Tag Archives: Oklahoma

D0riving from Oklahoma to Arizona, Via New Mexico and Ute Lake

D0riving from Oklahoma to Arizona, Via New Mexico and Ute Lake

Yet another full-day of driving… and by that, I mean two full days of driving.  It wasn’t bad though – by this point in the trip I’ve become jaded to long drives.  Or jaded enough that they’re not something super-serious anymore.  It’s just a chance to relax and enjoy the scenery.  Listen to some music, catch some sun, and just enjoy the freedom that I have.  I do have a schedule and a course, ones that I want to follow.  But I could definitely change them.  I could redirect, do something completely different.  I don’t, but having that option is amazing.


Thursday, 04-Jun-2015

  • Today is going to be a very long drive, but I start out with the top up, since it’s wicked hot out. My standard rule is that if it’s hotter than 93 degrees, then I can leave the top up and crank the AC to keep me chill.
  • As I check the rear window, I’m pretty proud of my work… I can’t see out the back perfectly, but I can easily see when I pass people, and when someone’s behind me. But wait… what’s that up at the top? That’s the back of the tape, peeling back… So I assume it’s fine, and keep driving.
  • More of the backing keeps peeling off… fuck. Yep, the tape is definitely peeling off. Maybe it’ll last to a rest stop?
  • Official report: Tape is at critical peel levels. Structural integrity cannot be maintained. Fine. Fine. Whatever. I pull over onto the side of the road and deal with it. By crawling back into the packed rear seat – I literally just slide up on top of the crash pad… I’ve got room to spare. Like a good 4 inches from my face to the roof. And 18 wheelers are driving past at 75mph. It’s not terrifying at all.
  • Wait, yes it is. I’m terrified. But I fix it, and keep moving.
  • I have to pull over again, to deal with the tape peeling back some more. But it seems to be getting better… so this time, I think it’s good. But just to be safe, I put the top down for the next section of driving… and keep the AC on, but only directed at myself.
  • Damn the midwest is big. I drive for a long time.
  • I make a quick stop in at Big Texas steak ranch; the place that does the 72oz steak challenge.
    The challenge is to eat 72 oz of steak, plus three sides and a drink, or something. So it’s pretty cool… and free if you finish within an hour. But if you don’t, it gets super expenside… so I just go with a simple Ribeye.
    I get it, and… their steak isn’t bad, but it’s not as good as what I cook. The sides are amazing thought! Beefsteak tomatoes, seasoned perfectly. Mac and Cheese to die for. Rolls… rolls are pretty good.
  • Pay the bill, and head out to get back on the road feeling really good! I even find a $50 bill on the ground as I’m walking to the car… and no one nearby to check with. Pocket! Nice!
  • Back at the car, I check on the tape first; It’s ok, but not ideal. I fix it pretty easily with another layer of maritime tape.
  • Check the front… ohh. It’s gone. Completely gone. The whole air deflector assembly is torn and melted completely off, with almost nothing to show that it was ever there. I didn’t even notice while driving that a massive piece of plastic was ripped off the front and shredded under the wheels.
    You know what? Whatever. I don’t care anymore. I can’t do anything about it, so I won’t.
  • Keep driving… through a rainstorm, but one that isn’t too bad, thankfully. The patch job holds up!
  • Gonna be late… Sunset will have finished by the time I make camp. Which seems strange, since it’s still really bright out. Wait! I hit another time zone! WOO free hour!
  • Get there a good half hour before dark, and set up in the consistent, yet light, wind.
  • Rain storms all around… try to call Mom, but can’t get through. Says there’s signal, but there isn’t any. Drive to an inn, borrow the owners cell phone. It works well, actually.
  • Back, hang out, write, cover the car with a tarp, just to be safe against a storm, and sleep 🙂
  • Ohh.  And yes.  I did tie my tent to the shelter, just to make sure it didn’t blow away while I was going to make that phone call at the inn.  Yep.  ‘Cause ahmm smaaaht.



