Road Rant Archives
This is the place to look back at past road rant articles I have written. This page contains entries 1 through 34, which were the only three I wrote in 2002, and the ones I wrote during the first seven months of 2003.
Written: 7/28/03 @ 12:22 am
Tonight's topic: The longest week of my life, and it won't be slowing down anytime soon!
How we doin'? I just had the longest week of my life. I taught Vacation Bible School in the mornings, and went to work in the evenings. Every day during the week went like that, except for Wednesday, when I went to church instead of work (which is normal), and I don't consider that a night off. So I basically worked my butt off this week. I get a day to "relax" before I take off for Delaware about 32 hours from now.
The 3rd and final roadtrip of the "Big 3" is about to begin. Delaware Trip Part Two will kick off at about 8:30 AM Tuesday morning. That day I will be driving to Monroe, Louisiana. Yes, I'm going to Delaware via Dallas, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Virginia Beach. Then I'm coming back via Virginia Beach, Lexington, St. Louis, and Kansas City. It's a typical Eric Stuve roadtrip - I try to go different ways. I plan on clinching most of Interstate 20 and all of Interstate 64 during the trip. It will be 12 days long but I get to spend quality time with my friends.
Since I was so busy last week, I got absolutely nothing done on the website. So much for getting the Fields Trip pages completed before the Delaware Part 2 trip. Oh well, I'll probably just work on the pages from that trip during this one. At the rate I'm going, I'll be starting work on Delaware Part 2 pages during the Florida Trip in mid-December.
The home page has officially set a record for most hits in a month. It stands at almost 1,800 at this time. With a roadtrip beginning this week, I have a feeling that it will crack 2,000 before August begins. Hits always skyrocket during my roadtrips.
Don't have too much else to say, so I'll close for now. See y'all later, drive safely, and I'll write next week from (Lord willing) the beautiful city of Delmar, Delaware!
Written: 7/20/03 @ 10:07 pm
Tonight's topic: The trip that almost went too long and made me late for work
Good evening. How we doin'? Last week was a long week, and this week will be even longer. I get to teach 1st graders this week at my church's Vacation Bible School. I also get to help on the same bus route I work on during the weekend. Nothing like being on a church bus when the outside temperature is 106 and the humidity is hovering around 30-40 percent, a-men?
I took not one, but two mini-roadtrips last week. The first one was on Wednesday, when I got the termini of OK's 18B, 40A, and 51C, three highways I didn't get earlier in the year when I was in the area. I also took some pictures of termini in southeast Oklahoma, mostly around the Shawnee area. I got the southern termini of OK 18 and OK 102, and both termini of the eastern OK 59B. Then on Friday, I took pictures of 18 termini, mostly along OK 74. I got termini for OK's 11A, 15 (E), 38, 45, 74 (N), 74C, 74D, 74E, 74F, 132, and 164. I got both termini of all those routes sometime during the week except for OK 45. Some routes I got just one terminus, but I already had the other, such as OK 74C (got the eastern end Wednesday, western end Friday), OK 15 (E), and OK 74 (N). Confused yet? Good. Anyways, I was supposed to be at work at 4 on Friday afternoon. At about 11 Friday morning, I decided to go 5 over the speed limit for the rest of the day. Best decision I ever made. Let's just say, I still had to go 80 on I-40 because I didn't get home until 3:45! I got to work right at 4 Stuve time. Thankfully, the Wendy's clock is a few minutes slower than Stuve time, but still, it was close enough! I also put on a new accessory on my car this week: the OKRoads.com license plate! I got it as a present for my birthday, and it is now displayed prominently on the front of my car. I just hope it stays in: the front plate supports on the ES are not very good. I will have to take measures to prevent it from falling off before I leave for Delaware.
Sometime this morning (Sunday), the home page had its 10,000th hit. To the person who did so, thank you. You have won absolutely nothing! I don't have a counter on the page, so I have to find out this information for myself. The site was launched September 5, 2002, and the home page had 75 hits its first month. Since then, several days have had more than 75 hits. So far this month, the home page has had over 1,200 hits, and is on pace to break the record set in May, when the home page had 1,684 hits. And, no, it is not me visiting the site 50 times a day either. It is the people who visit the site who made it possible. Thank you once again, and hopefully, the site will hit 20,000 hits before the end of the year.
With VBS this week, I won't have much time to do pages. I'll be doing that in the mornings and will probably be working in the evenings. I worked 27 hours last week, which is the most I have worked in a long time. Don't know what this week holds yet.
Next Tuesday is the beginning of Delaware Trip Part Two! The first forecast for the destination of Day One, Monroe, LA, looks like thunderstorms are very possible, whatever storms are. The last time I saw rain was in Kansas on Day Eight of the Deserts & Mountains Trip. It has been hot and dry in Oklahoma. Oklahoma City is about seven inches below normal for precipitation. It may be more than that by now. My car is definitely needing a washing. It will get done sometime before I leave in eight days.
Found out the other night that my best friend's going to be a dad around late January 2004. I can't imagine him being a dad. On the other hand, I haven't even come close to finding my life's mate. But then again, who would want a guy who goes cross country on roadtrips and listens to nothing but Southern Gospel music during those trips? Haven't found anybody yet who fits that description. Maybe that's why I go on roadtrips...
Well, I'm going to close for tonight. I want to get at least one page done from the Fields Trip before I sign off for the day. The goal is to have the Fields Trip pages finished by next Tuesday. Because, once again, I have a lot of pages to make, now that I have the mini-trips from last week to make pages for! See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/14/03 @ 12:20 am
Tonight's topic: It's official.
How we doin'? I am now 20 years old, as I celebrated my birthday on Saturday. It was a good day. I had a good morning of church bus visitation, and then saw a baseball game that night. Too bad the home team lost again; now the Redhawks are 0-3 in games I've seen them play this year. Another streak ended - I didn't win anything from the souvenir program. I had won each of the last two Redhawks home games I had been to. I won $30 of free Italian food last year, and won $15 of free pizza in this year's first game. The other time I saw the Redhawks play this season was in Omaha, and so that one doesn't count.
Anyways, Delaware Trip Part 2 is offically OK with my friends. One of them won't be there, but that's the way the ball bounces. The trip will kick off in just 15 days! One of them already knew I wanted to come back because she saw the page on the website. Sometimes I wonder whether I should just put approximate days on the website until I actually contact the people involved. I just hope that I didn't force them to allow me to visit. In that case, I would just as soon leave there.
