Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Two and Zen, Fetch Us a Ride - The Move Odyssey: Day 8

That morning we try to get ahold of the manager at the last motel (who of course doesn't bother to call us back).  CK finally reaches him and is told that the manager needs to get ahold of the lady in charge of housekeeping.  *Sigh.*  I call him a while later to ask WHEN he is going to get back to us with that info, and eventually we learn that they haven't found it. I'm really hoping CK just buried that somewhere in his trailer, cause the damn thing was expensive.

Meanwhile, Quantum has mapped out a route that once again leaves the interstate and also saves us about 100 miles of travel. We come to what we believe is the right route, but the road signs are not clear, and the road number we're looking for isn't advertised. So we stop to get directions again. "So, is this Route 64?" Quantum asks. "No, iss Two," the lady says in a flat country accent. Her manner is determined, and Quantum senses that this is somehow a bone of contention with her. "Well, does it become 64?" he says, looking on the map where 2 and 64 seem to be the same road. "No, iss Two." "Umm okay, can you tell me how to get to 64?" "Well up there, iss 64" (about 1/4 mile up the road). "But iss Two," she finally admits after being questioned several more times. Aargh. And of course, rather than just answer the question, she wants to know where we're going so she can tell us how she thinks we can get to where we're going, rather than just confirming that we're on the right road. "Well you go up here, there's a convenience's sorta a landmark..."  Quantum gets in the car shaking his head and remarking on how scary that was.

We head through Tulsa and up to Enid. Where Mississippi was cotton and farm crops, Oklahoma is mostly rolling hills and cattle ranches. My imagination of Oklahoma had been bare stripped land, ala the Dust Bowl. Instead the part we're driving through at least, is lush and treed and laced by numerous rivers and streams. The original plan was to get to Ft. Supply. I look at the map and decide that Woodward would make better sense, since it's closer and is a bigger town and more likely to have motels. Also, my idea is since Quantum is insistent on staying at motels, I should at least take advantage of that by dying my hair, since without running water on our land (and since I don't want to pour chemicals onto our land) it'll be challenging to do it there.  By the time we're a half-hour from Enid, however, I suggest we just stop there. It's a big town, more likely to find a drugstore to sell us hair dye in a color I could live with (since we probably won't find access to a salon supply where Quantum usually buys it). Plus this will give us a chance to get off the road 100 miles earlier and have a chance to breathe. If we're lucky, we might even be able to find a diner or somewhere else  still open that serves REAL food, instead of the fast food crap we've been subsisting on all week.

So we pull into Enid just as the sun is setting. We stop at a Super 8 and the chick at the desk seems OFFENDED (horribly so) that we would even suggest having pets at the hotel. We leave that freaking place (though I do get a chance to walk Zen - neener neener bitch, he peed on your grass!) and we go looking for the next motel. Except we don't find one, at least not on the strip we're driving on. Again we stop for directions and they say we either need to go way back to the beginning of town or go ahead another 25 miles or so.  Meanwhile we've passed a Walgreens (where we could have stopped for hair dye) and a Sally's Beauty Supply (where if they're still open we can definitely get dye) but Quantum is freaked out and refuses to go back even a block or two.

Quantum is getting a weird vibe about being stopped about the tags on our trailers, so he opts for heading further west, rather than back through town. Except whatever motel is supposed to be there never materializes, and we continue westward through the Oklahoma darkness. I look at the map and determine that the next nearest town that might have a motel (and maybe even a drugstore) is Fairview, but it's 6 miles south of the road we're taking, and Quantum isn't happy with that idea.

Also along this road, we realize something very interesting. My Dad (whose money ultimately paid for the land we're moving to) was found on September 5th, a couple years back. He died approximately 4 days before his body was found, meaning we should be landing in Walsenburg right around the anniversary of his death. We've been trying to figure out WHY we've been so delayed in this move, and realize that maybe it's fitting that we get to our land just in time for that date.

Another thing we're thinking about is Number 319. We've been going through so many problems and near problems on this trip and on the lead-up to it, that by now Quantum and I have a running joke about trauma #319 who is probably an opossum crossing the road and complaining that he's got this stupid high number. "Sure, Squeaky running away gets to be problem #37. It's not fair.  At one point we can't avoid running over the corpse of some small roadkill, probably an armadillo, and we wonder if that was good old #319 and someone else just got to him first.

Just near the turnoff to Fairview, we find a gas station out in the middle of nowhere and gas up again. Quantum asks the girl at the register about Fairview and she says, "I dunno, I never been there." "It's another 'Iss Two' waiting to grow up!" Quantum exclaims later. The idea of someone who doesn't even know anything about the town 6 miles away from where she works every day (and doesn't even seem to care) is astounding to us. "The neocons are succeeding with their plan to create brain-dead factory workers," Quantum says later. Fortunately there's another couple gassing up, they've just come from Woodward, and they also seem much more with-it. "There's plenty of hotels there," they say. So we keep on for Woodward, another hour's drive.

By the time we get there, find a motel, check in and haul the critters and all our stuff up to the room it's 1am. So much for an early night. Oh and there is a Walgreens in town, but they're closed. These towns that pull in the sidewalks at dusk (and Walsenburg is probably one of them) are going to take a lot of getting used to. After 15 years in the Orlando area, I'm used to 24 hour supermarkets and drugstores.  We grab a beer and page through the phone book to find somewhere open where we can still get food. The good news is we find out that Loves (a truck stop chain) is open. The bad news is they don't deliver, so we'll have to drive there. 3/4 the way through his beer, Quantum realizes that even though he's not the slightest bit drunk, he might have trouble if some cop notices the expired tags on the trailer and then smells beer on his breath.

We call the front desk, get the number for a taxi company. Like everything else, however, the one taxi service doesn't answer and is probably asleep. Finally we decide to walk there. Quantum pulls it up on a map website and we find with great relief that it's only about a mile away, much closer than we'd thought. We decide to take Zen with us, since he could use the exercise and it never hurts to have a pit bull walking with you if you have to be out in some unknown place at night.

The entire town smells like cow dung. Now to me this isn't a bad thing, having grown up some-of-the-time on my aunt's farm in upstate NY.  But it's certainly pungent! We make our way across a few vacant lots and out to the main road. Somewhere along the way Zen picks up a burr in his paw and starts limping. I manage to pull it out and he seems okay. I notice that Quantum and I are also covered with burrs from the grass along the not-really-a-sidewalk.

We make it to the Loves, and Quantum goes in while I wait outside with the puppy. Just as he's coming out of the store, these two drop dead gorgeous young girls .(probably sisters or cousins from the look of them) hop out of a pickup, obviously on their way home from wherever they work,  They become instantly enamored with Zen, and even the more dog-shy of the two is kneeled down petting him. Zen, of course, adores people and is loving the attention and doing his best good-puppy imitation. We strike up a conversation, and not only are they model-pretty but they actually seem curious and intelligent. Such a change from the flat, bored, unintelligent two women we've met earlier. Suddenly we have more hope for Oklahoma.

As they're going into the store, Quantum asks them if he could give them five bucks to drive us around the corner. They're happy to give us the ride but refuse the money.  Sweet girls. When we get back to the motel we tease CK about what he missed out on and thank Zen for fetching us a ride.

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