it into Van Buren and got a hotel. Not much to say. We were glad to stop and looking forward to tomorrow when we can get a fresh start and hopefully hit the road early.

 

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