Monday, August 25, 2014

Travelogue: En Route to Oklahoma, Day 2

What: Car Ride to Oklahoma
Where: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma
When: Monday, August 4, 2014

New Mexico

Fresh Belgian waffles! It's part of the hotel's free continental breakfast, though you have to make it yourself. I pump out the pre-made batter and pour it on the round waffle iron, flip it over, and wait for the button to beep. I pry off crisp waffle with a plastic fork.

Coffee's a bit weak. We hunt down a Starbucks.

Rain sends us on our way, but I'm busy reading When I look up again, the skies are blue.
Blue skies and sunflowers
Round verdant bushes mottle gentle hills, like spots on a dog's belly. Small wild sunflowers clump the edges of the road. I spot a grazing beast. "Cow," I cry, but it turns out to be a horse, and the whole car laughs. Later, I do see cows, glossy and healthy and black.

Another rest stop. Sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias wave in the breeze. Low white wildflowers and clumps of tiny yellow daisies dot the grass. Anthills abound. As I take photos of a creek behind barbed wire fence, I spy small bunny sitting on a dirt trail, just a few yards away.

I stalk it with my camera. My dad walks up, and I motion for him to keep quiet. He suddenly points to a second rabbit. And a third! They all dash behind the barbed wire fence.


We pass into Texas some time while I'm reading. The mountain have vanished and the land is flat.

A group of houses catch my eye. They have the orderly, cookie-cutter look of any suburb, but I see no fences or walls, no curbs, no sidewalk, and few roads. It looks as though someone just transplanted a neighborhood onto the farmland. It makes me think about how artificial the landscape of California is, how used to this I am.

Dad points out dying cities. Behind their sturdy brick facade, popular in the days of the old West, the buildings lie dormant. We drive past city blocks with more dead stores than living.
Rest Stop
We eat lunch at a rest stop with shade structures that form the shape of a train.


The ground takes on a reddish hue. I see lines of dirt between neat rows of green vegetables: farmland. Lots of wide open spaces. It's all starting to look the same.

Guess its time to read again.

And suddenly we're there.

We're in a lively town with plenty of restaurants, some chain, some one-of-a-kind. "Get your IDs," Dad says, and I'm momentarily distracted trying to pry my driver's license out of my wallet. At the gate of Fort Sill, we have our IDs scanned and pass on through.

We park at a two-story, yellow stucco house with white wood trim. My brother, Tyler, comes out. We step inside to see my sister-in-law, Shantel; my nephew, Tyson; and two fat yipping lap dogs.

Tyson's so happy to see us!

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