Amarillo, TX, to Fort Smith, AR

Got a bit of a late start today, finally getting on the road at 10 am, which was 8 am Pacific Standard Time. That’s the problem with traveling east; you lose hours!

We were all piled in our room last night, watching There Will Be Blood on TV, which seemed a fitting movie for the land we were in (you know, oil and all). And, obviously, it wasn’t the movie that brought us together, but just the chance to be in the same room, enjoying the company.

It was cold when we arrived in Amarillo, and it takes us aback to realize that we’re in Thanksgiving week…the lead-in to winter. It’s going to be strange to have Thanksgiving on the road. Don’t know where we’ll be, and I know we’ll have a great meal, but somehow it just seems unreal that we’re entering the holidays already. The landscape around us says that it’s late fall or early winter, but in my mind, I’m not there yet.

Once we were on the road, we took I-40 West, back out of town about four miles until we saw the Cadillac Graveyard, started in 1974, and now a thing of legend. Texas’s own Stonehenge, sitting in the middle of a field off a frontage road, easy to miss unless you’re really looking for it. Ten old Cadillacs upended in an open field, an interactive memorial to … I’m not sure what, except a man’s love of cars.

There were a couple of other people there as we arrived, all scrounging among the spray paint cans that litter the ground, trying to find one still with some paint. Success! We each marked a car with our own ID: me, with Snart; Tom with TH and “DC or Bust”; Aubrey with her patented “A”; and Scott with “Party on My Body” and a panda. To each his/her own, I say.

It was such a weird place to go, but thoroughly enjoyable. Where else is it legal to tag a Cadillac, with paint provided! I’m pretty certain the original paint work is beneath several inches of add-on paint, and the result is eye-catching fun.

 After tagging the Cadillac corpses, we went in quest of a legendary Whataburger for Scott, since his roommate from last year had sworn those were the best burgers on earth. Two patties with lettuce and tomatoes, fries, and a root beer later, Scott tends to agree.

From there, we launched across Texas and into Oklahoma, lured by the promise of treasures at all of the Trading Posts en route.

It was a gray day, but we enjoyed ourselves just chatting and watching the new world go by. Stopped at the Cherokee Trading Post for lunch and to let the pups meet two bison and a bison calf. Sydney figured she could take on the calf.

In the Cherokee Restaurant, Scott and Tom were initially the only men not wearing hats while they sat at the table. Everywhere we looked, men wore cowboy hats or trucker hats. Several women had lacquered do’s. Obviously, we weren’t from these parts. Scott counted three men, with enormous bellies, wearing overalls. He has some. He could have rocked them here.

After lunch, we drove on through Oklahoma City, where we gave a nod to friends Meg and Sue Gardiner and their parents and grandparents, then continued on toward Arkansas in the evening light as the sun sank beneath the clouds, finally giving color to the day. We arrived in Fort Smith off the I-540 in the dark, so we have no idea what it looks like. That’ll be the fun of tomorrow’s discovery.