/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » co-pilot’s log, day 2

Hotel refrigerators apparently only have one setting:  “freeze your deli meat and cheese solid.” Add this to the list of things I didn’t know, please.  The list now includes:

Kansas isn’t as flat as everyone says it is, especially on the KS Turnpike

Apparently, the KS State Troopers have a citation-quota to fill by the end of the month and do so by nailing people going 2 mph over on the KS Turnpike (no, I didn’t get a ticket – I was told this by someone who worked at a Turnpike service area)

Kansas does actually go on nearly forever, especially on the Kansas Turnpike or Route 54

The last town on 54 in Kansas is Liberal, and the first major town on 54 in Oklahoma is Hooker (I am not making that up)

Oklahoma isn’t particularly exciting, but it does have a fair amount of oil rigs in the panhandle

Stratford, Texas is the “first place to stop in Texas,” but it is as close to an abandoned old town as I’ve ever seen and I’d not stop there without a flat tire

Yesterday taught me all of that and more – specifically how long 700 miles is when driving a rural highway.  We did shave off nearly 70 miles by taking Route 54 vs. the interstate, but holy cow – it was truly wild driving in the MOST torrential rainstorm I’ve EVER seen (in Texas, of course) on the aforementioned two-lane rural highway and having rain and blowback from semis going in the opposite direction.  We arrived in Dalhart, TX at about 9:45pm CST because of the rain and whatnot.

I am somewhat disenchanted with the TomTom, however.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to plot your route and load it in to the device, but it’s particularly challenging to do so.  I had to google the question and find the answer on the TomTom website that way – argh!  And then when following the instructions on how to download it to the device, it supposedly did it, but I couldn’t find the directions once I disconnected it from the laptop.  I’m pretty sure this is going back and we’ll be getting a Garmin in the next week.  😐

We stopped for fuel twice – 54 is a lonely route without a huge number of service stations or fuel centers, so we tanked up as we were able.  Today should be better, as we have only a small part of 54 left and then it’s all I-40 (Route 66) in to Arizona.  :)  The sandwiches were wonderful, but we did eat a fast-food breakfast and dinner (icky!).  I spent $22 on meals yesterday (hence the fast food), purchased a Rockstar that didn’t seem to do as much good as a Diet Dr. Pepper, caffeine-wise, and spent $5 on drinks at the Turnpike Robbery Station.  😉  Elsa’s fuel efficiency dropped a bit yesterday, but we attributed it to the slowing down/stopping in the small towns on 54 as well as the hills on the KS Turnpike.  We’re at about 32.4mpg right now, which still isn’t terrible, but isn’t the 35mpg I dreamt about.  😉

I took pictures with Brendan’s camera, but proceeded to leave it in the car last night.  So I’m including images shot on my phone and tweeted – the resolution isn’t as good as the camera, but something is better than nothing, right?

This is the view from Elsa’s front seat yesterday – pretty much all day long.  The Turnpike didn’t get any photos because I was driving, but this is Route 54 through southwestern Kansas.

Once in Texas, it appeared as though we would drive around a storm and dark clouds (that was not to be, however) – it was raining heavily to our left and the sun was setting on the right – creating a rainbow.  I know, we’ve all seen rainbows, right?  But this was a cool double-rainbow and the faint-double was reversed from the original rainbow.  It stayed with us for about an hour, until the sun finally set and we drove directly in to a storm so heavy and big we couldn’t see the front of the car’s hood and were crawling at about 20mph.

And finally, here is the sunset in question – so beautiful.  The sun appeared to meet the ground somewhere on the horizon, and the warmth and beauty it provided to the sparse landscape was awe-inspiring.  I wished we had been able to stop and to shoot the images with my DSLR, but that was not to be.

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  • Christine

    Hey Friend!
    What/Who is “Elsa”? Just makin’ me so curious reading this.
    God Bless,

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Elsa is our car. She’s a Swedish car (Saab) and after a long, drawn-out car search almost 2 yrs ago, we found her. Her name means “My God is abundant” in Swedish and we felt the car was an abundant gift after our accident and protracted search. :)