Category Archives: Oklahoma

Against the Wind

We pulled out of Time Out RV Park around 9:30am yesterday and left Chickasha, Oklahoma heading west on US 62. Our route took us on US62, then north on US281 and west again on OK152. These were two-lane highways through cattle ranch and oil drilling country (map). The narrow road surface was mostly smooth with a few rough sections. The hard part of driving this route was the wind. We had wind coming directly from the south. On the westbound highway, I was buffeted by strong crosswinds. This is very tiring in a high-profile vehicle.

We hit I-40 after two hours in Sayre, Oklahoma. I topped up our fuel tank at the Pilot/Flying J travel center there. Diesel fuel was $2.31/gallon with my RV Plus discount card. I was already tired but had a few hours of driving ahead of me to get to Amarillo, Texas. The wind was relentless as we headed west into Texas.

The surroundings changed as we moved along. All day we were going up and down short, rolling hills. The net result was a gain in elevation as we went uphill more than we went down. In Texas, we were no longer looking at trees in the landscape, we were on the short grass plains now. The rolling hills disappeared and we gradually climbed all the way to Amarillo which sits 3,600 feet above sea level.

Our original plan was to stay in a RV park east of town that had a Passport America rate of just $12.50/day for an unlimited stay. Further research on Google Earth and RV Park review sites changed our mind. The place was basically an open dirt lot with hook-ups. We booked a week at the Amarillo Ranch RV Park. This place looked pretty good online – I’ve found that online pictures tend to make places look better than reality (map).

When we checked in, I was pleasantly surprised to find the park is nicer than it appeared on the web. We’re in a level, gravel pull-through site. We’ll spend a week here recharging after being on the go since we left Lake George, New York. Donna has a hair appointment next week with a stylist that was recommended to her. We have some important mail sitting in South Dakota that will be forwarded here. I also have a few maintenance items to attend to. We’ll take in a few sights while we’re here and get some of the local flavor.

After a week here, we plan to head into New Mexico where we’ll explore and kick around for three weeks before we go to the annual balloon fiesta in Albuquerque.

 

Trail of Tears

As I wrote yesterday’s post , I could hardly believe it was September. The time flies by so quickly – in another three weeks, summer will officially be fall. Other than a couple of short walks in the Aux Arc Corps of Engineers Park (COE), we stayed mostly indoors due to the heat and humidity. Ozark the cat kept us amused. She loves to play with her toys. She has a catnip filled mouse that Donna’s mother made and two more that I bought. She bats them around, knocking them several feet away, then chases them down.

Another favorite of hers is a rolled up section of parchment paper tied to a string that Donna made. On Tuesday night, I hung it from the dining table. Ozark would creep up to it in stealth mode, then attack. She batted it like a tetherball (Wikipedia). She would roll over and bat it around with her left paw, then her right. Very entertaining to watch – and good exercise for her.

Ozark eyeing the tethered parchment toy

Ozark eyeing the tethered parchment toy

Ready to strike with her right p[aw

Ready to strike with her right paw

She got it

She got it

We pulled out of the park around 9:15am Wednesday morning and drove through the town of Ozark to I-40 (map). Our first stop was about an hour away at the Pilot/Flying J in Roland, Oklahoma. I had mapped out our next few fuel stops. I wanted to fuel up in Roland and once again before we left Oklahoma – I’ll avoid filling up in the Texas panhandle where most of the stations are pumping B20. I wrote about my fuel preferences in this post.

Our route after leaving the Meriwether Lewis National Monument in Tennessee on US64 has overlapped much of the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears is a sad note in our nation’s history. On May 28, 1830, our congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This resulted in the forced relocation of Native American tribes from the southeast including the¬†Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw¬†nations.

Treaties were signed that resulted in these people being moved to what was referred to at the time as the Indian Territory – presently known as Oklahoma. The forced removal and poor travel conditions resulted in the death of thousands of Native Americans. Thus the name Trail of Tears.

We drove through the Cherokee Nation on I-40 then went south on US69 through Eufaula along Eufaula Lake. Then we headed west on AR9. We had a variety of road surfaces ranging from surprisingly good on parts of I-40 to patches of heaved roads that had things banging around in the coach.

After a GPS SNAFU (which the park owner says is common with their address) we finally found the Time Out RV Park in Chickasha, Oklahoma. We’re here for one night after a long day on the road, then we’ll push on to Amarillo, Texas. We’re pushing to get to Amarillo for a few reasons. I want to put the humidity behind us, Donna wants to see a hair stylist there and we need to to sit in one place long enough to get mail and maybe an Amazon delivery or two. Amarillo should work although the RV parks there don’t look to be the best.

The temperature when we arrived in Chickasha was 95 degrees, but the humidity was under 40%. We can expect high daytime temperatures in Amarillo, but the humidity will be even lower than here.