Thursday, October 15

The drive.

We decided to leave a day earlier than originally planned so that we wouldn't have to have crazy long days of driving. We also decided that since we had some extra time, we wouldn't stress out about leaving at the crack of dawn. A good idea. We ended up hitting the road at about 11:00am and had a pleasant drive through eastern New Mexico and Texas on I-40. We wanted to stop at around dinnertime so based on that and the fact that the Tom Tom (borrowed from my dad) assured us that the Elk City exit had motels, we stopped there.

Plenty of chain motels to choose from but they all looked so run down. We wanted to eat first so we picked a diner listed on the Tom Tom, followed the directions and no diner! Picked a second place and found a burned out building. Thanks Tom Tom! We decided to drive down to the next exit of Elk City to see what we could see. Not much. No restaurants besides fast food. And more seedy looking motels. We drove around some more to no avail. Finally found sort of a main drag with more motels and fast food. We couldn't believe there were not any non-fast food restaurants. There had to be something. Finally we stumbled upon Ed's Katy Diner. It was open and not a burned out building. A good start. And by this time we were starved.

The building was an old train depot but other than it's history, the place didn't have all that much character. We sat in a booth where we could watch the Monday Night Football game. Ordered some Coronas because that was the only "good" beer they served. Will spotted chicken fried steak on the menu, one of my favorites. So I ordered that and he got the fried catfish platter. Neither dish was remarkable, but it was a helluvalot better than eating at Sonic.

After dinner, we had to make a motel decision. We were near a Best Western so decided to stay there just so we wouldn't have to drive around anymore. We didn't ask the room price beforehand so were a bit shocked to find that it was going to be over a hundred dollars. We never pay that much for road motels and felt kind of ripped off. Because let me tell you, it was not a luxury motel. A nice big room, yes, and relatively clean, but the sheets were the scratchiest sheets we have ever slept on. It was like sleeping on sandpaper. Awful. We made it out of there by 8:00 the next morning with not a lot of love for Elk City, Oklahoma.

(Day 1 - 7 hours)

One of the truck stops that we stopped at had a bunch of audio books so we ended up buying one. Stuart Woods Hothouse Orchid. I don't read his books, but I figured that a mainstream type thriller would be perfectly fine to listen to in the car. Much like all the crime shows I watch on television. And I was correct. Between the listening and the knitting, the drive went by quickly that day. Oklahoma, Arkansas and into Tennessee. That's when it got ugly. Well actually I guess we were still in Arkansas. West Memphis, Arkansas. It was five o'clock and there was construction going. Traffic came to a dead stop. We must have already finished the audio book otherwise that would have distracted me. I tried to focus on crocheting, but the whole not moving thing and being surrounded by big trucks started to freak me out. (Note: Traffic jams make me have panic attacks.) It was not fun. My mind started racing, trying to figure out how I could escape, get out, move, something. Anything. But no. We would reach a point of movement only to hit another dead stop. Again and again. It took us an hour to get to the other side. And by then, both of us were in bad moods. My panic is silent but Will knows that I am stressed out which in turns stressed him out and, well, you get the picture. Not fun.

But we made it. We arrived in Jackson, our destination for the evening, at around 7:00. Based on the unreliable Tom Tom, we had picked out a BBQ place for dinner. It was there. And it wasn't a burned out building. But they closed at 7:00. Foiled again! Will was super bummed because this place (which I can't remember the name of) looked like the real deal. We backtracked toward the interstate and ended up having BBQ pulled pork sandwiches at some sports bar and restaurant. It wasn't bad. And they served beer which was much needed at that point. But it wasn't the real deal. We stayed at a Ramada Inn that night and not only was it super cheap, the sheets were soft. Heavenly after a long day on the road.

(Day 2 - 10 hours)

To be continued.

And P.S. I know this isn't all that interesting, but I am so bad at actually writing in a real journal these days, I like to at least recap here so I can remember things. I am sorry if it is way too long-winded.

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