Monday, October 30


On route 40 heading east into Oklahoma, I passed a sign for the Route 66 Museum in Elk City (one of many such museums in the region), so I stopped in for a visit. It's a nice little tribute to the Mother Road, the great [nearly] cross-country highway that was. They quote someone who said, after the interstate highway system that made 66 obsolete was built, "Now it's possible to drive from coast to coast without seeing anything." I guess my 5-day drive on route 80 last year with Colin was like that, but certainly not this ride.

The picture is fuzzy, but that's a dog standing on the back of a pickup on the highway. Not tied down or anything, just standing up.

Riding from Elk City to Oklahoma City, I felt something fall in my lap. I looked down and saw my little compass/thermometer, a critical piece of gear, held onto my lap by the wind. It was tied to a strap on the handlebar by a keychain ring, but the strap had finally come undone, and it just blew off and landed in my lap. I grabbed it before it blew away and put it back on when I stopped for gas.

I got to Oklahoma City past dark, with the plan of finding a cafe downtown. But I wasn't sure which exit led to downtown, if there is a downtown at all, so I got off at a random exit. There was a gas station on the left (where I thought I would use the light to check my city map) but no left turn was allowed, so I kept going, past steak houses and motels, thinking there probably isn't a cafe where you can just sit with a coffee and chill for a couple hours anyway...and then suddenly on my right, there was a Panera Bread. The gods of the road smile upon me.

Santa Fe to Amarillo

On I-40 heading east out of New Mexico, there's a speed limit of 75 MPH and a sign warning, "Speed monitored by aircraft." You don't have to look up at the sky to know that that's Department of Transportation lingo for "Welcome to the Autobahn."