Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, March 1, 2010

Under Oklahoma Skies

They have been cloudy all day and it will get down into the 20's tonight.

I left the KOA in Arkansas at 7:15 this morning. A few miles down the road there was a traffic slowdown (3-8 mph for miles). It looked like a vehicle had gone over an embankment on the other side of the highway and was burning. I could only see the smoke, and can't believe that much of a slowdown can be caused by rubbernecking!

I regret it if I gave a negative impression of the KOA campground in Morrilton, Ark. - KOA's are almost always satisfactory and above. This one was obviously undergoing lots of improvements, in making the individual sites better as well as adding lots and lots of camping cabins. I have always had problems picking a suitable site for myself, and think the office staff knows their individual sites and can "read" the customer pretty well, being able to direct them to the best site for that RVer. Without someone to help me out I seem to flounder. I would stay there again at a different time of the year, or maybe arriving on a day other than Sunday.

Driving through the western side of Arkansas I am always struck by the beauty of the landscape, with Ozark peaks visible in the distance.

But when I reached Oklahoma it was like seeing an old friend after several years of absence. The last few times I traveled coast to coast I missed Oklahoma, either because of weather or because of where I was heading to. The roads are completely awful on much of I-40, the traffic through Oklahoma City could have had me returning to a nail biting habit I gave up at about age 13, but otherwise it is a wonderful state, to me.

I stopped at another KOA, this time in El Reno, OK, leaving me 108 miles to go before I get to TX. If the weather is decent I should be overnighting in New Mexico tomorrow evening. I could have driven further to Elk City before stopping tonight, but the skies have been overcast all day long, sun shining between 11:00 and 11:15 this morning, and I don't see well in overcast conditions. It could be a result of the cataract, or just aging eyes, but I see the best in sunlight.

I reasoned that this campground would be an acceptable place to have to weather over an extra day, if necessary. A Cherokee Trading Post and restaurant are part of the campground complex so I could walk up and let them take my money if I get bored, or dine on a buffalo burger, the thought of which has my mouth watering. I'd rather visit a trading post than a casino, but I hope I can get back on the road again tomorrow.

I have received a lot of suggestions about fueling spots, and I am grateful for all comments. I didn't need to refuel until shortly before Oklahoma City, and ended up at a Shell station. My experience has always been that a Shell which advertises diesel fuel, usually has separate islands for trucks & RV's. Personally, I try to avoid stopping anywhere if I can't get a glimpse of the station from the highway. I know it is part of the beautification program started many years ago, to hide much of the commercial aspects, but I can usually tell by looking at a station if I am going to be able to use it. Often I take a chance and end up having to turn around (not easy with a 34' 5th wheel) and get back on the interstate to look for another likely stop. So far I have had fairly good luck with Shell. I know Flying J does a good sell job with RVers, but I've stopped at some that had very limited pull through and turn around space, and when you think you know their system and signage, along comes a station that changes it on you. I have also found you don't do a quick stop at a Flying J. You are usually lined up for the fuel pump, lined up inside to give them your credit card, and lined up again to pay, before getting in the line to exit the place. God help you if you want propane - I've never tried it. Speaking of propane, I'm praying to the propane gods to extend my supply. I am on a tank that started on last Wednesday, the 25th. It should easily last me another couple of days, but nights have been cold enough to keep the furnace cycling on and off.

Hopefully my entry tomorrow night will be written from the beautiful state of New Mexico!


  1. Gypsy -
    I just found your blog - am I understanding that you handle that rig all on your own? WOW! I am impressed. I've always felt like I could do that, but am a bit reluctant even with just our 19 foot Salem.
    Well, enjoy the road and the beauty that awaits you.
    CCO in San Bernardino CA

  2. Buffalo burgers are one of our favorite things! They are awesome and so much healthier than beef. I want one, too. :(

    Glad today wasn't a really bad day for you. Tomorrow will be a breeze (she said hopefully).

  3. Oh, you are not planning on stopping in TX.
    So it won't be "Amarillo By Morning"!!
    You have chosen a great scenic route, have Happy Trails, Penny, TX

  4. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date with your trip, Gypsy, it's interesting reading. You'll soon be back in the "warm country"!

  5. I saw the remnants of the accident on my way to work at the nuclear plant. The driver of a pickup truck had fallen asleep and hit an 18 wheeler. Another 18 wheeler plowed into them and caught on fire. The driver and passenger of the second 18 wheeler were killed. Both lanes of the interstate and US 64 were closed for a period of time.

  6. Gypsy,
    Welcome to Oklahoma, sorry the sun did not shine for you today. Yesterday was beautiful. The trading post you are at has a lot of fun things to look at. We have been there quite a few times as we head out of the state to go to Colorado. Have a safe trip.