I-69 to Muskogee, OK to Terrell, TX (Feb 3 2014

Superbowl was not Super at all. The Seahawks slaughtered the Broncos. New Jersey didn’t make the millions they thought they would hosting the game.

But today there is SUN! Everything is glittery and blindingly shiny. And the roads are wet.

DSC01615.JPGWe take a very short portion of I-44 ($1.25 in tolls!) to Big Cabin, then I-69 to Muskogee. (“I’m an Okieeee from Muskogeeee!” sings Big Dog.) It’s a truck route and there are big rigs headed to Texas but we only have one cleared lane – the other lane is still covered in snow, ice and slush – so we are in a giant train of cars following a slow truck.

DSC01616.JPGOnce in a while, a giant truck or car passes by, risking it on the uncleared lane, kicking up big pellets of ice and snow that splatter all over your windshield, so violently it makes me want to scream.

DSC01620.JPGThe road goes through a string of identical towns, then over a huge lake. It must be nice during decent weather. Cows are out there trying to find grass hidden under the thin blanket of snow. They definitely look happier than Illinois cows. Crossing the Arkansas River near Muskogee, then the Red River into Texas, we’ve passed through Cherokee and Creek Nations.

DSC01623.JPGAt Denison, we get off the big highway, continuing on 69 that turns into a mellow country road. Although the trees are hoary with frost (and I love saying that word “hoary”) there is no snow and as we continue, even less frostiness. Hell, we even start seeing little patches of grass. Yes, green, living grass!

DSC01625.JPGFrom Greenville, we turn onto 34 and go south to Terrell.

Yep. It’s another motel night. We’ve had Sprockets for days now but don’t dare sleep in it. A water bottle left overnight turned into a block of ice. Thus, it is another Motel 6.

These chain motels are usually out of town, at highway interchanges and these areas all have a nauseating sameness to them. The same chain motels, restaurants, gas stations. The big by-passes have certainly killed Main Street. The only place where you felt like you connected with anything local so far was Miami, OK. The landscape is changing constantly but where we stop for the night is characterless.

Well, maybe not exactly characterless.

At Motel 6, we ask about any Mexican food and get told “There’s no good Mexican here. It’s all crappy Tex-Mex.”

Big Dog doesn’t want to have to roam for food, so tonight’s dining choices are: Church’s (fried chicken), Sonic (fast food burgers), Schlotsky’s Deli (unknown) and Waffle House. All within walking distance.

I opt for the unknown – Schlotsky’s Deli – and am disappointed to find that it is just like Quiznos. The sandwiches are incredibly mediocre (and pricey for what they are) and the soup tastes like it came out of a can – a very big, industrial-sized can. I am NOT disappointed by the clientele, however.

There is the most amazing big-haired woman. Her silver bouffant is shaped into a giant roll on her head – an elaborate cinnamon bun — with a ponytail at the back. Her face is heavily painted, like a 50’s era Barbie doll. You know, the sort of mean-looking Barbie? The encounter makes my day. That and the fact that there is no snow in sight.

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Author: ontheroadwithsprockets

I've been traveling since I was born -- the first big trip was before I was two, across the Pacific, from my native Japan to Los Angeles on a cargo ship. There have been many journeys since then, through many continents and cultures.

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