In the summer of 2003, Charlotte and I decided to take a trip across the country by rental car (why a rental? Don't ask--it's complicated, dull, and annoying.), stopping at various friends along the way, seeing the sights, and culminating in our annual visit to the Burningman festival in Nevada. This is the diary we kept along the way.
|25-26||Hot Springs AR|
|?||Oklahoma City OK|
|31||Mesa Verde CO|
|?||Grand Canyon AZ|
|11-13||Los Angeles CA|
|16-24||San Francisco CA|
|24-Sept 1||Black Rock City NV|
|2||Salt Lake City UT|
note: this entry was mostly written Thursday night, but posted Friday morning. "Today" means Thursday, "yesterday" means Wednesday.
So, as previously noted, we stayed in Meeman-Shelby state park outside Memphis last night. $15 bucks for a campsite seems a little steep, but the sites are pretty RV-oriented, with elictricity and running water. We didn't really get to exxplore much, so I can't say much about the park.
Up bright 'n' early, and breakfast in Memphis, at the Bar/ksdale Restaurant, another spot reccommended by Eat Your Way (remembering this time to use Mapquest). The trip was made trickier by the recent superstorm having knocked out most of Memphis' stoplights. Wood-panelled walls, a few autographed celebrity photos (none we recognized), a couple jingoistic bumper stickerss, air redolent of old cigarette smoke. Our waitress told us the place was in business today courtesy of a big ol' generator in back. Eggs: fine, ham; good, sausage gravy: good, hash browns: good, biscuits: quite good. A satisfying meal, nothing real special.
When we emerged, Lotte noticed that one of the screws for the temp plate on our rental wa missing. Strongly suspecting tampering, she later removed the plate and put it in our back window. Driving out of town, I noted that everyone we saw in Memphis looked sorta worn-down by life. Lotte suggested the hardships of this week's storm, but I don't really think that's what I was seeing.
We crossed into Arkansas before noon, and, realizing that Hot Springs was going to make for a very short day, decided to make for Oklahoma instead. I drove for several hours (a lot for me!) on I-40 while Lotte napped, then we switched off again with my right leg experiencing all sorts of exciting new aches.
We had a light afternoon meal from the cooler at the Spiro Archeological Something-or-other's parking lot. If you want to see reproduction Misissippian artifacts, that's the place to go. If any real archeology goes on there, they're careful to conceal it.
Oklahoma is generally getting a decent signal strength, but the hiptop can't seem to actually connect with it--I'm baffled what's going on.
We're now at Lake Eufaula state park, about a hundred miles from Oklahoma City. We had a very refreshing swim in the lake, and finally actually cooked ourselves a meal with the camp stove we've been hauling around for years. Oklahoma skeeters are delightfully small and wussy compared with the Tennessee variety. Tomorrow, Amarillo, if all goes well.