So long Red Bay. It’s been swell but it’s time to hit the road. Our warranty work took a couple of days. Our Holy S$&t work took a bit longer. The good news is the Big Rig is looking spiffy. You’d never know anything happened.
A minor change in our set up. The bikes are now on the back of the car. This is the set up for the foreseeable future. Other Half needs to get the new hitch adapter adapted to clear the tow bar. This kind of stuff is 100% his department. Whatever he says goes. He loves that part.
We left Red Bay Saturday morning. Our ultimate goal is Santa Fe, but considering it’s 1200 or so miles from Red Bay, we plan to take three days.
Day one took us from Alabama across Arkansas on Interstate 40 West. Long drive. Not much variety. It was cool to cross the Mississippi River. Had lunch at a crowded, poorly designed rest area. Poorly designed for Big Rigs for sure. Big Rig parking was along the curb on the exit road. Not ideal.
Our original plan was to spend the night at a Walmart just into Oklahoma. We opted for a campground instead – with 90+ degree heat and humidity – we wanted to run our air conditioners. We ended up at a KOA in Sallisaw, Oklahoma. The only site available required us to unhook the car, no biggie.
Day two took us across Oklahoma, excluding the panhandle. This is the first time Other Half and I have ever been in Oklahoma – granted a day spent driving Interstate 40 West is not exactly visiting a state. We’re counting it anyway.
Here’s what stood out on the drive – there are a lot of Indian Nations across Oklahoma. We no sooner left one nation and immediately entered another. Some of the tribes we recognized, like the Cherokee, the Seminole, and the Shawnee. Others, like Sac & Fox Nation and Citizen Potawatomi Nation were new to us.
And it seems each nation has a casino. Per Google, Oklahoma has 124 Indian casinos owned by 30 tribes. That’s a lot of casinos. And (per Google) Indian gaming is the second largest industry in the state. That equates to big bucks. Annual revenue estimates from Indian gaming is $4 billion. That’s billion with a B. FYI, we did not contribute, at least not this trip.
We also spotted the historic marker for the Chisholm Trail. I, of course, had no clue what the Chisholm Trail was. Other Half drew on his best year in school, 7th grade. He didn’t remember all the details – but he had the basics right. The Chisholm Trail was a cattle route that started in Texas, crossed Oklahoma and ended in Kansas at the train station. He clearly paid much more attention in 7th grade than I did.
We also saw lots of references to Route 66. Turns out Interstate 40, west of Oklahoma City, parallels and replaces Old US-66.
One more thing went on all day in Oklahoma. Apparently it’s impossible to drive through the state without breaking into song. OOOOk-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain, and the wavin’ wheat can sure smell sweet….or something like that.
We ended our day in Texas. We are staying at the Amarillo RV Resort. Nice place with big pull thru sites. We’re settled in and I’m doing laundry – with the song OOOOk-lahoma stuck in my head. Of course.