Sunday, July 6, 2008

Entry 3: Oklahoma and Texas

I tried to post this last night....Apparently everything is bigger in Texas except for their Wi-Fi network. So here is last night's entry:

Today started normal enough.....

Got up, went into the Flying J for breakfast (after some funny looks I was finally able to order 2 hard boiled eggs, dry wheat toast, and a fruit cup haha) and headed down the road ready to tackle "Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain".

Oh yeah, Oklahoma sells big beef jerky:

The first adventure for the day happened during and after a fill-up. My dad found a 'Love's' (Kinda like a crappy Sheetz) down the way using the GPS so we set a course. Turns out it was a Love's "Country Store" and not a "Travel Center". So it was a tiny gas station with one diesel pump. I was able to squeeze my way in without too much trouble.....

The dude at the pump across from us asked in a nearly incomprehensible accent: "Y'all goin' on a treeep?" Feeling that a sarcastic response to point out the obvious reason I was hauling a massive 5th wheel trailer could leave me dead in the middle of Oklahoma, I played nice. From what I could translate, he had just been doing 150 in his car and got pulled over then got off without a ticket.....maybe...or something. He was friendly so I can't rag too hard on the guy.

Annnnyway. Getting out of the Loves to head back the way we came proved impossible. The right turn was far to sharp and there was a stupid median in the way. So we headed left in search of a place to turn around. We ended up on a side road where my dad "thought he saw a factory" that we could use. What we found was an underpass that was pretty much the exact height of my trailer. Not wanting to chance it, I got to practice my 3 point turn skills with the trailer. And of course as soon as I started maneuvering, the once dead quite street had a line of 5 cars on either side giving me the death stare. I was able to nail it on the second attempt so yay me. We will now clarify which kind of a Loves we are pulling into. Good grief.

That was just the appetizer though......

So we're cruisin' back down the road and I got to experience some hardcore Oklahoma cross-wind (I'd been warned that OK wasn't the worst of it). Whether or not that had anything to do with the next surprise I'm not sure.

My dad happened to notice we had some of the plastic that wraps from the side of the trailer and connects underneath was floppin' away in the wind. Although probably not the best idea to pull immediately off onto the shoulder of I-40 with cars and trucks zipping by, that's what we did. This is what the problem looked like:

So yeah, not good. We were able to use the bungee cords I had in the trailer to keep it temporarily stabilized. We got back on the road and as if by some divine hand, a chorus of angels resounded as the familiar Blue and White sign appeared after cresting the hill:Wal-Mart.

Yeah buddy.

So we went in and bought the tools we had decided the previous day we didn't need to buy. What had happened was the plastic covering was ripped from the rusty bolts on the undercarriage. We got some washers, a basic tool kit and some WD -40. I hosed down the rusty screws and was able to get them out. Put on a washer and re-screwed everything back through the plastic covering. Held pretty well but there's a bit more work to do. Maybe tomorrow morning before we pull out.
Yeah that's really me doing something mechanical..

We felt like badasses afterwards

So yeah, I felt even more like a different person after that. I've changed my own oil before and put front brakes on the Subie with close supervision from my ex's dad.....but that's it.

Two good things came out of it. I got a little intimate with Lawrence Long (the trailer) and my dad and I had a cool bonding/funny incident thing. Maybe it was the rush of working on the trailer but he got Rather Dashing with my camera and started snapping away (and the candy bar he bought that had melted ended up in the air conditioning vent so it would 'unmelt quicker'). He scored some good 'Mac and Me' windmill shots (would be pictures but the interwebs here is too slow).

Annnd we saw a billboard advertising: A "Spiritual experience beyond compare" "Come see the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere". For real. Thanks Texas. Heeerrre it is:

Inspiration for the Mark Griffin's stage name? "MC 900ft Jesus"? Possibly.

The drive was awesome. I've never driven through that part of the country and seeing that much sky and that many clouds was just....well huge. I don't know, if you've driven around there you know what I'm saying. Cool stuff.

The only drag about the drive....and Oklahoma in general....was that at least once every hour and a half we spotted a dead dog on the side of the road.....and one Armadillo. Only in that state though.....

T'was a good day. We're at the Flying J on the Eastern edge of Amarillo, TX for the night parked on the trucker side. It feels like I'm in the middle of Maximum Overdrive or something with all this idling. Tomorrow we tackle New Mexico which I'm sure will be even more amazing.

The I-Pod battery died during the drive and I'm pretty confident driving my rig so I had some time to wander in my head. I can't seem to make the reality of what I'm doing sink in. I think maybe I'm prolonging it since I haven't called anyone to talk on the phone (mainly because I don't like talking on the phone). But I know if I hear some voices or start looking at photos from my last few nights in town. it'll really sink in that I'm not there anymore....Well shit, it just did a little bit. I miss you guys a lot.

I dunno, I don't think my friends could have gotten any more awesome than they were when I left so I guess I went out like the Police. Only I promise when I return to the burgh it won't be some shitty 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' '86 remix.



1 comment:

  1. Here's the inspiration for MC 900 Ft. Jesus: