16 February 2016
home to Texas
Finally on the long drive home to Texas, we were surprised at how many wind farms have popped up, often on both sides of Interstate 35 allowing us to see the structures up close. In the big open spaces I have no problem with these behemoths; they even have a fluid grace about them. But they have also taken over the scenic views of the Arbuckle Wilderness in southern Oklahoma! The one place of beauty on the long drive through the state. That sign in the right sketch actually reads "scenic turnout, 1 mile" and the whole view is busy with turning wind generators.
Crossing over the Red River into Texas, I actually felt lifted up inside. How I have come to love this new home state of ours! North of Dallas, the highway splits into east and west; driving either way can get us home and we had decided to take the east route this time. But just north of the fork, we were warned that an 18-wheeler accident had closed that freeway so we took the left through Fort Worth instead. Being tired from the long day of driving, we stopped for the night at Alvarado . . . and we were spoiled rotten! The Super 8 motel was hidden behind a huge RV dealership and was almost missed -- I had once worked at a Super 8 and had no high expectations but we just wanted a bed for the night. What a surprise! During our week we had stayed at three other motels and this last one was one of the least expensive and the very best! They gave us what we would call a suite -- very comfortable with lots of extras.
Then for dinner, we ate at Benny's, an Italian / Mexican restaurant (I know, what an odd combination!) that was sublime! Worth going back to just for a meal. A wonderful time of refreshing; the next morning at breakfast, I enjoyed trading stories with the night auditor, who had the same job I had once had back in Kansas.
I did bring a little bit of Arkansas back with me, in the form of petrified wood and rocks. Bill teased that their weight would tip the truck over the limit --- he had brought back a metal lathe that is easily over 1000 lbs. Forty miles-per-hour winds literally blew us straight south through Kansas, Oklahoma, and as far as Alvarado, making the flag in the second post above stand out very straight. When driving on a southwest portion of I-35, we had some scary side-winds fighting the truck's load. But winds lessened by the next day and we made it home safely.