I got a lot of work done on the website this week. I don't think I've ever got so much done in one week. I finished the Delaware Trip (Part 1) pages early in the week, then I started and finished the pages from the April monthly roadtrip. This week I hope to get most, if not all, the pages from the Fields Trip done. I may take a monthly roadtrip Friday. I know, I've got the Delaware Part 2 trip coming up. But, I think to celebrate getting some pages actually done, I'm thinking about a trip through the north-central part of the state. I may do it Thursday or Friday, depending on my work schedule. I know that I'm still on northeast Oklahoma, but I did miss a couple highways (OK 51C and OK 40A, the shortest state highway in the state), so I would get those done as well. On this trip, I would mostly be sticking to west of Interstate 35, however. I would cover what I call the "OK 74 Corridor" and get the northern OK 74's northern terminus, along with the termini of OK 74C, OK 74D, OK 74E, and OK 74F. I would also get the termini for OK 38, OK 11A, OK 164, and OK 132. There are a few others in there as well. The exact route has not been planned, but I have a pretty good idea of what I want to cover.
I just realized that I will be starting my 3rd year of college (and 1st at UCO) in just five weeks. That is scary. That means this summer is going by too fast. But after seeing how hot the temperature was on my birthday (high was 102; hottest day of the year thus far), maybe I do want it to cool down a bit.
That's really about all I have right now. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 7/6/03 @ 11:07 pm
Tonight's topic: Deserts & Mountains Trip Awards! Plus, get the cake ready!
Good evening. The Deserts & Mountains Trip was 4,429 miles long over 10 days. The most miles driven in one day was 599 on Day Four from San Luis Obispo, CA to Cedar City, UT, and the least miles in one day was on Day Nine, when I took a sidetrip to Topeka, KS that lasted just 247 miles. I took just 77 pictures during Day Five's 357 miles through Utah and western Colorado, but took 204 on Day Eight's sidetrip to St. Joseph, MO, which was just 277 miles long. But I went through Kansas City twice on that day, which explains a lot of pictures in not too much driving. Overall, I took 1,508 pictures during the trip.
I haven't had time to work on any pages since I got back Wednesday afternoon. I'm back to work at the Wendy's of Moore, so the days of making my own schedule are over. I worked 18 1/2 hours in three nights, including 8 1/2 hours on Saturday night! (Worked 2-11, with a half hour break) This week I'll only be working about 10 hours, if even that. I won't be working this Saturday, because it's my birthday! I will be turning the big 2-0. I hope to celebrate by going...to a baseball game! Here in OKC, not in Seattle. That's next summer's first major roadtrip plan is to go to the Pacific Northwest, if I am financially able to by then!
I found out tonight what grade I have the privilege of teaching in this year's Vacation Bible School at my church. I got promoted one grade from last year! I will be teaching 1st graders. I taught kindergarteners last year. Knowing my luck, the same ones who were in my class last year will be in my class this year. At least I'd have some familiar faces to teach. Then the Tuesday after VBS, I will be departing on the 3rd and final of the Big 3 summer roadtrips, Delaware Trip Part 2. That is, if my friends will have me. I still have not called them yet and asked them if I can come. I plan on doing so tomorrow. I really do! I had better make sure it's OK with them first! If for some reason it's not, the roadtrip's still on, I'll just cut out the Delaware part of the trip. It can be easily done. But I think my friends would love to have me back. At least, I hope so...
I liked the comment on Roadklahoma from "My 6 1/2 Cents" that Martin made in his latest entry about how he's got a lot more of Oklahoma covered than I do, but I cover the country. And that I just got back from Kansas City via Utah! I plan on getting back to Oklahoma highways in September. In October, there may or may not be a monthly roadtrip. The South Texas Roadtrip is taking place for four days, so the chances are higher that there will be no monthly Oklahoma roadtrip in October. There will be one in November, and there won't be one in December because of the 8-day Florida Trip.
All right, I have rambled enough. Here are the awards from the Deserts & Mountains Trip. These were tough to decide. A lot tougher than the Fields Trip, because this trip had a lot of mountains and the ocean, and that scenery is a lot better than fields! So without further adieu, here goes:
Best Motel 6: Cedar City, Utah. OK, so this decision was a landslide. But this was a new Motel 6 (probably less than five years old), and had a wonderful view of the red Utah mountains from my hotel room. The front desk clerk, Kristy (I think this was her name), was also very nice. The front desk lady in Grand Junction the next night was also nice; she gave me plenty of information.
Worst Motel 6: Kingman, Arizona. This motel wasn't a dump, and even had a real data port in the wall! But since I couldn't get the Internet to work there, it goes down as the worst one. It's really more MSN's fault for not having any access numbers in Kingman, but there wasn't really a bad motel on this trip, so this one gets this "honor."
The Day That Would Never End: Day Four, by a landslide. Almost 600 miles of driving fun in 11 hours. It began with a traffic backup on U.S. 101 north of San Luis Obispo due to construction, then winded through the mountains on CA 58 for a while, then finally got on some straight highways, and got to Interstate 15 about 1:15. I left San Luis Obispo at about 7:30 AM, and arrived in Cedar City at about 7:45 PM. I did lose an hour when I changed time zones. Thankfully, the next day was...
The Day That Went By Quickly: Day Five. Only 357 miles of driving one day after driving 599 miles, and driving over 500 each of the first four days of the trip. Also had just 77 road sign pictures from this day. I had the pictures done before I went to dinner about 6 that night. Normally, I don't get the pictures started until 7, 7:30, at least! This was also the day I drove on the longest serviceless stretch of interstate in the country, 108 miles between Salina and Green River, Utah, on Interstate 70.
Biggest Accomplishment: Clinching Interstate 70. I won't turn 20 until Saturday, and I've already driven all 2,175 miles of Interstate 70 from Cove Fort, Utah, to Baltimore, Maryland. Coming into this year, I had driven just the part between Topeka and Interstate 435 in Kansas, and between Kansas City and St. Louis in Missouri. I drove the eastern half during the Delaware Trip, and the western half during this trip.
Best Weather: Days 1-6. All were sunny with not even the threat of rain.
Worst Weather: Day Seven. It was cloudy all day with several light showers throughout the day. No major downpours, but this was the most rain I had during a roadtrip day on this trip! Props also go to Days Eight, Nine, and Ten, which were just plain hot and humid!
