Summary of Me, Eric Stuve (By the way, the last
name is pronounced (Stew-vay); it rhymes with hey)
Welcome to OKRoads! I am Eric Stuve, a 20-year-old college student. I recently finished my 2nd semester at the University of Central Oklahoma, which was the end of my 3rd year of college. I am currently employed at Holiday Inn Express just off Interstate 40 in west Oklahoma City. It is a full-time job, so I don't get to travel too much anymore, but it was time for a change after spending 2 1/2 years in the fast food business at Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Moore, OK. About the only reason why I stayed there that long was so when I wanted to go on a long roadtrip, I could easily get a couple of weeks off. I did that five times while I was there, and loved it every time! :) But now I get paid more for doing less, and I don't have to clean up after other people! That's what Housekeeping is for!
My obsession with roadtrips began as a wee little lad. My father, who sadly passed away in 1996 due to cancer, used to drive the whole family up to Michigan each summer to see his family. There were also trips about once a month or so to Emporia, KS to see my mother's parents. So roadtrips were an integral part of my young life and I just couldn't wait until I got my license!
I already had a car waiting for me when I turned 16, and on July 18, 1999, on my first attempt nonetheless, I took and passed the driver's test, so now I could legally drive that car, which was a 1994 1/2 Nissan Sentra. However it wouldn't be until September 2000 I would take my first trip of more than about 50 miles. I went with my best friend Mike to Lawton, OK to see our high school football team play. Of course they got whooped 35-0 but the drive was fun. Two weeks later, I got to drive to Mound City, KS by myself due to situations beyond my control. That was a fun 300-mile trip by myself in which I got a flat tire the next morning and lasted for over 30,000 miles! When the tire was patched the odometer on my car read 66,666 miles! So it's a miracle that it went for that long.
During Winter Break of that year Mike and I planned to go to Dallas to see a Mavericks game and to have a good time. Well mother nature prevailed and there was a major ice storm. So that got pushed back to Spring Break but it ended up being a better trip all around. In June of 2001 we went to Kansas City and St. Louis to see a couple major league baseball games and two weeks later we and another friend of ours went to Dallas again to see a baseball game on my 18th birthday.
In 2002 the solo roadtrips began. After stumbling upon AARoads.com by incident, I realized that there are actually people out there who like looking at road signs and stuff! Not too many but they are out there! The website and other websites related to roads really got my fire going for roadtrips. The first major solo roadtrip I took was the Spring Break Roadtrip in 2002, when I drove all the turnpikes in Oklahoma from beginning to end.
I went on my second major solo roadtrip July 8-11, 2002. The Plains & Panhandles Roadtrip took me to southwest Kansas, the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas, and the eastern half of the state of New Mexico. It was a 1,645-mile long journey with excellent weather all around, unlike the Spring Break 2002 Roadtrip, when it was either rainy or windy almost every day!
In late August 2002 I was blessed with a little extra funds, so I bought a new Sony Mavica FD-200 digital camera so I could take lots more pictures, and better quality ones at that! Currently, I go on one one-day roadtrip a month to a part of Oklahoma to take pictures of as many state highway termini as I can take before the sun goes down!
During Thanksgiving Weekend 2002, my mother and I went to the Kansas City area to visit her brothers (my uncles). During that trip, I took 251 pictures in one day in Kansas City, covering all the area interstates. This trip gave me a little more experience in how to do a long roadtrip with the digital camera and the laptop I had purchased earlier that month.
My third major roadtrip (and first with the digital camera) was the Bayous & Blues Trip, which took place from December 16-19. I visited Houston, New Orleans, and Memphis. I took over 700 pictures of road signs from that trip from the 1,764 miles that I drove in those four days. I also attended the New Orleans Bowl college football bowl game and saw North Texas beat Cincinnati 24-19. Too bad the Texas team won.
The year 2003 had several long roadtrips. I went coast-to-coast at least sometime during that year. During my Spring Break from college, on March 13-22, I went to Delaware to see some friends of mine and made sidetrips to Washington, DC and Philadelphia. A week after ending my final semester at Oklahoma City Community College, I went on the Fields Trip, where I saw corn fields, wheat fields, and the Field of Dreams, and I also spent a couple days with relatives in Michigan. Just 11 days before the Fields Trip was to begin, however, a F4 tornado blew through the Moore area, and of course, I was at work at the time. The store got mostly glass damage, but my car was not so lucky. Despite the fact that it still ran, the damage to the windows and driver's side was extensive enough to total the car. After ten months of sitting in the garage gathering dust, my brother took the Nissan and got windows put in it, and he is now driving it. As long as he lets me crack 100,000 miles on it, it's all right with me. Anyway, just one week before the Fields Trip was to begin, I got a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4-door, with 27,000 miles on it. So there is a new OKRoadmobile! In the first year I had the car, I put almost 40,000 miles on the car!
Other summer trips during the year 2003 included one in late June/early July, when I went west through the deserts, then east through the Rocky Mountains on the Deserts & Mountains Trip. I clinched Interstate 70's mileage on that trip, and the highway is 2,175 miles long, and I drove all of it before I turned 20! Finally, in August, I went back to Delaware.
There were two other major roadtrips in the final three months of 2003; the South Texas Roadtrip took me to, where else, south Texas, in October, and the Florida Trip took me to, well, Florida, and also to North Carolina for a few days in December.
The original plan for this year was to take some really long roadtrips, but since I started my new job in June 2004, it is a lot harder to take off a couple weeks! The only major roadtrip of the year was the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip, when I went to Arizona for baseball spring training. It was an awesome trip. I didn't realize at the time it was going to be my final lengthy roadtrip for a while, but it was a good way to go out. Currently I am spending the time working, making webpages for my Oklahoma roads website OKHighways.com, and working on a bus route at my church. After three years of working on the route and serving as a substitute bus captain, I was named full-time captain of the route in May 2004. I am very much looking forward to seeing what God is going to do on this bus route.
Well that is probably more than you ever wanted to know about Eric Stuve. I hope you enjoy this photographic tour of the roads of Oklahoma and other places I have been around the greatest country on Earth!