Wednesday morning found us cruising along I-40 through Amarillo, Texas and onto Oklahoma City en route to our final destination of St. Louis.
We made a brief stop at the “Bug Farm” in Texas, which has a handful of VW bugs all spray-painted, nose-in-the-ground. We took some photos and hopped back on the road. I’ve taken to snapping photos of things along the way from the car window since I have a rapid-fire shutter setting on my camera. This has come in extremely handy when trying to capture the state welcome signs. Unless it’s nighttime. In which case, good luck getting a half-way decent shot and if it is monsoon-like weather…well, you’ll see.
Oklahoma City was the next major stop on the route and also the destination for lunch. Our road app informed us that Nic’s Grill was featured on Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives and all reviews absolutely raved.
They weren’t lying, either. The burger was definitely a fork-and-knife kinda meal with a mountain — literally a mountain of curly fries.
The place so small, though, that we didn’t see bathrooms so we set off for a gas station where we could also fill up. This is where the trip got
ugly gross. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: this section of Oklahoma City was awful. We tried to stop at two different bathrooms and both were atrocious. I mean, I fully understand we are on the road but have some pride in your establishments, people. We tried a Starbucks but it had a walkup window only. A walk up window. Not an actual store. It was weird. The lone beater car with a spare tire and all the windows smashed in should have been our clue. It was at that point that we said we could go without and find somewhere else on the road. And thank goodness for the rest stops along the turnpike. I don’t know if the Indian Reservations on which they were built had different (higher?) regulations but hallelujah clean bathrooms.
Aside from the bathroom debacle, Oklahoma in general was a lot of red, flat dirt with a big interstate cutting through. It did have a Cherokee Trading Post. I have never seen such a big building full of chotchkie crap in my life. It was impressive. They had a whole wall dedicated to John Wayne, including a coffee mug featuring one of my favorite lines from his movie McLintock!, “Don’t say it’s a fine morning, or I’ll shoot ya!” Which, given the lack of sleep on this roadtrip, seemed appropriate.
The drive wound through Oklahoma and on into Missouri, where we finally saw some more green landscape. We rolled into St. Louis around 10pm and got a quick bite before bed. In dire need of a salad, we found a bar serving bar food, which filled the hole, but it was a good thing I don’t mind iceberg lettuce.
We headed back to the hotel, conveniently located near the Gateway Arch, which was first on the docket before Day Four of driving to Columbus, Ohio.