Best Scenery: This is very tough. There's the ocean views of U.S. 101, the mountains of, well, almost every state I went through, and the forests near Flagstaff. There, it's a tie.
Worst Scenery: This is very easy. Colorado wins this one hands down. That is, Colorado east of Denver. Western Kansas also gets this honor. It seems like you'll never get to Interstate 135 and Salina. Thankfully, I had a night's sleep during the stretch between Denver and Salina. Over 400 miles of no interstates. The Texas panhandle can also be considered here, but at least there were hills there.
Reality Sets In Moment: Thursday, when I went to work and realized I had 26 (now I have 22) days left to make pages from four roadtrips before Delaware Trip Part Two gets underway, which will be another 12 days and over 4,000 miles of pictures! (The pages left to make are the final three pages from the Delaware Trip, which should be done this week, the April 610-mile Oklahoma roadtrip extravaganza, the Fields Trip, and the Deserts & Mountains Trip)
OK, so maybe most of those awards weren't so tough. See y'all later, drive safely, and next time I write, I'll be a year older, and a year away from 21!
Written: 6/30/03 @ 8:55 am
Today's topic: The Deserts & Mountains Trip so far
Good morning! Welcome to Entry 30 on Day 30 of the sixth month of the year of our Lord 2003. And on Day Eight of the Deserts & Mountains Trip as well! OK, so I've already turned off or confused half of the readers of this page.
I am writing to you live from Freeman, Missouri, which is about 30 miles south of Kansas City. It is a cloudy and cool morning. The skies did not even threaten for the chance of rain until Saturday night (Day Six) and then Sunday was cloudy all day with several little sprinkles throughout the day. Day Eight is shaping up to be a cloudy day as well. But I made it through the deserts and mountains of the western United States with no rain, so that's good. I can handle rain in Kansas and Missouri; in Kansas, you're not missing much, and I can get there in one day. With some of the places I've been this trip like Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah, it takes a couple days before I could even get to those states.
I am going to keep this short, since I have a sidetrip planned to St. Joseph, Missouri, today, and a Major League Baseball doubleheader between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals that starts at 4:00 this afternoon. So if I want to get all that done I'd better get on the road. The trip has been great so far, and will wrap up on Wednesday. Then it'll only be 27 more days until Delaware Trip Part Two begins!
I clinched Interstate 70 yesterday. That is a big accomplishment for a roadgeek. The highway goes from Utah to Baltimore, which is over 2,000 miles, and I have driven all of it before my 20th birthday. (Which, by the way, is July 12) I have now clinched six interstates; I-12, I-27, I-66, I-70, I-88 (W), and I-97. I-70 is about ten times longer than the other five interstates are combined.
Have a good week, and drive safely. And, please, leave the fireworks to the pros who really know what they're doing.
Written: 6/22/03 @ 10:40 pm
Tonight's topic: Once again, it's roadtrip time! And a glorious moment for all Road Rant readers!
Good evening from hot and humid Oklahoma City! The heat is something I should get used to, because Lord willing, in about nine hours and 20 minutes, I will be heading west as the Deserts & Mountains Trip will begin. Just like the Okies went out west to California eons ago (that's centuries to you and me), I will be going to California this week. After planning this trip and making a few modifications (does an Eric Stuve roadtrip ever go the original trip route? No) I hope to depart at about 8 AM tomorrow morning. So I'm going to try to make this as quick as possible, since I need all the sleep I can get, because I know how I sleep in motel beds, and it isn't very great most of the time!
The closer and closer this trip has become, the more nervous I become. I don't know what it is but Day Four of this trip is just haunting me. On that day I will be driving 580 miles. The deal is, the first 230 miles of that are not on interstates, and a good part of that is through the mountains of western California! I am going to be one tired dude after this day is over! I plan on leaving the hotel in San Luis Obispo at 7:30 AM (something that I have never done before!) and don't expect to arrive in Cedar City, Utah, until the early evening hours. Also remember that I will be losing an hour when I cross the state line from Arizona into Utah on Interstate 15. Between the mountain driving, the 100+ degree temperatures in the desert, and mountain passes galore, it should prove to be a very interesting day! I just hope that the car can make it through!
I didn't work at all last week. That is because Wendy's in Moore is STILL not reopened! It is, however, scheduled to reopen tomorrow. Of course, they get the place done right when I leave for 10 days! If I had known that we wouldn't be reopen until this week, I'd be writing from Kansas City right now because I would have started the trip last Monday! I could've worked in Norman, but I chose to take yet another week off. I just love construction delays. Just hope there aren't too many on the trip, but with a 4,200 mile trip, you've got to expect some orange cones to show up.
Speaking of construction, I was coming home on SW 89th St. Monday night after running some errands. I was at the stoplight at 89th & Western (yes, that infamous stoplight). I realized that people were going north on Western and turning left from northbound Western onto westbound 89th at the same time! Now, you may be thinking, what is this guy talking about?! Well, if you've been reading this column from the beginning (see the archives if you haven't), you would know that Western was widened last year, and the widening has been finished since March, but the stoplights at 89th and 94th (five blocks to the south) were still timed incorrectly, with no protected left turns from Western onto 94th, which is why there was a left turn lane put there in the first place! Anyways, back to Monday night, with that observation I learned that the stoplight was timed the way it was intended to be! There was great rejoicing in the ES at that moment. (My car is a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES, and my intials are ES, so I say that my car has my name on it!) It took a couple more days to figure out that the light at 94th is also timed the way it should be, with protected left turns available. So finally, after months of having to stop at 94th for NO reason at odd hours of the day and night, we have stoplights that change only when someone comes from 94th and eventually trips the lights on Western to change. So it's time for another roadtrip, and I can officially say that the Western construction is fully complete! It's about time.
I took full advantage of my off week at home this past week and finished a bunch of pages. I don't know if I've ever built as many pages as I did in the last week! But now I've got to the Interstate 81-Interstate 40 interchange on my Delaware Trip pages! I finished the Delaware Highway Guides and began on the pages from the trip back home. I might be able to finish those pages while I'm on the D & M Trip. Notice how I said "might"...
My scanner won't work. I don't know why. I guess I didn't lock the scanner like I was supposed to when I disconnected it last week to reorganize my room. Now the scanner thing underneath the glass won't move. If anybody has any troubleshooting suggestions, feel free to e-mail me, but remember, I won't see it again until July 2.
