April 17, 2013
GREEN!!! Yes, we entered the land of the green today. As we approached central and eastern Oklahoma, we saw evidence of growing plants and trees. At least in the part of Oklahoma along the I-40 corridor, the drought seems to be lifting.
We tried to be adventurous today and took a slight detour just to break up the day slightly. The Maps program Apple includes on the iPad showed a OK state park just off I-40. It was on a peninsula jutting out into a lake and offered easy off and on access back to the interstate. It was called Fountainhead State Park.
Well, (we did not have Buddy on while we were driving) as we got off I-40 the sign said Lake Eufaula State Park. I got a little nervous but we took the road anyway. Turns out (from the nice lady at the visitor center to the park) that the park’s name changed several years ago. So we were in the right place but technology had screwed up.
We bought some postcards and asked her about a place to have an early lunch. She suggested the cafe at the marina down the road. Well, not quite like the casino location of yesterday, but the fish smell (they sell bait, etc), the lack of any customers, the one person staffing the bait shop/cafe etc made us decide to pass on this opportunity.
Instead we went to June’s cafe in downtown Checotah whose motto is Love, Peace and Chicken Grease. reasonable food, decent prices. There is a casino in Checotah but we passed on it.
Back on the road we entered Arkansas. First time ever for both of us. By this evening we have traversed across most of the width of the state. It is even greener that OK, has water in its rivers and lakes, and has much more varying topography. Hilly in the west, agricutural flat in the east. I know, minor, but after dry NM it was nice to see.
Dinner was at another local restaurant, Ole Sawmill Cafe. Buffet for $9.50. I tried more of the southern style vegetables than Chris did. Forrest City, where we are staying, calls itself the Jewel of the Delta. A good part of eastern Arkansas is called the delta, I believe because of both the Mississippi River and two other rivers in the region. The part of town which we explored needs the jewel to be polished a bit better. We must have missed the brighter part of town. That can happen when you explore only part of an area.
It has been a few years since we really did a major road trip. Oklahoma roads were somewhat busy but the roads in Arkansas (which Chris drove primarily) were much more heavily used. Truck traffic reminded us of the heavy volume we used to see around Carlisle (PA, there is a Carlisle, AR as well as in 12 other states).
Tomorrow, we traverse Tennessee.
Ed 8:00 pm