Linda Aksomitis at a rest area in Oklahoma.

Linda Aksomitis at a rest area in Oklahoma.

Interstate 35 took us across the border from Kansas to Oklahoma with one noticeable change—the speed limit dropped to 70 mph. Not that traffic flowed much slower.

It was starting to look more like spring, with winter wheat crops close to a foot high. The trees, however, stood skeleton-like in brown pastures tinged vaguely green.

While we’d become used to the idea of long stretches between gas stations, Oklahoma had service centers every twenty miles or less. Each stop, though, offered one gas station and only one or two options for food.

The competition, it seemed, put up shop down the highway instead of across the street.

As lunch time grew closer, I realized the options had changed too: KFC, Dairy Queen, Chester Fried Chicken, Subway, and a rare McDonalds. Hmm, what happened to traditional restaurants or even chains like Country Kitchen?

We eventually found a family style restaurant at the Sooner Service Center in Perry…guess we should have stuck to fast food though, as it was clearly about quantity not quality.

The temperature, of course, continued to climb with each mile south, hitting 78 degrees by Oklahoma City. We breezed through it, taking in the scenery…green grass, leaves on the trees—finally, blooming flowers (red ones that filled the ditches like dandelions soon would back home), and red dirt.

I saw the castle-like Win Star World Casino before I could make out the sign, but I suppose its owners assumed everyone passing by would already know it was there. I didn’t—although more signs eventually told me it was the world’s second largest casino.

Dallas, Texas.

Dallas, Texas.

The Visitor Center when we arrived in Texas was a simple structure. Staff, however, offered lots of tips on additional activities I could add to my itinerary since we were ahead of schedule. Indeed, we’d planned to arrive in Shreveport, LA, late the next afternoon, so we had a whole day extra.

There’s nothing like 75 mph Interstate speed limits (Texas was back to 75) to change your ETA.

Back on the road with Plan B, we hit Dallas and lanes and lanes of traffic with tier after tier of highways—the old Jetson’s cartoon depiction of the future in the here-and-now. Luckily, GPS systems arrived with it.

Slowdowns for construction even gave us a chance to see some of the city!

We didn’t plan to try out the freeway though during Monday morning’s rush traffic, so drove thirty miles down I-20 before pulling in to the Best Western in Canton. The room didn’t have a fridge, so we filled the sink with ice, threw in some drink cans to chill, and headed out to try out Texas steaks.

Finding a steak in Canton was harder than you might think. We followed the instructions the hotel clerk gave us to the Easley Cattle Co. restaurant, only to find out it was closed on Sundays. Choice #2 was also closed. So, there we were, back at Dennys—the steak was all right, but licensed dining would have been nicer.

Another travel day done.