Yes, I added an extra day to the end of the trip. I figured that spending an extra day with my relatives would be a good move, and since the next day (July 2) is a Wednesday, I'm already off work, so why not? As long as I'm home before 7 PM for church that'll be alright. And yes, I will be taking another sidetrip on the extra day, this one to Topeka. I will be going through Topeka on the way to Kansas City, but the sidetrip Tuesday (July 1) will allow me to cover it in more detail. It will also allow me to clinch almost all of Kansas' interstate mileage. Right now, I lack Interstate 70 from the state line to Topeka, and from Interstate 435 to U.S. 69 in Kansas City; Interstate 35 from Interstate 635 to the Missouri State Line; Interstate 470 in Topeka (the non-turnpike part); and Interstate 235 from U.S. 54/400 to Interstate 135 (the northern terminus). After this trip, I should have just the part on Interstate 235 remaining, and if I really wanted to, I could take care of that on the way home! I'll also be attending my first major league baseball game in 2 years on Monday night June 30, when I see the Cleveland Indians take on the Kansas City Royals, the same two teams I saw the last time I went to a baseball game in KC on June 24, 2001. That was during a trip I called "The Big Trip in June." My best friend Mike and I went to Kansas City (left OKC @ 5 AM Sunday morning because the game in KC started at 1:05 PM!) and saw the Royals-Indians game. We saw John Rocker make his Indians debut, and he was booed like crazy! Then we drove (OK, I drove us) to St. Louis the next day, and the day after that, we saw the Cincinnati Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals, and the day after that (Wednesday), we went home. The total trip length was about 1100 miles. That was considered a big trip back then. Now, 1100 miles is only 1/4 of a trip's distance! Mike's gotten married since then, so he doesn't go with me on roadtrips anymore, but I like going solo. I can make my own schedule and don't have to worry about another person. (Besides the other people on the road to make sure they don't run over me and I don't run over them!)
If I go to bed right now, I'll get less than 7 1/2 hours of sleep. So I think I'll close so I can attempt to rest before I leave. After tomorrow, I won't be in Oklahoma for the rest of the month! Have a good week, drive safely, and check OKRoads.com nightly for summaries from each trip day! I may still be working on picture pages from three months ago, but I can get summary pages done quickly, and I have to so I remember what did happen that day. OK, I'll shut up now. Next week, I'll be writing from the Kansas City area, Lord willing.
Written: 6/15/03 @ 11:21 pm
Tonight's topic: One more week until the D & M Trip kicks off! And how many pages do I have left to complete? A bunch!
Good evening. How we doing? Wendy's of Moore is now scheduled to be reopened on Wednesday. I just hope they get it open before I leave next Monday!
Last week was a busy week. I spent a good part of it reorganizing my computer space. It is now much easier for me to connect to the Internet on my laptop because it has been moved to a place where the access is readily available, unlike the way it was before. So I spent Tuesday and Wednesday moving stuff around (I had a lot of junk!), and spent Wednesday and Thursday putting together my new computer desk and the file cabinet and hutch that came with it. The time spent on doing this created a lot less time to work on the website. I still have 19 Delaware Highway Guides to put together, and then the pages from the trip back home. And this trip was three months ago! If you are a regular reader of this page, you know the rest of the story.
The Deserts & Mountains Trip is just one week away! The first weather forecast for the first two days of the trip look good, with highs in the 90s and a 0% chance of rain, which is about what I expect for New Mexico and Arizona. But remember, the trip is nine days long. But almost every place on the trip I will be going averages very little rainfall in the month of June, so that should not be a problem.
I don't really have much else to say tonight. I think I will put together some more Delaware Highway Guides now. Have a good week, and drive safely.
Written: 6/8/03 @ 10:57 pm
Tonight's topic: One more week, two more weeks, seven more weeks...
Howdy! The last week hasn't been too bad. I worked a lot. I also slept a lot. I think I averaged 10 hours of sleep a day last week, and that's only because I had about 6 hours of sleep on three of those nights. The other four nights I slept at least 12 hours. OK, so maybe we shouldn't call it nights. I'm talking about going to bed at 2 am and waking up at 2 pm! I just love being out of school. I'm making up all the sleep I lost the last couple weeks of the semester when I had to put up with the tornado and finals all at the same time. Never want to go through that again.
Anyways, we hope to reopen the Wendy's of Moore next Monday. I hope so, because I'm getting tired of the Norman store, and I think Norman is getting tired of me! I'm so sorry if I'm trying to do things the Moore way but that's what I'm used to so that's what I'm gonna do! I plan on working less this week so I can get some pages done. I did work 20 hours last week. See, I don't just sleep and eat!
I was able to get several pages finished last week. I finally got around to the DE 1 pages. Those pages took quite a few hours because of the amount of pictures I took of that highway back in March. I took pictures of every advance sign on northbound, and most of the advance signage on southbound, along with the exits and the construction of the now-completed section of the DE 1 turnpike. I just have about 20 state highway guides left to do, then the pages from the trip back home, and the Delaware Trip pages will be done, three months after the trip ended. None of them will take nearly as long as DE 1's page did!
Two weeks remain until the Deserts & Mountains Trip. And I am still working on Delaware Trip pages! Then I have the April roadtrip pages, then the Fields Trip pages! If you're a regular reader of this page, then you're probably tired of me typing this every week. Quite frankly, I am too. Maybe I should quit sleeping 12 hours a night and work on some pages so I can shut up about it!
You may notice the home page looks slightly different. I decided it was time to change some stuff around. I added links to the Delaware highway index pages and the other state highway guides page. I also added the text for the next two roadtrips after this summer is over: the Southern Texas Trip to Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Houston, which I plan on taking in October during fall break; and the Florida Trip, which will take me to (oh my goodness!) Florida! I plan on doing that one in December. I will be creating home pages for those trips this week.
I also deleted the text for the Sign Photos Index. I have decided to give up the ghost. I took the link down from the home page some time ago (of course, the link is still there on the Site Map; another page that desperately needs updating!), and tried to update it. Well, I got as far as the second day of my Thanksgiving Weekend Roadtrip, and that was, well, last November. I've done three major roadtrips and three monthly roadtrips since that time, so I'm gonna give up on trying to keep track of all my sign photos on that page. What's so difficult about it, you might ask. Well, let's see, I have 6,036 pictures of road signs overall on this site, and about 80% of those have been taken since last November (or over 5,000 for you non-math wizards out there). As my Macroeconomics professor said my freshman year at OCCC, "Do you see my point?" Listing every picture on the site with a short description of what the picture is of is just way, way, way too time-consuming. I have better ways to utilize time.