Friday, 05-Jun-2015

  • Rain. The night is rainy, but insanely windy. Like… so much wind, that the desert dust is sifting through the mesh of the tent, and I’m pretty sure that the poles are nearly bent in half.
  • Rain starts, heavy enough (and with the wind) that it can spray up under the rain fly… but I’ve got a good sleeping bag, and I’m fine. Though it’s still freaking hard to sleep with a damn sandstorm less than two feet from my face.
  • But I do finallysleep… restless though it may be.
  • But by the time I’m awake and moving, the rain’s already died off, and it’s nice out again. I wake up covered in a fine layer of dust… Thankfully, I planned ahead and left my contact lenses in the night before – it’s not good to do, long-term… but it’s a lot worse to get sand or dust in my eyes. And by the sheer amount of grit in the tent, I am very glad I didn’t take my contacts out!
  • The morning is slow, as almost all of my mornings have been… I eat breakfast, write a blog post, pack up the tent and then the car, and then leave for Arizona!
  • Again, it’s lots of long driving, but it’s not so bad. I’ve gotten pretty used to it by now, and can easily go a solid 250miles before stopping to stretch, refuel, and relieve myself. The terrain is really flat and lonely roads, so it’s interesting enough to keep me occupied. There’s lots of scenic “look at how long this road goes” pictures to be taken… so I take them. Good book covers, these shots.
  • My big stop for the day was breakfast, when I shopped in Santa Rosa… ehh. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad. Not the best though.
  • Move along, driving far. It’s not interesting, but it gets done, and the miles get eaten up by the tires. A bit outside of town I call my Dad to let them know and get final approach directions, and I make it Alpine a good two hours quicker than I thought. Woo!

Hanging out in Tulsa with Dave and Jigs!

Hanging out in Tulsa with Dave and Jigs!

02-Jun, 03-Jun & 04-Jun, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday



Tuesday, 02-Jun-2015

  • Arrive after the long drive, and meet up with Dave at the house – he got out of work early, so we can hang out and chill. Once Jigs gets home, we pile into the car and head out onto the town… it’s crazy, but I’ve still never really been “out on the town” in Tulsa.
  • So, we head into town! Dinner is some excellent BBQ from a food truck, then we meet up with a friend of theirs and hang out at “The Yeti”, which is an awesome bar right near the food truck. We get pictures of us taken with the yeti (which is a huge statue) by a group of really cute girls… damn. I should have asked them to come with us. I always choke at the last minute…
  • But so we move along to a Vodka bar, where Jig and Dave know the owner. We have a drink there and play connect 4 – I lose the first, then win 2 in a row. Because I’m awesome, and learned. The trick to the game? Distract them! Talk and talk and gesture and make noises, ’till they don’t notice the patterns!
  • There’s an 80s arcade bar! Ohh man! I freaking love arcades! Yeah, ok, we stopped at another bar first but who cares? The arcade one is my favorite: they’ve got skee ball, fighting games, even TRON. Which is super hard, I learn. I could not beat Tron. But they have free tokens if you’re drinking, so we play as many games as we want. Baller.
  • Now that it’s super late and I’m dying, we head back home, and I crash. In a solid bed, finally!!!



