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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

24 States in 27 Days - Day 22:

Oct. 31st, 2012, Wednesday: It was a cold morning, but we finally got out of our warm nest and made coffee which thawed my freezing fingers. 

Soon the sun came out and shone on the deciduous hills across the lake, as the moon made it’s slow descent behind. 

After granola for breakfast, Brad went to shower and I pulled out my watercolor journal and paints for the first time this trip. It was good to relax and not be in a hurry for a change.

We did leave around 10:30, 

stopped in Sallisaw for gas, then continued west on I-40. 

Our next stop was in Okemah, the home of Woody Guthrie. 

We spent a bit of time there writing and mailing postcards, then grocery shopping. Inside the Homeland grocery store we heard news about Hurricane Sandy’s destruction for the first time. We kept going west on I-40, stopped for lunch at a rest area, then just beyond Oklahoma City, we parked outside a McDonald’s to use their free wifi. We never did eat any fast food on our road trip, but we did indulge in some parking lot, fast food wifi! We both had work to attend to, as we caught up on emails while seated in our truck. It was another unseasonably warm, sunny day with temps climbing into the 70’s. 

The sun blasted our faces entering Texas around 6:00 pm. 

How I spent a lot of our road trip... so many drive-by photos! 

For the first and only time this road trip, we decided to get a room at a motel, and as we came to the outskirts of Amarillo we saw numerous billboards advertising inexpensive motels, one after another. We passed several on a service road that paralleled I-40, and Brad finally pulled into a place called Luxury Inn and Suites. It looked local, and we thought it’d be nice to support a non-chain hotel. The friendly receptionist set us up, and after a nice chat with her we went to our room. Circling around back we parked and went in the side near the pool courtyard. Brad opened the door to our room and we were immediately disappointed to see how tired the interior looked, and my first thought was bed bugs?! There was a stained upholstered chair, and everything seemed shabby and dull. I put my stuff down gingerly, then checked the bed, pulled off the covers and peered between the mattress and headboard. I didn’t see anything crawling, but even the sheets looked grubby. Ugh… We looked in the bathroom next and saw a stained shower, dirt in the corners, totally grimy. We both agreed we had to go, although we felt a bit reluctant since the receptionist was so nice, but we just wanted to get out of there it was so uncomfortable! I’d much rather sleep in our truck! Luckily the woman voided our transaction without any trouble. When she asked why, I said it just wasn’t what we expected. She didn’t seem that dismayed we were leaving... We were so glad to be out of there! We then drove further along the service road, checked out a couple more possibilities and ended up at the Day’s Inn. This receptionist was wearing her hair up in curlers, with a bathrobe - it was Halloween and she was a “tired housewife”. The place was spotless, and just what we wanted! We were so comfortable we decided an easy dinner of pb and jam sandwiches was fine - no need to escape in search of a Texas steakhouse!  While Brad was out bringing in our food he discovered a washer and dryer for us to use down the hall - bonus! As we were checking email, Brad turned on the tv and we saw for the first time, news covering Hurricane Sandy. We were shocked and saddened to see the destruction, along with the flooded streets of Manhattan where we’d been parked just days before! We felt lucky to be out of the area, and safe in our comfortable room in Amarillo.

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