I have officially moved up my return trip to Delaware. It is now scheduled to take place July 29-August 8, or seven weeks from Tuesday. The schedule is the same, it's just one week earlier. This will give me a week to "relax" before I begin my third year of college (and first at UCO). I probably won't be relaxing much, though; I'll probably be creating pages from the Fields Trip that week! I hope I'm not that far behind, because that would be pathetic.
My website was created for Oklahoma roads, and even has the web address OKRoads.com, but I think Roadklahoma has way surpassed me on Oklahoma coverage, which is fine by me. I'm having a blast driving around the country and seeing other states' highways and signs! So please, check out Roadklahoma, it is a great site. And, no, Martin McMahon (the webmaster of Roadklahoma) did not beg me to say that, I just figured I'd put a plug in here for his site, since he's doing a great job. He's got a lot more of Oklahoma covered than I have! I wonder who will be the first to cover the highways in the panhandle. Either way, it would probably be a 2-day trip, especially if we want to get OK 325's termini. The western terminus of that highway is at the New Mexico state line, which is about 360 miles from OKC and 428 miles from Tulsa. Those distances are one-way. Once again, do you see my point?
How many people think I've rambled too much tonight? My hand is raised. As an old friend of mine once said, it's time for me to go. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 6/1/03 @ 11:26 pm
Tonight's topic: A new month, a new beginning
Good evening. Last week was odd. Since Wendy's of Moore is still closed (and will be until June 16!), I can basically choose when I want to work and which one I want to work at. I worked at three different ones just on Thursday and Friday! I worked 40 minutes at one Friday night before I got moved to one about 25 miles away! Then I got called in to work at one yesterday afternoon (and I was blatantly reminded why I don't normally work Saturday afternoons!), and after work, there was a message on my cell phone from another store wanting me to work, which I turned down because I had had enough Wendy's for one day! I guess they all want my front register expertise, <brag on> since nobody can do it as good as I can, <brag off> or something like that. I also found out that some Wendy's suck, and some really, really suck. I won't name which ones, but I will say that the one a few miles due north of the airport is the worst one I have ever seen.
Anyways, I did get finished with the Maryland Highway Guide pages from the Delaware Trip. This week's goal is to finish the Delaware Highway Guide pages. I hope I can get them done because it is just three weeks until the next roadtrip, the Deserts & Mountains Trip, begins. And as regular readers of this page know quite well by now, I still have the April roadtrip pages and the Fields Trip pages left to go!
I am seriously thinking about moving the Delaware Trip Part Two up a week. That way, I would have a week to relax between the end of that trip and the beginning of the fall semester at UCO. Also, I get to see my friends a week earlier that way. I need to decide so I can call them and make sure it is actually all right that I visit them! I don't know if they'll allow me back after last time! Just kidding, I think they'll be very glad to have me, and I'll be ecstatic to be able to see them again.
Speaking of contacting people, that reminds me that I need to e-mail my relatives in the Kansas City area to make sure I can stay with them a couple days during the last part of the Deserts & Mountains Trip. I also need to make a hotel reservation. So many things to do, so little time! But remember, I can work when I want, so I could just do the trip now while the Moore store is still closed!
I'm actually going to rant about a road here for a change. After all, that is what this page was originally about before I changed it to a general rant page, much like "My 6 1/2 Cents" on Roadklahoma. Here goes - I was in the area of Western and SW 149th the other day, and saw that Western was closed. Now, the detour they put you on is on Pennsylvania (Penn for short), one mile to the west. You take SW 149th (or SW 164th, depending on where you're coming from), to Penn. Here's where the rant comes in: SW 164th is mostly gravel between Western and Penn! And not just any gravel road; this road has very rough gravel! The speed limit is 40; it was impossible to go over 20 without being afraid of losing your suspension! Santa Fe, one mile east of Western, is paved, and SW 164th is paved all the way between Santa Fe and Western, so here's my question: Why couldn't they route the detour on the paved roads instead of the terrible gravel road of SW 164th? I've said it before and I'll say it again: that's Oklahoma for you! On that note, the stoplights further north on Western at 89th and 94th (the main reason I started this page, look at the archives to see what I mean), are STILL not timed right! It is really getting pathetic. The construction has been done for months, now time the stoplights correctly so motorists actually have a protected left turn from Western onto 94th! How hard is it? But remember, this is Oklahoma! I've lived here my whole life, and I love this state (I guess I do; just hate the tornadoes!), but a lot of things this state does are stupid! On the latest state map, there are at least four state highways still marked on the map, but have been decomissioned in reality! Maybe I need to go work for the Transportation Commission. I could do a better job with two years of college education then these guys can with a lot more years of college! They should actually go see the roads for themselves every once in a while instead of just sitting back twiddling their thumbs and picking their noses. And just what is the reasoning behind the interchanges in the Moore area off of Interstate 35 anyways (namely the N 12th St. and OK 37 exits), where all the ramps are off the frontage road and not the actual interstate? [sigh]
The high got up to 102 here on Friday. That was the hottest it has been in OKC since August 25, 2001. The temperature did not reach 100 one time last summer, but this year it cracked 100 even before June! I guess I should get used to it, because I'll be in even hotter weather in three weeks, when I'll be in the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada.
That's about all I have for tonight. Have an outstanding week, and drive safely.
Written: 5/26/03 @ 12:12 am
Tonight's topic: Fields Trip Review
Happy Memorial Day Weekend! It has been a long, but great, week of roadtripping this past week, as I drove the Fields Trip. The weather was among the best I have ever had for a roadtrip, with sunny skies every day at least sometime during the day! Now it is just four weeks until the next major roadtrip begins, the Deserts & Mountains Trip from June 23-July 1. I made hotel reservations tonight; already, I have had to make a couple adjustments. I will not be staying in Moriarty, NM the first night, because that hotel is already booked (I don't know how in the world a hotel in a small town is booked but it is), but I will be staying about 35 miles down the interstate in Albuquerque. That just means about half an hour more of driving 75 mph! Also, the Motel 6 in St. George, Utah, is a 21 or over motel, and I will still be 19 when I make this trip, so I have to drive about 50 miles more up Interstate 15 to Cedar City, which means that Day Four of the trip will be almost 600 miles, much like Day Five of the Fields Trip was!
