The Road Scholar – Day 33

Posted: 2 February 2011 in Uncategorized

The day is over and I finally made it to Oklahoma City, OK, though it wasn’t exactly an easy task. When I left Joplin, MO this morning, I-44 to Tulsa, OK was still closed, so I ventured on an alternate route.

I took U.S. 71 south about 70 miles to Springdale, AR, where I picked up U.S. 412 west, a route that shoots straight across to Tulsa, most of which is, generally, a 65-70 mph zone. Shortly after you cross the state line in OK, it becomes the Cherokee Turnpike, and runs as such for about 40 miles, then it’s plain old U.S. 412 again, but as a 4 lane divided highway. So far, all the roads had been snow packed, not bad, at least there’s traction… then the surprise hit. About 3 miles past the end of the turnpike, it looked like the road just ended, with a big pile of sand for a roadblock – except the road didn’t end, and it wasn’t a pile of sand, but snow.

I slowed down enough to trudge through the snow pile (since there was already evidence others had done the same), but the road looked like it had not been plowed, and continued on like that for about 10 miles (though it felt like much longer). I think that particular stretch, they just let the people traveling do the plowing. After a while the roadway cleared up – a little. Then I finally made my way into the Tulsa area. Last night I mentioned about 2 dozen trucks ran off the road in a 200 mile span, well the Tulsa area alone surpassed that, but not just big trucks… cars and pickups as well. The snowpocalypse hammered them… even a snowplow was in the ditch (definitely NOT a good sign).

I pulled off to get fuel, but when I saw how much in disarray the truck stop was in, I turned around in a repair shop parking lot and got back on the interstate. This time the roads were in better shape and I could go a little faster. Once I got 45 from OKC (Oklahoma City) were when the roads cleared up… as in, I could see pavement! I haven’t seen that since Monday night!

I got to a truck stop on the north end of OKC, topped off, and left to finish this trip. As it turned out, there was a Starbucks at the exit I was taking – SWEET!! Turned right, made my way around the plaza, got ready to pull off and set my brakes… but… Starbucks was CLOSED?!?! AT 1900?!?! Well, at least I made it to my delivery safely. :-/

– Another rant via BlogPress

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