20th August When we kicked off from the Paulo Duro area the weather was lovely mid 80s with cloud cover or shade as I regard it now. We were soon out of Texas and in to Oklahoma, everywhere is still flat the roads are still almost perfectly smooth, a nice ride. As the 2 states close together there are some lumps in the topography, it’s title is the something or other basin, I’ll check it out later. The land stays flat as we continue, but it does get greener the further east we go, the trees get more plentiful and taller, there does seem to be many trees under stress though, if I was the guy in charge of trees I would be concerned.
The cloud cover eventually disappeared and we were back to blistering sun ooh the pain, thank whomever for air conditioning. We made good progress and as a result thought we would easily hit out initial target of Fort Smith just over the border in Arkansas . So we moved the target to Little Rock, 180 miles further on. I have a saying that is rarely wrong “ don’t make a plan it will only make God Laugh”. Like fools we didn’t realize God had a counter measure in hand!
The rivers and creeks we crossed havd got water in them, unlike the ones in, Kansas and Oklahoma, still with their ironic names like, otter creek, wolf creek, beaver creek all have no sign of the aforementioned animals and certainly contain less moisture than a prop forwards jock strap. Northern Canadian river is a classic, yep no river, nowhere near Canada and we couldn’t see a bloke in a daft hat, red coat sat aboard a horse singing O Rosemarie! who’d of thought it? The one they named correctly was Sand Creek, a perfect name for that one, I know you were expecting a rushing mountain stream tumbling down a mountain side, nope it was sand in a depression.
As we approached Fort Smith the sky darkened, and we got the works, lightening, in sheets , bolts and forks, rain like you see on movies, really hard to see to drive. We thought we would be clever and pull over for a burger while it blew itself out, yeah a blow out while it blew out geddit?
Anyway it didn’t it just kept coming and the wind? I thought it was a hurricane, we could hardly see even with lights on it was a nightmare. The truckers in their semis kept hammering past, is it dry when you are sat 2 meters higher than the rest of us? I can’t see it myself, some have pulled over to the hard shoulder to wait it out, I guess the ones still doing 70 are on some kind of mind stimulant . Some of the idiot drivers we are forced to share the road with still don’t put their lights on, what is the matter with these dolts? Or is it ok to drive and drool in the USA? There was a fallen tree on the inside lane that caused a bit of panic but it was negotiated without incident. With the visibility and speed down we abandoned the Little Rock target have an early stop for the night. The Days inn we found had computers that were ailing because of the storm and we don’t get Internet as a result, so we watched the telly , which is the lowest form of crap in the USA. They ought to take the BBC. They wouldn’t do that though as it would show to the American public what is possible. So the viewing public are rationed with just a bit of BBC as a special treat now and again.
We got a decent start this Sunday morning and flew, metaphorically speaking, through Arkansas and over the ole Mississippi into and through Memphis we had hoped to be back in Charlotte by evening but it was a big ask.
Tennessee, what a lovely state. Green with rivers that have water in them. Which reminds me againof the amusing name thing, in Arkansas we crossed a bridge over a couple of lakes there was an off ramp to a town called “Lotawatah”.
Apart from Dolly Parton the only other person of note , that I know of anyway, is of course Davy Crockett, who was “born on a mountaintop in Tennessee , the greenest state in the land of (what used to be) the free, he knew where the woods and he knew where the tree, and he killed a bear when he was only three, Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.” There you go I still remember the words from when I was 5, the brackets are mine by the way.