Milepost 1197: Amarillo, Texas.
We have made it to Amarillo, Texas, and we’re liking the idea that we are half way to our winter haven in California.
But we’re also a bit uncomfortable with our surroundings. The Ozarks of Missouri were beautiful and rugged, with outcroppings of rocky cliffs on both sides as we rode on the sawtoothed back of the beast, rising and falling with each hill and valley for a hundred miles. It was almost dizzying. The powerful Ford worked valiantly to deliver us safe to the other side. (Sorry, no photos of the Ozarks; I was busy driving.)
But the other side was the bleak prairie of Oklahoma. It was desolate and creepy, and I’ll have to admit, it spooked us. We stayed at a lonely outpost called Big Cabin last night, but there didn’t seem to be a town. Just a solitary Super 8 hotel with nobody around but the girl behind the desk in the lobby. It could have been haunted.
And then today we drove all day to transverse the length of dreary Oklahoma, making it into Texas before sundown. And again, the desolate and massive panorama left us dispirited, and the chilly wind off the plains whispered discouraging words over our shoulders as we scuttled to the cheap motel room while the tentative new crescent moon rose hesitantly over our temporary home on the range.
So, while we have escaped the violent winter that’s pouncing upon our friends back home in Michigan – there’s no snow here at all, and the ponds and rivers haven’t the least bit of ice on them – we are still not resting easily, disquieted by the uneasy spirit of the wide open and unfriendly spaces.
Here’s an unusual bit of travel trivia that we encountered today while on the open freeway: The semi that had just passed us weaved a bit as it pulled back in ahead of us as if dodging a stray animal. But what emerged was a large tumbleweed, 3 feet in diameter and rolling across the highway. Strange.
Tomorrow we hope to make it across the Texas panhandle and into New Mexico. And we are planning on quitting early, putting in a shorter travel day to spend more time relaxing. Maybe we will find it warm enough to finally unfurl the RV and stay in our own abode for the night. We need some down time to gather our wits about us.