Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Driving the Jeep to Mexico - Part 2

That first night on the road was horrible. The motel I stayed at in South Haven, KS was just off the freeway and slightly sleazy. Everything left that we owned was packed inside the not-too-secure soft top Jeep and I worried about it all night. I was able to park right in front of my window and spent a fitful night. Every little noise outside and I was out of bed and peeking out the curtain. I have no idea what I would have done if somebody was breaking into the Jeep. I was relieved each time to find nobody in sight! I didn’t care so much about the contents, but I did not want my canvas top or plastic windows sliced, diced, folded or mutilated in any way. After all, I still had a long, long way to go. Just how far it actually was hadn’t hit home yet.
No place or time for breakfast so a quick shower and on the road again. Ten miles down the road and there was the familiar sight of the golden arches! A sausage/egg McMuffin and large coffee later and I was really on the road again. Across the border and into Oklahoma.

I must say, I really did like Oklahoma. Gently rolling, always interesting countryside. I was impressed with how they mounded dirt against the side of the hills to form a pond to catch any water that was available. Freeway was in good condition and driving was quite easy…until I got to Oklahoma City!

I did not think I would have much trouble, since I was staying on Hwy 35 all the way from Minneapolis to Corpus Christi. I also had a very detailed triptik from AAA. However, there was a detour and then the signs gave me the choice of 35 East or 35 West! What in the world did that mean? I was going south! I chose West, figuring I did not want to head back to New York or something. Of course, 45 minutes later I discovered that I should have chosen East after all since that fed into 35 South again. Oh well, in the large picture, not much time lost. It was not a pleasant time though. It rained sheets during the 45 minutes and I was just totally stressed out by the time I got back on the right track. If that had been the only time I got lost, I would have been happy. If I had known what Mexico itself held for me!

Past Dallas, Waco (watching for the Branch Davidian house destroyed by the ATF a few years back, but not seeing it), past San Antonio and on to Corpus Christi. A few words about the rest areas here.

The worst rest areas of all are in Kansas, followed by Oklahoma. Without a doubt the best ones were in Texas. Each one was clean and tiled with bright, fanciful tiles. Each one also had some sort of mosaic done in tiles. Mostly western, cowboy themes but nevertheless quite interesting to look at. They seemed totally out of place in a rest room! The other thing I found quite amazing were the pet exercise areas in Texas. Take a look at this:

Sure glad that I did not have a dog with me. I’m afraid it would have had to pee on the cement by the Jeep. No way I would have walked in that grass!

I treated myself to a nice hotel in Corpus Christi where the Jeep could be parked safely. I fell asleep not worrying about it at all. By that time I was just too tired to care that much anyway. After all, I had just solo driven another 13 hours and 709 miles that day.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

I agree with you about the Texas rest stops, they were great many years ago when I went through. I loved a fake fire hydrant in one of the pet areas that one rest stop had. Very funny.
Waiting for the next installment.