Monday, 15 October 2012

St Louis to Oklahoma

The America’s Best Value Inn did not include sleep (always read the small print!).
That is not quite true.
Sleep occurred at 0400 during the alarm. 

There is nothing quite like the panic of waking 20 minutes late, knowing that timing is tight: bags not repacked, a need for rental car drop off, bus to airport, check in & more line dancing....(all in an unfamiliar airport space) and that nagging inner questioning, constantly asking oneself – “have you got the important items like passport & wallet”, as everything else is really secondary. Check!

Note to self (and others who may be interested) :  if you pack the wrong items in your carry on bags then you WILL need to have your bags searched and items like water bottle and “oversized” toothpaste removed. (You are not allowed to drink the water in the screening area - “goodbye friend”).

As any sort of argument or protest is futile, one silently obeys and buys water and another tube of toothpaste before getting on the flight. A small disposable razor is allowed in my carry on? I really must read 1984 again; Flight 97 memorial is still a memory; I really must read 1984 again.

The flight from St Louis to Denver is uneventful. (Yes I have “Take me home Country Road” going through my head repetitively.) The connecting flight, Denver to Oklahoma, is delayed by 2 hours. The next plan is a turbo prop and it is quite amusing hearing various passengers ask is it safe; as it is the first time they have ever flown on a “non jet” aircraft.  I cheekily comment; “why of course they are safe, we use them all the time in Australia, they can even fly on one engine, and land on dirt run ways amongst kangaroos”. (Ok so this has only happened once in my life J.

Arriving in Oklahoma and I attend Avis to collect my car. The lovely sales lady Loretta looks at me and looks at her screen. She says, “you Australian’s shouldn't be driving and itty bitty Kia (Rio), why you need a big car” here is my chance!, “I don’t suppose you have a Mustang?” I ask. “Why no sir, but we do have a Dodge Charger, will that do?” – “OK!”

So, The Black Dodge Charger and I will be exploring Oklahoma  Texas and Mississippi over the next 10 days whilst making our way to three more prisons: Jospeph Harp Unit Oklahoma, Estelle Unit Texas and Mississippi.

Before then - Route 66! (well, a little bit of route 66)

Salads and chicken (I think) have been the lunch and dinner for the last couple of days. I have avoided the fast food, that keeps calling me.

Ohhh, confession time, a 6 pack of Heineken or Grolsch only cost $6.99 here, so....

And finally a comment on disposable plates.
EVERY place I have stayed so far have used disposable plates, bowls, cups, knives and forks and spoons. My footprint is SO MUCH BIGGER – sorry :(

Oklahoma is the USA’s third-largest producer of natural gas, fifth-largest producer of crude oil, and has the second-greatest number of active drilling rigs. The following sort of small rigs can be readily seen whilst driving.

It is at the bottom of USA states in usage of renewable energy. 

and finally ....
here is a sign that you will not see on an RSL in Australia (I think?)


  1. That is a much better car to be cruising the highways! Don't forget to get a pic of good ole Route 66 in your mean machine!

  2. That mean machine just adds to your footprint Phill!