Thursday, October 13, 2016

Elk City OK to North Little Rock AR

Thursday, October 13, 2016

We left the Clarion Inn in Elk City at 8:30 – somehow we woke up still on Mountain Time! Maybe by tomorrow we will have adjusted.  Not much in the way of breakfast here – we are using Choice Hotel Points for these nights coming home…so it is hard to complain when you pay nothing.  There was a McDonalds at the next exit so Ben could get his normal biscuit with strawberry jam.

I 40 East was still our road for the day – our goal North Little Rock OK.  Oklahoma seemed to have a different “Indian Nation” sign every few miles.  A little research showed that prior to statehood, Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory almost the entire state was one reservation or another.  Now they are known as statistical areas.  If I counted right there are 25 different tribes with a statistical area.  Not sure what that means exactly but one thing is for sure most of them have a casino located along I 40. 

We have also been following the historical Route 66 – the route from Chicago to Los Angeles for much of yesterday and today. Much of the road in Oklahoma has been preserved – often the old road runs near I 40. There are museums and restored buildings in nearly every small town.  The other interesting thing is the Chislom Trail crosses I 40 a bit west of Oklahoma City – they designated one “original watering hole” nearby but we did not leave the Interstate to see it!

Passing through Oklahoma City was a breeze.  11 AM may not be a normally busy time; but the traffic was light and moved along smoothly.  It is a huge city that has grown to cover at least 20 miles of I 40. Tinker Air Force Base was right to the south of I 40 on the western side of OKC and we caught a plane taking off as we passed by.
Oklahoma City Skyline

Very unusual bridge across I 40

Tinker Air Force Base


Most of the day we followed the Arkansas River. It is a long river and appeared to be navigable for most of the way today – there are many lakes and locks here and there.
One of many Arkansas River Crossings

As we neared the Oklahoma-Arkansas border we passed through Sallisaw.  This was the end of the “Trail of Tears” where the Cherokees from near our home were moved to Oklahoma or Indian Territory.  The home of Sequoyah was about 10 miles north and if it were not a long driving day we might have visited it. We did stop for lunch and to buy gas at a Love’s near Sallisaw.
Cherokee Casino

We kept seeing Braum's Ice Cream stores – they are headquartered in OK and have stores in TX, OK, AR and perhaps another state.  Having seen so many of them we stopped in Van Buren AR for a treat middle of the afternoon.  Jane thought the Peanut Butter Cup was very good.  Ben thought his Rocky Road needed to be a little sweeter.  They seem to have a big following in this part of the country.

Peanut Butter Cup

Rocky Road

Continuing on to North Little Rock we found our Quality Inn and Suites about 4:45 after a 450 mile day on I 40.  Another overcast day with light rain off and on made for easy driving without the bright sun. I sure was hard pressed to find suitable things to photograph today.

The leftover Chinese food from Tuesday night tasted equally good tonight….having the refrigerator in the Sprinter is excellent when motel/hotel traveling as well as when camping!

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