So I woke on the couch and thanked everyone for the generous hospitality and hit the road.before I knew it, I was in Oklahoma and it was pretty hot. I stopped at lunch at cracker barrel, which I’d never been to and have no desire to experience again. It wasn’t that the food was bad, it just wasn’t that good. And it was noisy as shit in there. I tried to blog about yesterday but got no signal. Thinking nothing of it, I ate and left. This, friends, is what we call foreshadowing. Check out all this talent I’ve got. Also, here’s the only thing convenient enough and photo worthy, from Shawnee:

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In Oklahoma city, I tried to use my card. No dice. Fuck. I tried to call the bank to tell them that I am me, I’m still traveling (there’s only one L in traveling? No shit. I’m usually really good at this. Thanks, autocorrect. Usually you suck.), and gimme me my shit, mofo. I have no service. Fuck.

Get directions to bank. I suppose it’s the one advantage to banking with a national greedy scum fucking institution like bank of america that I’m able to deal with this on a person to person basis. My account is fine. No holds. Probably just because my magnetic strip has seen so many miles. Seriously, I can’t use it at the pump anymore. I gotta go inside where they put a bag on it to coerce the thing into swiping properly. I withdraw almost everything I have just in case. Enough to get me home and buy some booze for the side of the road. There’s actually a bit of a cushion, which surprises my balls off. Miserly frugality has worked out mightily well.

I glass up and on the way to the interstate I spot a Verizon store. We’ll get to the bottom of this. The dude doesn’t believe me when I say I’ve tried switching every option off and back on and rebooting the phone numerous times. Of course he doesn’t. Half an hour later we’ve gotten precisely nowhere. He goes in the back for twenty minutes or so and comes back stating that I’m apparently the third customer with this phone to have this problem in Oklahoma. The two others are waiting for phone replacements. Fuck. This is not only not an option for me, but seriously, you have the phone in stock, why the shit can’t I have one of those? Some bullshit about serial numbers. Bullshit. I may have mentioned that. So, new Sim card. Except they activated it in some totally different phone first and then stuck it into mine. After two hours I’m back on the road. And quite honestly grateful for the fix.

Oklahoma city was pretty fucking hot. Not far west of there I found wet roads, the shade of clouds, and an exhilarating coolness that I drank up like wine. It lasted to about 45 miles to the Texas boarder. I feel lame using the word sweltering to describe something as conventional as heat, but it’s apt. We’re talking close to central valley of California heat here.

Somewhere I saw a flatbed trailer carrying what could have been nothing if not the fuselage of an f-35 lightning II. That was pretty neat.

Then there was Texas. Have you ever driven through the fat, flat part of Texas? I have. Let me tell you, I-40 through the panhandle is the preferred method, in spite of the whole world’s-largest-cat-box smell west of the charming (stupid and lame) metropolis (skid-mark) of Amarillo. Luckily just after that cat-box  was the familiar just-missed-a-storm cool that was most inviting. So was seeing Albuquerque on the mileage signs. Almost as good as seeing the Hardee’s signs fade into Carl’s Jr. signs. It must seem  minor, but these are harbingers of home.

What was not inviting was the lighting, beautiful though it may have been, and still to this very moment is. just inside new mexico, stray raindrops are frequent and nearly the entirety of my visor is home to nearly constant shocks of purple. I stopped for gas next to a dude with (I think) an Australian accent on one of those big ass Kawasaki tourers. He’s going the opposite direction and clearly pit way more thought into his journey than I did. He warns of storms and high winds and wishes me.safe travels and I rode to the next town and got a room. I don’t remember who told me about the biker getting struck by lightning, but its starting to get wet, and I’m pretty spooked.

I had a good run today though. Twice I found myself riding directly between two great columns of storms, dumping wet hell on somebody. I think I’m done being that guy on this trip.

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