BOURNE IN THE USA

ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS & NEW MEXICO

AR OK TX NM Photo Gallery

 

ARKANSAS, OKLAHOMA, TEXAS AND NEW MEXICO

Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico (on the road 21st to 25th February 2010)

 

Arkansas


As we leave Memphis we cross the great Mississippi River and into Arkansas state on the start of a long trek into Denver, Colorado. Arkansas starts off really flat and full of corn fields. The road surface is terrible and the car wriggles around. We see some clouds building up on the horizon, then flashes of lightning. Then the rain starts, and boy does it rain. I can barely see through the windscreen as we try and squeeze past huge lorries on the interstate. It goes on for miles. We pass Little Rock. Eventually we climb into the Ozark forest and the sun comes out. It is really lovely here with huge lakes and evergreen trees. It’s all wintry now, but it must be a lovely place to walk in the spring. We decide to press on as it is dry now, and cross the state border into Oklahoma state.

 

Oklahoma


Oklahoma state looks like it has some nice places to visit. We drive on to a convenient stop off on the I40 interstate. The town is called Sallisaw and the motel here is clean and renovated.

We hit Oklahoma City and it is absolutely freezing so our plans to wander round downtown are ditched and we head to the Stockyards for lunch. We wander round the western outfitters looking at thousands of cowboy boots before having a wonderful steak lunch at the Cattlemens steakhouse.

 

 

We then track down a large western outfiitters and after lots of pondering we buy 2 pairs of lovely leather cowboy boots, well it would be rude not to!

 

 

 

Texas (Amarillo)

Our only stop off in Texas will be Amarillo. I don’t get the chance to ask anyone the way to Amarillo – shame. The landscape is so flat on the way, and with the snow it looks like frozen lakes either side of the road. There has been a couple of inches of snow in the night. We drive though a few small towns to look for lunch but mostly everything has shut down and is up for sale, pretty sad.

At our hotel, we go to the manager’s reception early evening for beer, wine and snacks and get chatting to Ed who is staying on business there. He’s from El Paso and is a lovely guy. We have a good laugh and he offers to show us a local sports bar called Buffalo Wild Wings (a bar chain) down the road. It’s packed with people and has tons of TV screens showing sports. A bit later they start a pretty terrible karaoke. It’s good fun and we drink way too many beers/wines before deciding to head nearer the hotel. Ed shows us this Pizza Hut next door that is also a sports bar, the bizarrest thing – there are kids in there smoking and drinking and singing karaoke. No one is eating a thing. It keeps going til midnight and we all get a bit merry. Rich ends up throwing a girl over his shoulder and dancing around. Ed insists we have forced beer on him but he doesn’t seem to mind! We slip and slide our way back to the hotel across the icy car park and pass out in bed.

The next day we head off to see the Cadillac Ranch – 10 old cadillacs buried nose down in a line in the middle of a cow pasture off the interstate. It’s quite a cool site with the snow all round it. People have added graffiti to them over the years and have sadly left all the paint cans lying around but we get some nice photos. A couple from Lymington turn up in a RV, so we have a good chat with them about what they’ve been up to. We drive down to Historic Route 66 downtown district in Amarillo, but the place looks like half of it has shut down. There seems to be real signs of struggling businesses in the towns at the moment, particularly around here.


New Mexico


Snow is threatening today. We drive out the back of Amarillo and head in to some pretty bleak scenery with the odd mesa here and there. After a while it starts to snow and the wind is really strong so we get blown around a bit. The snow is drifting across the road in places. As we get in to New Mexico we get a glimpse of the Sierra Grande mountains but it is pretty misty. We see Capulin Volcano by the side of the road. The snow continues horizontally but we make it in good time to Raton on the New Mexico/Colorado border. We get a walking map of Raton downtown. We go for a rather chilly 2-3 mile walk round town but there’s not really much to see, and a lot of places are shut down. Our motel is an old fashioned place but it’s clean and tidy and we have a 2 room suite with a bathroom. It’s really cold tonight so we have the heaters on full blast and hope it’s not too bad tomorrow as we have to drive through the foothills to Denver. We’re over a mile high here and we notice the altitude wandering around and have some weird dreams!