Wednesday, 03-Jun-2015

  • By the time I wake up, Jig and Dave have already headed to work. Or, I should say that they’ve left by the time I get out of bed. They did wake me up to say goodbye, but I went back to sleep pretty immediately. So I relax and chill for a bit and put together everything that needs to get put together.
  • Snack and some coffee! I’ve missed having a kitchen so much…
  • I start the “day off” by heading to Home Depot, to fix up the back window a bit better. Gorilla tape out the wazoo! One roll of heavy-duty, four rolls of clear Maritime sealing tape seal the deal (heh, get it?)… but it does take over 2 hours of taping to deal with it all.
  • But with my main chore finished, I head back to the house and make a few calls to finish up my to-do list. Then I just relax for a while ’till Dave gets home from drill.
  • Since she had to work late, we meet Jigs at a Sushi place for dinner… which is amazing! Great view of downtown Tulsa, and excellent sushi. Softshell crab, spicy, everything that you could want; they have. Seriously… why does the midwest always have the best sushi? I don’t get it…
  • Finish up eating, and then head downtown for some other bars! Hit up Woodys… which is an ok place. Not ideal though, a little too bro-ish. But we have a drink, and then move along.
  • Head across the street to Arnie’s bar – it’s an “Irish Pub” that actually does a pretty good job of it. Though the shuffleboard table is a little strange. We meet up with a friend of theirs, and hang out for a while; It’s got a back porch, so we’re outside… and that makes it amazing, in my book.
  • The party lasts a while, but it does have to wind down eventually… so we do head out.
  • Back at the ranch, Jig, Dave and I do our final toasts – I’m leaving in the morning, though it’ll probably be after they’ve left for work. So this is the last chance… We don’t crash though – I hang out with Jigs on the back porch. We chat, chill, and catch up with everything. Life keeps moving, but it’s always amazing to me how well I still get along with my best friends. Everything in the world can change, but we still all synch up pretty damn well.
  • Sleep


Thursday, 04-Jun-2015

  • Up and at ’em! Dave and Jig did get out of the house before me, but I pack the car up quickly to make up for the time lost to napping.
  • But now that it’s all set up, I’m not actually in much of a rush. So I slow up, and hang out for a bit. Have a cup of coffee and a Bean burger. Enjoy the road, so to speak. And THEN I head out onto the open road again.

Driving from Tennessee to Oklahoma


01-Jun & 02-Jun, Monday and Tuesday


This part of the trip was always going to be a little ridiculous. It wasn’t the longest leg of driving, but it was definitely the most packed.

Starting in Chattanooga, I would be driving to the Jack Daniel’s distillery for a tour, then to Memphis to have BBQ for dinner, and then finally to a hotel in Arkansas for the evening.

From the hotel was a pretty simple & straight drive out to Tulsa – but never underestimate simple and short drives. Somehow they always get interesting along the way…


Monday, 01-Jun-2015

  • Leave Soddy-Daisy a little late, but I can grab lunch on the way to make up the time, so it’s ok.
  • Rain rain rain rain
  • Stop for lunch… wait… time change yes! Extra time to eat!
  • GREAT fried chicken lunch, nice and slow while reading. It’s excellent.
  • Head out, put the top down since it’s finally nice…. crunch. Broken window.
  • Drive to Nissan dealership, he gives me tips & location of Home Depot
  • Clean out most of the glass with boxes and papers and bags
  • Get “clear” plastic & gorilla tape & a brush, clean out the rest of the glass
  • Search for a vacuum… nothing, drive a mile or two to find a car wash, which is run by a dude from CT. Sure, why not?
  • Clean out the back, patch up the window and the front fender… now I’ve wasted 3 hours. Fuck.
  • Drive fast for Jack’s Distillery, make it in time for a 3:45 tour
  • Tour’s done a little after 5:00… too late to make it to Memphis. Go into town to get food… no toys though, nothing interesting.
  • Drive on. This is a really long drive. A very long, very tiring, very unpleasant drive. This is not good. I am not doing well. Eat lots of cinnamon Altoids to stay awake and alert.
  • Hotel in AR, drag damn near everything into the room, just to be safe.
  • Sleep



Tuesday, 02-Jun-2015

  • Wake up, and make a few calls for the Mustang. Nothing good… no one can do it easily / quickly, because… <drumroll> the entire top has to be replaced! Yay!
  • Call insurance, fight with that (they need to send an adjustor, who won’t call me)
  • Forget it. Move along. Move along.
  • Thankfully they don’t charge me for a second day in the hotel, since I take so long getting out…
  • Lost jacket. Forget it. Move along.
  • Long drive, but do it fun and chill with the top down, so that I can… you know… actually see?
  • Arrive @ Jig and Dave’s place, and hang out with Dave for a short bit until Jig gets home. Showers, and then roll out the the bars!