Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Day 5: Joplin MO - Edmond OK

Sign in the breakfast area: Either you like BACON or you are wrong.
Omnes: So was there BACON 4 brekkers, then?
ML Maire: No. No, there was not!
This more or less set the tone for the entire day.

Things that came in the night: rain, and quite a lot of it.
Things that went in the night: most of the air in the Ratmobile's right rear tyre chiz.

Fortunately there was a "gas" station compressor within a hundred yards so no lengthy periods of driving on a flat to wreck the tyre, though it did relieve me of a fistful of quarters because the instructions were translated from the original Chinese by Google Translate and/or a native Xhosa speaker.  So, to the Goodyear Auto Service place a mile up the road.

Yes, said the man, we can fix that for you.  Pause.  But not until about three this afternoon.  He was, however, kind enough to direct me to Discount Tire over the road.  Discount Tire fixed it for free and gave me a cup of coffee into the bargain.  So hurrah!

A pity it had started to rain again, which it did with a certain gusto all morning.  This did not encourage me to stop anywhere during the thirteen mile passage of Kansas, though I did, in the end, stop to take a picture of a tank.
Tank - Vehicle of Champions.  Hooray tanky tanky!
NE Oklahoma is much the same as SE Kansas, viz. flat and wet, but Miami contains an interesting little motorcycle museum and a nifty old gas station.
Marathon gas station, Miami OK
There's another tastefully restored one down the road in Afton, with this board outside:
And another Tourist Trap awaits just off the route in Foyil, the Totem Pole Park, whose poles range from bijou polettes to this colossus:
The Saturn V of totem poles
As can be seen, it has stopped raining and was on its way to becoming Damned Hot again.  Hereabouts the Route 66 signs are much easier to follow than in certain places, such as Missouri, and they don't keep  directing you into the interstate either.  Which made finding this piece of classic Route 66 tqt quite simple:
Very like a whale
Unimaginatively called the "Blue Whale", this thing lives in a turtle-infested pond in Catoosa and was, I think1, designed by the same bloke who did this one:
That, and many interesting hairyplanes, may be found at the Tulsa Air & Space Museum, which served to pass the time of what had by now become another hot sticky afternoon.  They also have this:
I did the Kansas joke in 2012 and it was crap then
Dog and mode of dress suggest Dorothy, but she looks less like Judy Garland and more like a nerdy kid from a Far Side cartoon.

Once over the Arkansas River the weather started to go all funny - the temperature dropped by ten degrees and the wind picked up to the extent that I started of think of J Steinbeck, W Guthrie and various other weeds who told tales of the Dust Bowl.  Because modern man would not be so stupid as to bugger up the environment for short term profit the wind was not actually blowing away the topsoil, but only because it seems a bit better anchored than it was back in the last century.

Then it began to rain.  Again.  And then some.  Most of the last twenty miles were covered at 25 mph because the rain was so heavy I couldn't make out the centre line more than a few feet in front of the car.  Which did not stop the unlit berk behind from overtaking and shooting off at 50 as soon as the road spouted an extra lane.  I did not enjoy that bit much.

It is still raining now, some six hours later, albeit with rather less verve than it was when I got here, and I may have to swap the Ratmobile for an ark if it carries on.

  1. Lie


  1. Why, yes! Yes, it is? Although one of the hinges is a bit loose and there's a bit of a leak in the auto-feedback system.

    Or something.