Now it is time for the Fields Trip awards, then I will rant on some more life events.
Best Weather: Almost every day of the trip qualifies for this honor. With high temperatures in the 60s most days, it was a little chilly, but there was sunshine each day of the trip. Even the days it rained there was still sunshine later on!
Worst Weather: Day Six and Day One tie for this honor. Day Six had more rain, but got sunny in the last 200 miles. Day One was cloudy for most of the day, and it was windy, which made the baseball game I attended that night in Omaha a chilly experience.
Best Moment: Spending time with family
Worst Moment: No comment
Stupidest Driver Award: This one would have to go to all the #(&)#*)@ who cut me off this trip! (Mostly semi drivers)
Most Impatient Moment: Being stuck in a traffic jam west of Ann Arbor on Friday (Day Five) for 45 minutes got a very long day of driving off to a bad start.
State with the Craziest Drivers: Michigan, by far. Where else can you go 85 mph on the freeway (in a 55!) and still get passed?
Most Speed Limit Law Breakers: Iowa. Nobody (including myself) likes the 65 mph speed limit. After driving through there, I can see why!
Most Scenic State: Michigan. The green trees and lush grass make for a very beautiful state.
Most Boring State: Iowa. Nothing but fields. It never seemed to end! But then again, this trip was called the Fields Trip for a reason!
Most Unusual Gas Prices: Iowa. Why is mid-grade unleaded cheaper than regular unleaded in this state? It's stupid!
Nicest Tourist Information Center: Off Interstate 80 in Illinois. I liked the view of the Mississippi River from the top of the hill.
Oddest Tourist Information Center: Iowa. Driving a mile on a one-way paved road meandering its way through prairie grass is a little odd just to get to an information center! Kansas' should also be mentioned. It was in a mobile home because of the rebuilding of the original one.
Nicest State Map: Kansas. It just has the look of a great map.
Worst State Map: Missouri. Maybe it's because the Tourist Information Center I stopped at in St. James only had the official state map from 1999-2000! Let's just say that the governor on that map is now dead. (Mel Carnahan, who of course died in a plane crash) Maybe it's not the worst, but it is certainly the oldest, and I think that all the Tourist Information Centers should have the latest maps, and not the ones from four years ago!
Best Motel: Drury Inn, Fenton, Missouri. A hands-down winner. Having your mother along for the last couple days of the trip who pays for the hotel, gas, and food definitely has its advantages. With the high-speed Internet at this hotel, I uploaded two days' worth of pictures in about ten minutes, compared to about two hours that it would have taken on a dial-up connection!
Worst Motel: Motel 6, Davenport, Iowa. The heat was not working the night I was there, and the low was in the 40s. Thankfully, the lack of heat did not affect me that much.
OK, I think that's enough awards. Now back to the rants. I should be busy for the next four weeks working on pages! Let's see, there's about four and a half days worth of pictures from the Delaware Trip, there's the 610-mile extravaganza of a monthly roadtrip I took in April, and then there's all six days' worth of pages from the Fields Trip. I just hope I get it all done by the time the Deserts & Mountains Trip starts, because that trip will be about 4,000 miles long!
I have to take the car in this week to get the oil changed for the first time since I bought it. I just got it two weeks ago and it already needs an oil change. Of course, I have driven it on an Eric Stuve roadtrip since then! The car did perfectly on the trip, though, and was a smooth, comfortable ride, sometimes it was almost too comfortable!
I made 2 A's and 2 B's for my final semester at OKCCC. So I ended my life there on a positive note. I just hope I can get started at UCO with grades as good, if not better, than that. One of my A's was in Microeconomics, which I thought I had made a B in. But I guess I didn't. I'm not complaining!
I have no idea how work will go this week. I may work at other Wendy's in the area this week. Next Monday, the Wendy's in Moore is supposed to reopen, so I should be back to work there. Hopefully they will still let me off for the Deserts & Mountains Trip. They had better!
I think I have ranted enough for tonight. And here's to the policeman who can't see my temporary tag in the back window of my car because the windows are tinted too dark, but the tint is perfectly legal. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 5/18/03 @ 9:45 pm
Tonight's topic: It's time for another roadtrip!
Howdy! The last week has been long and stressful, but a good one. I did get a new car last Monday afternoon, a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer ES 4-door. It's a pretty sweet car. I got cruise control put on it on Wednesday, and the windows got tinted and an alarm got put on it Thursday and Friday. The car is definitely going to get tested this week, because it is time for the Fields Trip! And I haven't talked about this in a while, but the stoplights on Western at 89th and 94th are STILL not timed correctly! I don't know what's taking them so bleeping long, but then again, I just remembered that this is Oklahoma City, where we have a bunch of retards.
I know you're thinking, but, you're only about 60% done with the Delaware Trip pages, and you haven't even started the pages from the big monthly roadtrip in April that lasted over 600 miles! Yes, I know, but I guess all these pages will keep me busy for a month. That's how much time I have between the end of the Fields Trip and the beginning of the next major roadtrip, the Deserts & Mountains Trip from June 23-July 1. But since I don't have to worry about classes, I should have plenty of time.
The weather looks like it's going to absolutely suck tomorrow on the first day of the trip. I will be driving from here to Omaha, Nebraska. But a check of the Weather Channel just now reveals that there is a chance of severe weather for almost the entire trip tomorrow. Well, I guess there goes the baseball game I had hoped to go to tomorrow night between my hometown Oklahoma Redhawks and the Omaha Royals. Guess I'll have to look at Rosenblatt Stadium some other time. Maybe the Lord will move all the storms away. That would be a blessing. Because we all know that road sign pictures in the rain absolutely suck! But the rest of the roadtrip looks like it's going to be sunny. I hope so! I don't like rainy roadtrips, but then again, it is spring.
I have worked the last couple nights, just not at the Wendy's of Moore. I got to work at the one in Norman Friday night, and last night, I had the great privilege of working in the one in Del City. Talk about your extremes-the Norman store is the busiest one in the company, while Del City is the 2nd-slowest. I think last night working from 4-10 was the longest night of work I've had in my life because it was so slow! Wendy's in Moore is planned to be reopened the first week of June, somewhere around June 2. They are taking advantage of the tornado damage to completely remodel the dining room, which is perfectly fine with me because it needed it! All the other fast food places around there that got damaged by the twister are open, but we're gonna have a much nicer dining room than they have in a couple weeks!
