Apr 262014

Yesterday was a long day for us but it was worth it. After spending the last six or seven months in Arizona, we’re finally in a place with real grass, trees with leaves, and rivers with water in them!

We spent Thursday night at the Elks lodge in Tucumcari, New Mexico and were up by 7:30 a.m. ready to hit the trail. That’s really early for us! We had not unhooked the Explorer from our tow bar the night before, so all we had to do was unhook the water and electric, pull the slides in and jacks up, and we were ready to go.

Winnie Tucumari Elks 2

There was a steady breeze blowing and a lot of dust in the air as we motored east on Interstate 40.

Dusty New Mexico

I don’t think you can look far in any direction in the rural West and not see a windmill.

Windmill New Mexico

40 miles later we crossed into Texas, which looked pretty much the same as New Mexico.

Leaving New Mexico sign

Texas state line sign

Eventually the terrain got flatter, but there still wasn’t much to see except for a couple of abandoned farms.

Abandoned Texas farm

As we approached Amarillo, we passed the famous Cadillac Ranch. Yeah, in Texas folks are so rich they bury their old cars when they die.

Cadillac Ranch

There was a lot of traffic in Amarillo, but we cruised through it with no problem. The breeze had become a stiff wind from the south that kept me on my toes.

Near Groom, we saw this giant cross, which rises 19 stories high. Yeah, I know, everything’s bigger in Texas.

Giant cross Groom Texas

Then a few miles down the road we passed the famous leaning water tower. The way the wind blows out there, I wonder if it started out upright?

Leaning water tower

We crossed into Oklahoma and both commented that immediately things seemed to be more green and the brown Plains were behind us. At mile marker 20, near Sayer, we stopped at a Flying J for fuel, then went across the street to McDonalds and grabbed a bite to eat.

We lost an hour yesterday when we crossed into New Mexico, and then another hour today when we entered the Central Time zone. Which meant we hit Oklahoma City right at 5 p.m. There was a lot of traffic, but with Terry helping me by looking ahead to see which lane I needed to be in, and to the sides to see who was creeping up on us when I needed to change lanes, we managed to get onto Interstate 44 (the Turner Turnpike) and took it northeast out of the metropolitan area.

Finally, at Claremore we left the turnpike and arrived at the Elks lodge about 7:30 p.m. $10 got us a back in RV site with 30 amp electric and water. If you are an RVer and not an Elks member, you are missing out on some great money-saving camping opportunities.

Winnie Claremore Elks 2

The Elks lodge has a huge open field set up with goalposts and softball diamonds, and if we had more time, I’d break out my Revolution 1.5 SLE Quad Line Stunt Kite or my Prism Snapshot 1.9 speed foil.

Claremore Elks ballfield

It was a long day, we drove 501 miles, but it was worth it to us, though we don’t recommend it for everybody.

But even with the long day, the life of a nomadic scribe is good. About 9 p.m. somebody knocked on the door and I opened it to find a woman who asked if I was Nick Russell. After making sure she wasn’t a process server sent by one of my ex-wives, and seeing the bottle of cabernet sauvignon she hand in her hand, I quickly invited her it (What, you never had a woman with a bottle of booze in her hand show up at your door at night?) Turns out she was Pamela Huddleston Bickford, a friend of one of my author pals, Carol Cadoo. When I posted on Facebook that we were here, Carol called Pamela and insisted she stop over and welcome us to town. How cool is that? We had a nice visit with Pamela, and wished we were going to be in town longer to get to know her better.

Claremore is a very nice town, the home of the Will Rogers Memorial and the excellent J.M. Davis Gun Museum. We visited both places during our first year on the road, and if we had time we’d love to stay in Claremore longer and see them again.

You still have time to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series, set right here in the beautiful White Mountains of Arizona. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Big Lake Lyinching Audio cover

Thought For The Day – I come from a long line of dead people.

Check Out Nick’s E-Books In Our E-Book Store

Click Here For Back Issues Of The Gypsy Journal

Click Here To Subscribe To The Gypsy Journal

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “501 Miles And A Bottle Of Wine”

  1. Nick, We’ve made our way across on I-40 many times. That tilted water tower always made us wonder, but not enough to stop. Seeing your picture, I looked it up on line. Yes, the tower was originally upright, but in a totally different location. It was purchased, moved and set up as you see it as a gimmick.


  2. Hope you enjoyed your time in my home state!! We have a lot of pretty places!!

  3. I thought Big Lake Lynching was last week and Big Lake Blizzard was this week. both very good books

  4. You’re right, Charlie. That will teach me to post a blog when my brain is fried. This week’s prize IS Big Lake Blizzard. Thanks for pointing that out.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.