This time, we did not have to deal with the rain until the daylight hours, and not until we approached Oklahoma City, OK. We saw the sun come up at an OK rest area, though, to be honest, it was threatening rain and the moon was still full....not a spectacular sunrise, but it was a much needed leg-stretch, nonetheless. And we tried to catch a little nap in the cab of the truck...
|Rest Stop OK at dawn|
|Saturday Sunrise? Ummm... the MOON is still out!|
|Napping in the Cab|
By late morning, the rain was pouring and photography took on a new challenge. It was interesting to witness some of the vehicles on the road, as it seems Saturday is the day of choice for moving odd large objects, in precarious ways. There was the large freezer in the bed of the white pickup truck...no tailgate, no tie-down for the freezer ... driver maneuvering in and out of lanes in the pouring rain in what could only be characterized as a "reckless manner." There was the GIGANTIC, "we don't know what you are" piece of machinery that was being hauled eastward, with a "Oversized Load" sign which was redundant... I mean, this thing was HUGE and dwarfed the sign!
|Name That Load|
And then there was another GIGANTIC "we also don't know what YOU are" "thing" being hauled. For the latter, however, there was a "pilot" vehicle which seemed to have forgotten he was leading the way for the monstrosity behind. For the pilot vehicle was WAY ahead of his cargo truck, and was fast approaching the "left lane closed ahead" area where the remaining right lane and shoulder would prove too narrow for the wide load to pass....
|Oversized Load 2|
Thankfully, we were ahead of these vehicles by the time we reached the narrow passage, and moved through without issue...... it did not escape us that we had NOBODY behind us for quite some time thereafter, and we speculate there may have been a "little" traffic tie-up when that oversized load reached that construction zone.
The skies, by this time, had completely opened up and were dumping rain and hail without mercy. We knew it was time to get off the road and find a hideout for the night. We passed a vehicle whose driver had decided to try to wait out the storm under a bridge...perhaps a drier location, but VERY dangerous in the reduced visibility and standing water conditions. We thought a motel stop would be a better choice and found just what we needed shortly after crossing the border into Arkansas. Within a few minutes, we'd checked into the motel, where, we were informed, the rooms had all been flooded in a storm a few weeks ago and in which new carpet had JUST been laid throughout. In fact, the carpet layer was there, completing the work in the office area behind the main lobby. He and Joe got into a little "carpet laying" conversation and it turned out he had recently relocated to this area, after living in an area very near Yosemite for the past ten years... interesting, small world.
Micheal, the carpet layer, recommended the Italian restaurant next door when asked where we could get a good meal. So, after getting our necessary gear unloaded from the back of the truck, we walked through the drizzle (the downpour let up for a little while) to Frank's, where we enjoyed a very good, well priced meal. Then it was back to the room and SLEEP!
|I dunno....looked interesting|
|Oh, NO! Don't let the rain come down!!!|
|A Warm, WET AK Welcome!|
|Checking into Motel as More Bad Weather Threatens|
|Well, it FEELS like we are driving a big truck!|
Today we will begin, what should be the final push home. We have (according to the Mapquest and Garmin predictors) about 1200 miles yet to travel. We are shooting to pull into the old farmhouse by early morning Tuesday.... we shall see. One thing is for certain, we have enjoyed EATING along the way!!!
|Eating at the Truck Stop|
|Eating at Frank's|
|Leaving with Doggie Bag|
And then, this morning's breakfast... included in the price of the room. But who would've predicted we'd have such a colorful breakfast "companion." YEESHHHHH.... apparently this establishment is not restrictive to those wearing shirts and shoes... or perhaps they just didn't want to challenge this one! (Though it is not captured in the photo...he WAS barefoot!)
|Ummm.... Overalls take on an entirely new image for me!|