Early this morning we stopped briefly along Route 66 again - I know we've done a lot with Route 66 but it keeps following us, and it has so much history. (Yesterday we ran across a group of close to 50 Norwegians who are trying to do the entire route from Chicago to L.A). This time for us it was Lucille's Gas Station - it was built in 1929 and Lucille ran it until 2000. Now it's closed up like the rest of Route 66 businesses, but there are plaques, pictures, and other signs telling Lucille's story. Like the Will Rogers sign in the photo below.
Next we took a turn south on some real back roads and saw the sign about prison inmates below. I guess that's a problem in Oklahoma.
A few hours later we were driving the 55 mile Talimena Scenic Byway from southeastern Oklahoma to southwestern Arkansas. The drive is very much Blue Ridge Parkway like, with many incredible overlooks as it winds through the Ouachita National Forest. We were impressed - it wasn't as kept up as the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it was great to see some mountain views after days in the desert. We were basically the only inhabitants of the region for the entire 55 miles, so there were several attempts by both of us for making echoes. Pee Wee has the biggest mouth so he won.
After the drive as we headed southeast I made a reservation for a Best Western in Hope, Arkansas. A kind old lady took my information and said she would hold the room for us. A few minutes later we changed our minds and headed for Texarkana, Arkansas. We changed minds because 1) For where we think we're heading tomorrow, Hope didn't work. 2) We stopped in Hope 8 years ago. And 3) Bill Clinton is from Hope and we couldn't take another trip through a town with signs everywhere about Slick Willy.
So I had to call the Best Western lady and see if I could talk her into cancelling our room, which isn't that easy to do when cancelling after 6:30. So I told her my travelling partner was having great difficulty with his colostomy bag and Hope didn't have the facilities he needed. But Texarkana had just the colostomy bag equipment he needed. It worked, so we're spending the night in Texarkana.
Three good deeds today: Driving through southern Oklahoma we saw the remnants of an exploded truck tire on the road. A quick stop by Pee Wee and a quick dash by myself and the road was clear. Then when checking into the hotel I slipped on a wet spot in the lobby. The very busy lady behind the desk was about to get a mop, but I was quicker and I rapidly mopped up all the wet spots in the lobby for her. She didn't have time to do it anyway. Then tonight while eating at a very busy restaurant, our server was in way over her head. She was new, and had way too big of an area. We watched her as she practically ran from table to table to kitchen and back. Then we saw her get chewed out first by a couple at a table near us, and then by the manager. Her face was blank, but on the verge of tears. She messed up our bill as well, and we asked the manager to come and talk to us. Another man, probably his boss, leaned in to listen as well - both were expecting bad news. We then proceeded to tell both of them that Taylor - our server, was simply outstanding - we went on and on about how great she was. We're sure the message will get back to her and for that we end the day in great moods.