I was also a little distracted, again, as the sun came up in my rearview mirror, over the Ozarks. Another rare time I wish I had my camera.
This picture really doesn't do it justice, but that's a little of what I was seeing roll away behind me as I headed west. Add in some brighter colors, a bluer sky and the sun just up over the horizon, and you'd have a better idea of what I was seeing.
So I drove on.
As the sun went higher and the miles went by, I gave up hope of Hardee's, drove through a McDonalds and found a gas station. Refueled and caffeinated, I got back on the road.
Eventually, I crossed out of Missouri, skirting the corner of Kansas and went into Oklahoma.
I had gone through so many states the day before, it was somewhat of a relief to finally get to a new one on this Monday nine years ago. Since I was going diagonally across Oklahoma, I was going to be there for a while. But at least I was out of Missouri, so it seemed like progress.
I consulted the AAA triptych and decided I'd go past Tulsa and keep going to Oklahoma City before I stopped for lunch. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was really dragging by the time I realized that maybe it wasn't the best idea.
I decided I needed to get off the road for a bit when I finally did get to Oklahoma City, and exited at a busy looking area where I thought I could sit down to a real meal, where someone would bring me lots of iced tea.
I found a Lonestar Steakhouse, and could see a Best Buy on the street behind it. So I stopped for a mid-afternoon steak, and then planned to add a couple new CDs to my player.
The first part of the plan went fine. Great food and service. I even fired up my laptop and checked my email. It took a little longer than I really wanted it to, but I needed the break.
Road construction kept me from being able to get to the Best Buy, so I started my CDs over again and got back on the highway.
I checked in and called Lisa. My plan was to get on my laptop, find my next stop and get some sleep. I'd had a steak for a late lunch and really didn't feel like going back out to forage for food. Lisa made me promise I'd eat something, so I got some peanut butter and cheese crackers from the vending machine and called it a night.
My plan was to make it to Phoenix the next day. If I left early enough, I could get there around dinner time. And then there would be just one more trip to go.
I looked at my triptych again. It only looked like another four or five hours to San Diego. After all I'd already done, that didn't seem to be out of the question. I didn't want to say anything to Lisa about it, just in case I was too tired by the time I got to Phoenix. Sorry if I just put that song in your head.
So I asked for a wake-up call at a ridiculous time of the morning. And for the only night I've ever spent in Texas, I didn't see any sites or get any barbecue. Instead, I fell asleep just as "Two And A Half Men" was coming on.
I didn't have any ZZ Top in my road collection of CDs, but for some reason, I couldn't help but think of that little ol' band from Texas as I started to write this. And as I drove into Amarillo on that evening, I can't help but think a pair of cheap sunglasses would have come in really handy!
Ken Kessler has always been interested in psychic phenomena, and like Mulder on the X-Files, wants to believe. But like most, he tends to look for, and accept, rational explanations. (More)