Thursday, September 24, 2009

On the road to Duke - day 4 and 5.

Hi all.

Sorry for no blog last night but the hotel we were staying at had really flaky Internet and I couldn't get online. I think the hotel was called The Bates Motel before they renamed it to the place we were staying! It was a little different and I was really worried when the rate was $52.99 -- not even Motel 6 is that price!!!

Anyway, we need to go backwards to talk about our adventures from Tumcumcari, NM all the way to Memphis, TN.

First off, we were carrying my oxygen concentrator in the bed of the pick up and apparently a good gust of wind broke off the oxygen line and the little attachment that the line goes on. Because of that, when we slept in Tucumcari, we had to use packing tape (thank you Bekins!) and tape a 6 foot cord to the remainder of the attachment so I could get continuous air through the night. We then had to make an unscheduled stop in Amarillo, TX to go to Apria. They were so nice -- they didn't have any problems with exchanging the whole concentrator and they even complimented us on our ingenuity in using the packing tape!

Then we continued from Amarillo into Oklahoma. Oh my gosh!!!! Lee and I both think that OK must win the award for the WORST ROADS IN AMERICA! They were so bumping and so bad that at one point Lee said he was glad he hadn't had milk for breakfast because he'd have a milkshake in his stomach! I was much more worried that the whole car was going to bounce right off of the tow dolly. That would have been such a bummer after all our work earlier to secure it down :-)

We drove - and we drove - and we drove on bumpy roads but then the other fun in OK was that they would close down one - of two - lanes for road construction. The problem though was that no one was actually working on the roads. They would be closed for up to 10 miles and we would never see a person or a vehicle or anything that indicated anyone was even considering working on the road. This was a really weird state.

Originally we were going to stop in Okmulgee, OK because that was the nearest city to Henrietta, OK where Lee was born. Lee only lived there a few months and had never seen it so we thought it was worth it to go 15 miles out of our way to stay in Okmulgee. By the time we were half way through OK, Lee decided - and I totally agreed - that we didn't want to detour even one mile on an OK road. We called Amy and she looked up hotels that were on I-40 east and close to Henrietta. Thank you Amy for finding us The Bates Motel (above)! It really wasn't that bad but it just wasn't a major chain like we had been staying in.

The best thing about the hotel is that we were 20 miles farther along I-40 so we didn't have as far to drive to Memphis today.

Have I mentioned that as soon as we have driven about five miles in the morning I have to go to the bathroom. Every morning - no matter what - I need us to find a rest area of fast food. That is not easy when you are in the middle of nowhere! Poor Lee. He just keeps pulling over and never complains and for that I am very grateful!!!!

We left Oklahoma and headed into Arkansas. We weren't going to stay in AR because we were going on to Memphis, Tennessee which is on the AR - TN border. The roads in AR were super compared to OK and really very good overall. We really like the fact that none of the other states we have driven in so far has that 55 mile per hour law for trucks and towing. It makes the trip go a little faster.

The highlight of AR was finding a Starbucks -- haven't seen one since the first night and I was really going through withdrawals. I have to say that I am getting quite good at towing the car through the drive-thru at Starbucks!

We finally got to Memphis about 3:00 p.m. (Central Time) and went to Apria to stock up on fresh portable oxygen tanks. I use those while we are driving and when we go anywhere to eat etc. The electric one is just for the house - or apt. now! When we got to Apria we wanted to turn in 11 tanks and pick up 16 so we would have enough to last us until Monday. Unfortunately, Memphis only had 10 tanks so now we'll make another unscheduled stop in Nashville. That's OK because we'd rather do that than run out of oxygen!

We are at our hotel now and it's really pretty nice (especially compared to last night). Another highlight is that we are out of the altitude and I'll be able to walk with Lee two blocks to the Mexican restaurant down the street. We are both looking forward to something that isn't fast food or a continental breakfast.

I've got pics to post from the last two days so that will come next.

Love to everyone,

Wendy, Lee and Missy

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