Thursday, May 8, 2008

Random Travel Update 22

Last Location: Palos Duro State Park, TX (near Amarillo)
Arrival Date: May 5, 2008
Departure Date: May 7, 2008

Current location: Sallisaw, OK
Arrival Date: May 7, 2008
Departure Date: May 8, 2008

I don't know how many of you all watch CNN. I am thoroughly annoyed by their repetitive, drama-ridden, angst-inspiring, unprofessional coverage of the primary election and "news" in general. However if you were forced to watch it, as I am many mornings when Jon introduces its unintelligible chatter to our otherwise peaceful motel room, then you may have heard about the tornado warnings we have been getting through the tornado belt. We are currently staying at a Days Inn in Sallisaw, Oklahoma near the Arkansas border. We buckled down here last night after driving for ten hours in massive thunderstorms that followed us from Palos Duro State Park in Texas, where we narrowly escaped being flooded in (Go Prius!)

We ate a great lunch at Gupuram Taste of India in Oklahoma City and then proceeded to peruse the town despite the torrential downpour that was upon us. We took some pictures and decided to be on our way around the same time that the emergency broadcasting system went off, complete with sirens and hour-long radio interruptions, warning us of "tornadic activity" in the area. Unfortunately, the rain was too thick to be able to see the funnel clouds that were reported to be just to the north of our path of travel.

We rode horses through Palo Duro on Tuesday and then hiked a quick six-mile trail to their Lighthouse Peak, which winds through a canyon spattered with lush green shrubbery, wildflowers, cactus fruit, bright yellow berry-like chili peppers, and unique geological formations. Jon agreed with me that it looked like The Great Valley in The Land Before Time movies.

We returned from our hike just before nightfall and Jon took me on an authentic turkey-hunting experience (minus guns and bloodshed). Jon speaks fluent turkey and was able to communicate with the Toms (adult male turkeys) roosting a few hundred yards from our campsite. We stalked them all the way to their roost just in time to see their silhouettes, perched high up in a tree, against the fading night sky.

Back at camp we cooked dinner, read a Lonely Planet and tucked into our tent just in time for the torrential thunderstorm and lightning show that kept us awake a good portion of the night and flooded the roads out the next morning (pictures of flooding to come.)

Must go now. On to Devil's Den State Park in the Ozarks. More to come…


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