I hit the road this morning to the glorious sight of the Tehachapi Windmills, with the clouds touching down to the ridge tops. On this Full Tilt Road Boogie west, I’ve wondered if I was just Tilting at Windmills, but as I climbed the mountain from the desert, and came down the mountain into the Central Valley, I knew otherwise. I passed the Raisin Capital, the Garlic Capital, and the Asparagus Capital to arrive at the capital of California.
Driving down the road, my attention went to tight spots in my body, places where I was holding things, and my breathing. The beautiful sky, and mountains and deserts of Arizona and California seemed to help. I had planned to stop in Barstow for the night, but none of the four exits showed the motels I favor, and then I was off in the direction of Bakersfield. I figured there would be something along the way, and so I settled into Mojave.
Originally I planned to take a side trip to Santa Fe, to see the Plaza and Cross of the Martyrs again, but it just seemed like reliving the past rather than creating the future. I had planned to make it to Houck, AZ for the night, but there’s no lodging there, none till Holbrook anyway, so it seems this was the place I was meant to spend the night. After all, I’m on a Mission From God!
In El Reno, OK it was raining at 6am this morning, but sunny by 8. Thinking about the release of energies in the body, I watch tumbling windmill blades in graceful rhythm, and the words, “May the wind be with you.” I passed Erick, OK, the hometown of Roger Miller, and thought of his biggest hit. A man of means by no means. Then came the big spaces of New Mexico, and soon I’m going to have a large meat lover’s pizza and red wine!
It was hot and humid before 10am in Mountain Home, so it was good to start the Full Tilt Road Boogie west. Coming out here, I picked cities and towns to reach each day, but this time I’m just setting a distance and looking around when I get there. And I may take side trips, we’ll see. The farther west I went in Arkansas, the prettier the hills became, the more fragrant the air. And once in Oklahoma, the quality of the roads and speed limits went up. And at one point while stretching behind the wheel going 75, my 12th thoracic vertebra that’s been out of alignment for at least 3 years, maybe 5, went back into place. A pretty good day!
The world is round, I’ll get there yet! It was a good thing to spend a week in Mountain Home, AR. I saw a few old friends and old places, but now it is time to move on. Tomorrow I hit the road again in search of my next adventure!
This was the biggest driving day of the road trip, 404 miles, but this was OK because last night was the best sleep night of the trip. And I didn’t expect to end up in the Show Me State!
Show me the exact change — I forgot that Oklahoma has a lot of toll roads, so first I scrambled to come up with singles to use in change machines. Then a toll collector short changed me by $15, but the security cameras verified I gave her a twenty.
Show me the billboard — I’m only minutes from exiting Oklahoma when I see a billboard saying, “Welcome to Tulsa Time!” I might have made more sense to show it to people entering the state, but maybe that’s the point.
Show me the way — So I’m following the Google Maps directions that I’ve printed out, and it shows being in Oklahoma, and then it says entering Arkansas. And I find myself in Missouri, headed past Joplin on my way to Springfield! Now I’ve been this way before, but I was still surprised, so I started looking for a town with motels. I found Mount Vernon, started looking for Super 8, but I was already through town without spotting it. And then the lights start flashing, a cop is pulling me over. I was doing 47mph in a 35mph zone. He just gave me a warning, and lead the way into the Super 8 parking lot!
Last time I counted, I’ve spent about a third of my life in Texas. Many childhood years in Houston, a nice summer in Dallas, and tough years in San Antonio and Austin. And then there were nine years in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but that’s another story. My only experiences of Amarillo are two times traveling east, once in a dust storm, once in the sunshine, discovering and rediscovering a Deco Palace and Tornado Shelter in the middle of nowhere.
Heading out from Flagstaff, the traffic seemed heavier, maybe the backlog from yesterday’s I-40 closure. Then in New Mexico there seemed to be a lot of road construction, so travel seemed slower. I was surprised to see how much traffic there was in Albuquerque, but I loved seeing the Sandia Mountains again. And I finally came to rest at the Sunset Motel where I got the usual Wonderful Guy discount!
Sometimes to go forward, you have to go backward. To reach, and then withdraw. Today was that kind of day. I started out this morning from Seligman, AZ with idea of getting to Grants, NM by evening. Although it was gusty, the sun was shining bright through the cumulus clouds. Then the emergency signs lit up — I-40 Closed — Expect Delays. I didn’t know how long the delays might be, so I just kept going. But at the Twin Arrows Exit 219 the trucks were parked for a mile or two on both sides, and they were turning folks back. Now if I were in my other car, which is a Big Rig Rollin’ I might have just slept in the cab, but in Little Silver it was time to take the twin arrow that was pointing back to Flagstaff.