Got some unusual news today-someone who I thought was engaged, is not. I am NOT going to say who, and PLEASE don't e-mail me asking who it is. I said that to say this: I assume too much. Most of the time I'm right on, but sometimes I'm dead wrong, like I was this time. On that note, I am assuming that tomorrow's weather on the roadtrip will be terrible and there will be no baseball game tomorrow night in Omaha, and a tornado will take away my new car tomorrow. I hope I'm as wrong on this one as I was on this particular situation. But if that particular person is reading this page, I sincerely apologize if I made you mad, and I plan on calling you soon and apologizing in person.
I finally got finished with classes this week, praise the Lord! No more OKCCC! Now it's on to UCO, where I will begin classes on August 18. Three days before that, I will be coming back from Delaware Trip Part 2. Then I have a weekend to "relax," then it's back to school, and a 50-mile round trip five days a week to school! Welcome to the real world. Also, no, I did not have to settle for the Funeral Service or Fashion Management classes. (I'm not trying to make people reading this page who work in these particular fields mad at me.) Actually, I got the classes I wanted at good times. I will be taking Calculus and Statistics for Business (UG!), News Editing, Fundamentals of Marketing, Wellness and Positive Lifestyle, and Business Communication.
Not too much more I have to say. I plan on updating the site as regularly as possible throughout the week while I'm on the road. I may not be able to upload the pictures from Wednesday and Thursday until Friday, when I will have that day's pictures as well, since I plan on spending quality time with family who I only see about once a year, if even that often. See y'all later, drive safely, and watch out for tornadoes, especially if you live in Oklahoma.
Written: 5/11/03 @ 11:02 pm
Tonight's topic: A new ride for OKRoads.com?
Good evening. The last week has not been very good. Tornadoes two nights in a row in the Oklahoma City area, and the first (and strongest) of the two nights was a tornado that tore through Moore. It caused a lot of damage in surrounding areas, but Wendy's just had a lot of glass blown in. My car, unfortunately, is now missing a driver's side window (it fell off today on the road, but more on that later) and a rear windshield. And even worse news, today, the insurance company called it a total loss, meaning that I will probably have to get a new car. Only 270 miles short of 100,000! I am not very happy right now about that. But praise God, I am still in one piece. I was not hurt from the tornado. Everything else around Wendy's was heavily damaged or destroyed. We hope to reopen early this week. Don't know if I'll be able to come in, though, considering I don't have a car! :( Maybe I don't want to come back to work-we'll be the only burger joint on the block, considering McDonald's and Braum's were damaged or destroyed, and will take a lot longer to reopen. We may finally pass Norman as the busiest Wendy's in the OKC area! The Motel 6 and Days Inn just north of Wendy's both got destroyed. If you saw those on TV, I was just a block south of those motels when it came through. Also, the Greyhound Bus that was seen on TV; that was my first after-tornado scene I saw after emerging from the walk-in at Wendy's, where me and three coworkers took cover. Quite scary scenes and events that I hope I never have to go through again!
You're probably wondering what the deal is about the driver's side window falling out on the road. Well, I had to drive my "totaled" car all the way down to Norman (about 15 miles!) for the insurance claim. On the way back, while driving down Main St. in Norman between 36th and 48th Avenues NW, the driver's side window right next to me couldn't hold in there anymore. It had been held in by the tint, but just couldn't take it any longer, and the glass fell out of the car and spilled all over the street. At least it didn't fall all over me and my mother, who was riding with me at the time! I just hope nobody ran over it and got a flat tire, and I also hope that I don't get a ticket because of it. But what else was I supposed to do in this situation?! The #)&$ thing is "totaled" anyways, so what's another window falling out, huh? The insurance company's just going to get it in the next week anyways if they have their way, so I really don't give a [bleep]. To be honest, I don't really think it's totalled, I just think that the insurance company may be giving me a bunch of bull, but what can I do?
Now on to the new car business. My mother is leaving for Maine on Wednesday, and I have classes tomorrow and Tuesday. And I have classes all day Tuesday, so that day's out of the question. So unless the Lord blesses and we find a car that I like tomorrow morning, then I will be driving my mom's 1992 Plymouth Voyager van on the Fields Trip next week. It has just 87,000 miles on it. Pretty good for a 1992 model! But wait until I drive it on an Eric Stuve roadtrip! I'm not too thrilled about this, so I'm hoping that either my car can get fixed without the cost being more than the retail value, or I can find a new car tomorrow morning and we can get all the paperwork and crap taken care of before my mom leaves. My mother has to be here when I get a new car to cosign for it since I'm not 21 yet. Heck, I won't even be 20 for two more months! (That is, if another tornado doesn't kill me first!) I really do NOT want to drive the van on a 2,600 mile roadtrip next week. I like to call it the "Mothership" because it's a van, and I'm attached to my little car, and I don't like driving big vehicles!
I have not been a very good person to be around the past few days. I admit that I've had to put on a happy front at church today. I was fine this morning, but then I found out about the car being "totaled" this afternoon, and that sent me off into another world where I said a bunch of expletives and acted like a total jerk. I'm just glad that Jesus Christ has paid the price for my sin on the cross, and that he is able to forgive me for these sins because I have accepted him into my heart as my Lord and personal Saviour. He has paid the price for your sin as well! Some more information about what I just talked about can be seen here at http://www.swbaptist.org/believe.html.
I don't get religious on here too often, but after what's happened to me in the past few days, I'm glad to be alive and in one piece, despite the condition and fate of the car. All the glory should go to the Lord. All material things shall pass away anyways. My cars and these roadtrips and this website won't matter one bit once I pass from this life. I knew I was probably going to have to get a new car next year anyways, but that would be because I drove this one too much, not because of a natural disaster!
By the way, please DO NOT send me used car ads via e-mail trying to help me out! I appreciate your concern, but what I would appreciate a lot more is your prayers. But my needs are nothing compared to hundreds of others who lost their homes and belongings in these tornadoes. I know I'm struggling to even remember that I was not the only one affected, and there are people much more affected than I was, and I am trying to remember to pray for them as well.
