Road Trip Day 5 - Oklahoma, Arkansas

Got an early start, about 5:30 am. I am not 100% recovered (maybe not even 50%), but I need to get moving because I have reservations in New Orleans in a few days.

Stopped at the huge Cross and Stations of the Cross in Groom, Texas. Quite impressive, but a bit eerie since I was the only person there. Also quite cold (I wrapped myself in a fleece blanket since it was easy to find). Also drove by the Leaning Water Tower.

I'm just happy to have Amarillo in the rear view mirror. I am hoping to get back on schedule and go to Graceland tomorrow. I need to cover quite a bit of ground.

I cross the border into Oklahoma. Kudos to Oklahoma for having a place to pull over by their gateway sign.

My next stop is the Oklahoma City Memorial. I am glad that I have my GPS as it leads me through the city in some places that I would not want to be stopping to check a map. The memorial is impressive. I did not tour the museum, because I want to get to Little Rock before the Clinton Library and Museum closes.

There is not really a good place to stop for a photo as I enter Arkansas. But that is okay, I don't really have time (I am on a mission to get to Little Rock). I hit a traffic jam in Little Rock caused by a couple of fender benders.

I arrive at the Clinton Museum Store 2 minutes past closing time. There are happy sales people and customers smiling and laughing inside the store, but they ignore my pleading and the pitiful faces that I make through the window. I guess I don't blame them, they have lives, too. But can't they understand, I only want to buy a refrigerator magnet... How long can that take?

A couple from Alberta, Canada (who had no interest in refrigerator magnets) took my photo in front of the Clinton Library and Museum.

Despite my bad mood and weakened condition, I decide to continue East to get closer to Memphis. Because of the accidents on the way in, I decided to take an alternate way out of town. Aided by GPS, I drive through a deserted and dodgy area, then past the airport, into another traffic jam of teens and twenty-somethings. Evidently there was a rock concert called Edgefest. People were abandoning their cars on the freeway and walking. There seemed to be almost no crowd control. With all the mayhem, it seemed like hotel rooms would be difficult to get nearby, so I should continue towards the Tennessee border.

Exited I-40 at Wheatley, Arkansas. But just did not have a good feeling about the hotel of my choice (I kept thinking about The House of Wax). Despite having been on the road for 12 hours, I decide to drive on to Forrest City.

I get a room at Luxury Inn in Forrest City for $36 plus tax (using a walk-in coupon from a pamphlet at a welcome center or rest area). I can appreciate a bargain even when I am recovering from food poisoning and hallucinating from exhaustion. $36 even includes free breakfast and wireless internet (which does not quite reach my room).

I fall into bed wondering why I did not just fly to Banff for vacation.