A Quick Road Trip.

Faced with a weekend that quickly needed to be filled with something, I decided that it wasn’t too early for a quick road trip. There was a cup of coffee, a scroll around google maps, and a bag to be packed.

Admittedly, when I walked out the door I was only 50% committed to my idea. But when I hit I-35, the truck turned itself north and I was off to explore Oklahoma.

I’ve never been to Oklahoma before. This trip afforded me the opportunity to check off another state. Now, I only have four left to go and I’ll have been to them all. This seemed like an Easy Peasy kinda day.

I drove out of the rain around Waco, and found the blue sky line about Denton. As I kept going north on I-35, the weather continued to improve. Upon arriving in Oklahoma City, it was T-Shirt weather once again. Joy of joys!

My primary stop in OKC was the Oklahoma National Memorial, otherwise known posthumously as the Murrah Federal Building.

The memorial was quite nice, and well worth the drive. There is an open air memorial occupying the building footprint and the accompany street that received the cratering charge from the explosion. There is a multi-story museum located in an adjacent building which was reportedly used as the incident command scene. The museum has a complete story of events and is fairly moving.

Rolling north out of OKC, next stop was Stillwater. Some years ago, I promised a friend of mine that if I ever made my was to Oklahoma, I was go to Eskimo Joe’s restaurant. So, I did!

Eskimo Joe’s sits on the edge of the Oklahoma State University campus and is an obvious community landmark. The wait was long, unless you sat at the bar, which I did. The burger and fries were quite tasty, and the gave me a soda to go. I give the place high marks. I also picked up a T-shirt from the monstrous gift shop.

Getting out of Joe’s after dinner time, I drove down the main drag till I found a motel and pulled in. The Days Inn in Stillwater is clean and reasonably priced. I was watching American Ninja Warrior as I typed this post.

Tomorrow, it’s a casual drive back south to Texas, and maybe a stop at the casino.

When an opportunity presents itself, get out there. Check those boxes!

The reflecting pool of the Oklahoma National Memorial.

The open air tribute to the people lost in the bombing.

Eskimo Joe’s in Stillwater, OK!

Go find adventure!

Adjusting to the Weather.

It’s been a minute since I’ve left, what had become, my desert home. I have to say that of the small number of things I enjoyed about the desert, the heat would be number one. It’s interesting to me how something like the weather can have a lasting effect on people’s impressions of a place.

For the record, I grew up in the northeast. The winters were snowy and blisteringly cold. The summers were nice and sunny. Neither of these settings produced the hot heat that I found, once I started to travel. Admittedly, the northeast has much more to offer than snow, but that is the relevant part for this post. I still enjoy the change of the leaves in the fall, and the way the woods gives way to winter as that happens. It is a cycle of life thing, I guess?

I loved the cold, when I was younger. resisting it was how you measured up against your friends. Work had to be done, cold weather or not, so you just got used to it. As I began to travel for work, I got exposed to other climates. Climate that, now a much older individual, I enjoy better. There is something about the heat that is much easier on me, than the cold is. There is an old joke up home that says, old people go to Florida for the winter. Though a joke, there seems to be some truth in it all.

I bring this up today because, well, it’s cold out. I came back to the USA about two weeks ago. It was still summer in the Middle East. The heat was still on. I was hoping the same would be said of Texas, even though it was coming on to fall here pretty fast. I can say it was nice for a couple days. The sun was out, and the heat was still here. That, however, has changed. The last week it has been raining basically non-stop, and the heat has left the land. Yesterday, I was wearing three layers of clothes (though one was for the rain).

I not really a complainer. I tend to just accept things as they come along. I’m just shocked by the change in affairs. When I first moved to Texas, it was SOOO DAMNED HOT down here that I wasn’t sure I was going to stay long-term. Now, after a year in real heat, it just feels wet and cold.

Of all the memories I have from the last year wandering around the Middle East, I think that the feeling of the deep dry heat might be the one that stays with me the longest. The dry heat, like standing inside an oven, will hopefully stick with me as I re-climatize to a cooler climate. or maybe, it will be the catalyst to get me travelling again? Right now, it’s hard to say.

Remember, its the experiences you have that make traveling the world worth while. There is absolutely no substitute for actual experience. now, get out there. Have some great experiences!

Sunrise in the desert. Circa 2017, Kuwait.