Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Day Four: Dalhart, TX to Ozark, AR

Never could get the internet hook-up in my room to work. That’s what I get for being attracted to funky little places instead of well known chain motels. Oh well. Left Dalhart in a socked-in fog and a heavy, wet mist with a visibility of about 100 feet. The north portion of the Texas panhandle seems to be home of fertilizer production, with corporations like Monsanto having a big presence and the air thick with a sickly chemical smell.

"Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain." Ain’t that the truth. The bike was keeled over at least 2-3 degrees for mile after mile of straight asphalt running through cattle country. Someone wanted to know what I think about on these long stretches. ”Is that a cop? Did he slam on his brakes? Are those flashing lights in my mirror? Is 'cattle' singular and plural and is that a generic or specific term? What’s a 'heifer?' Does 'steer' apply to both genders? I wonder what happened to the other shoe, why is there always only one? I used to like this Boz Scaggs tune in college, but now I hate it and wish it would go away. I’m glad there haven’t been any stray dogs along the road because it would be tough to get them on the bike. Also, glad that there has been very little road kill. That’s an armadillo. That’s a skunk. That’s an opossum. Look, there’s my dinner.”

The stockyards are really disgusting. Chisholm Trail cowboy glamour is lost when you see thousands of cattle (?) standing around, knee deep in mud. I pulled onto the highway at Oklahoma City and was smacked with the slaughterhouse smell. If you don’t know what that is, there’s no describing it. You have to go find out for yourself and I’ll leave it at that.

Needed to get into Arkansas before I stopped for the day.

Routes: Rt. 152; Rt. 44; I40

Miles: Ha ha ha, 500 or so

Seat Time: 8 hours

Gas Mileage: 45.5 mpg with headwind

Artsy fartsy


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