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Need to make Oklahoma today

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Posted 05 November 2014 - 07:51 AM

This trip has been full of new and interesting experiences for us.
When I selected a $49.95 room at Newell Travel Center on Priceline I didn't realize it was a giant truck stop right off I-135, but it has turned out to be a great place to overnight. Yes, it is surrounded by at least a hundred parked big rigs, many of them idling away, but the room is so well insulated they can't be heard from inside. And the room is nicer than many we have stayed in, roomy, clean, with great beds, and lacking only the mini-fridge and a microwave usually found.
This place is really a small city, with just about every amenity a traveler or trucker would need: a store with an enormous selection of goods, including such things as chrome triple-bell horns that sound like a diesel locomotive, every kind of diesel fuel treatment in the world, and knives, even a set of three samurai swords for $57.95. Their magazine rack would embarrass a Barnes & Nobles, with just about every car, gun, and girlie magazine currently being printed. But also some titles for the ladies, such as Better Homes & Garden, as many couples drive together these days.
There is an attached full-service restaurant, open 24 hours on the weekends, a two-seat shoe shine stand near the elevator to the rooms, a barber shop, a laundry facility on our floor (which we utilized for a couple of loads), and on our second floor hallway, a 24-hour Asian massage parlor big enough to accommodate a half dozen patrons at the same time.
All in all, it was a place I'd cheerfully stay at again, if the price was as right as it was this time.
Getting across Kansas is a struggle, especially western Kansas. The place is flat, flat, flat, with little scenery other than enormous fields stretching in the distance and these are mostly brown, sometimes green, with the only visual variety being whether they're dotted with cattle or giant rolls of hay. The roads are great, much smoother than the terrible roads we generally found in Colorado, but as straight as an arrow for miles and miles, in some cases disappearing to a vanishing point on the horizon. It's hard not to descend into a trancelike state at times. The scenery gets a little greener and a little more varied the deeper into Kansas you go, but not overwhelmingly so.
Stopped at a rest area to stretch our legs and found this marker and these rocks. The marker mentions the limestone fence posts someone posted about in the discussion thread.
During one of our frequent McDonalds visits to use the free wi-fi, Geoff spotted this sign and button, which seems like such a good idea that I don't know why it isn't at every McDonalds in the country. From my days as a McD's unit manager, I know the number one complaint about drive-thrus is that items get left out of orders.
As we were unloading the car at Newells' truck stop, a guy getting gas walked over to tell us he'd bought a Model A off eBay a couple of years earlier and had to go to Maine to pick it up. We chatted for about 20 mins about Model As and I snapped this pic of a very nice sunset; it looked much more spectacular in person than in the pic but you get the idea.
On to Wichita and once we get a little south of town, we'll be jumping off the interstate for a state route headed east to the famous oil town of Bartelsville, OK, and for a short visit to the Woolaroc Ranch, before heading south to Broken Arrow near Tulsa, where we'll hook up with Doug Azary at the Glenn Pray shops.

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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap

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