Despite all this, the Fields Trip is just one week away! I am still looking forward to it very much. Just to get out of Tornado Alley will be a tremendous blessing! I tell you, if one more tornado comes near me, I'm out of here! I'll move to Delaware! I liked that state, I think my friends there like me, and most importantly of all, they don't get tornadoes!
Finals couldn't come at a worse time than the next two days. But hey, after Tuesday, I will be done with OKCCC! Just as well, because my OKCCC parking sticker was on the Nissan's back windshield, which is no longer in existence.
Well, I think this week's entry more than made up for last week's! I did get a lot of work done on the website in the last week, but there's still a lot of Delaware Highway Guides, the trip back home from Delaware, and several Oklahoma Highway Guides to create! See y'all next week, drive safely, and watch out for tornadoes! (And please don't order a chicken sandwich in the Wendy's drive-thru a minute before a tornado hits like some dummy did on Thursday! True story!)
Written: 5/5/03 @ 12:16 am
Tonight's topic: Two more weeks until the Fields Trip kicks off!
Hola, and a happy Cinco de Mayo to everybody! In two years, the date will be 05/05/05. Sweet.
Anyways, I had a pretty easy week, except for the last couple days. I was able to go to an Oklahoma Redhawks baseball game Tuesday night and won $15 worth of Hideaway Pizza (which is some good pizza-too bad the nearest one is at the ballpark which is about seven miles away from my house!). The only Redhawks game I went to last year, I won $30 of free Zio's Italian food. So I guess I'm just the lucky one or something.
Speaking of the Redhawks, they just happen to be playing in Omaha on the 19th, when I will be there for the first night of the Fields Trip. So I'm going to see a baseball game! I'm also thinking about going to a game in Davenport, Iowa, on the 20th, when the Quad City River Bandits play West Michigan in a single-A game. We'll see how tired I am before I actually see about going to that one.
I only worked three nights last week and worked less than 20 hours for the first time since the Delaware Trip ended. But I didn't get much done on Delaware Trip pages. I may have to put in a few all-nighters to get all those pages done before the Fields Trip. I also still have several pages to create from the big monthly roadtrip from April, when I drove only 610 miles.
Just two more weeks of school and I will be done. Unfortunately, by the time I'm able to enroll at UCO next Monday, all the classes I want will probably be taken, and I will be stuck with all the Math and Funeral Service classes. Imagine this, my schedule could be Calculus, Enbalming, Funeral Home Management I, Introduction to Textiles, and Introduction to Pathology. OK, so maybe I'm going a little overboard, but still it's shaping up to possibly be a really odd semester. Maybe I'll take the Theory of Coaching Baseball class. Too bad that a class there that does have a little bit to do with roads and road signs is not being offered in the fall. I would ace that class easily! I could probably teach a class about road signs! I can see it now - Road Signs 101, with Professor E. Stuve. Hey, the other Eric Stuve in the USA really is a college professor of chemical engineering at the University of Washington!
Anyways, a friend of mine just got engaged a few hours ago. All I have to say is [duh duh duh duh duh] another one bites the dust! Personally, I have made no strides on that area of my life, but then again is that a surprise? Not too many females between the ages of 17 and 21 like a guy who takes pictures of road signs as a hobby and works at a fast food restaurant, with the exception of those few who think I'm easy because I'm a nerd. Well, they're wrong!
A good thing about UCO is that I get a fall break in October. So that means a 4-day weekend to do, surprise, surprise, a roadtrip! I'm thinking about a trip to the Galveston and Corpus Christi areas. Maybe go to Laredo as well. The goal would be to clinch Interstates 37 and 45. Maybe I could swing over to Padre Island! Party time! Also, I will have time to do the Florida trip in December between the end of the semester and Christmas, so I may start planning that trip soon as well.
I think that is all for now. In the words of Forrest Gump, I'm pretty tired, think I'll go home now. Oh wait, I am home. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/27/03 @ 11:51 pm
Tonight's topic: The longest roadtrip day of my life!
Howdy! I am exhausted after a long but great bus day at my church today. One bus route had 51 first time riders and over 110 total riders. Praise the Lord! But, that was not my bus route that had those numbers. I have no comment about our numbers, but if it was the Lord's will for us to have what we had, then I am happy.
I took the big monthly roadtrip for the month of April on Friday, and it was definitely a big roadtrip! I drove 610 miles around the Tulsa area and the northeast corner of Oklahoma. Some of the neatest scenery in the Sooner State is by Grand Lake, and at the Twin Bridges State Park near OK 137's southern terminus. I have plenty of pictures to prove it, but it will be a while before I get those pages done, considering I still have over half of the Delaware Trip pages left to do!
Three weeks until the first of the "Big 3" kicks off! The Fields Trip will begin on Monday, May 19, when I will be driving from here to Omaha, Nebraska.
I have no idea how much I'll get done this week on the website, but hopefully it will be a lot. The only pages I created last week were the pages from the Washington, DC area and the highway guide revisions from the mini-trip a couple weeks ago. This week I will probably put together some Maryland Highway Guide pages. Hopefully I can get those knocked out quickly so I can begin the Delaware Highway Guides, which will take quite some time. Then after that, I will be putting together the Philadelphia-area interstate pages, then finally, the pages from the trip back home. Then I get to start creating pages from the 610-mile monstrosity of a roadtrip I took Friday! Speaking of that roadtrip, it was not my intention for it to go that far! The original plan had 540 miles, but I also decided to get OK 97T's termini west of Tulsa, and I also forgot a step in my directions, so I went an extra 15 miles, so all that added up to be an extra 70 miles! But I got some extra termini, so that's always good. Considering that I won't be taking another roadtrip like that until at least July, it's really a good thing! Friday will probably the most miles I will ever drive on one day in my life, because I normally plan about 400-500 miles of driving a day.
Just three more weeks of OKCCC and I will be on to UCO! This Friday I plan on getting some pre-enrollment things lined out, then next Wednesday I will be able to enroll.
Not too much else to say, so I'm going to close. By the way, hello to all those friends of mine who are reading this page. Have a good week, and drive safely.
Written: 4/21/03 @ 12:16 am
Tonight's topic: Yet another roadtrip this week, and I am not even halfway done with the Delaware Trip pages!
Good evening. Or should I say good morning? Not too much going on here. Another long week of work has come and gone. Thankfully, this week, I get three nights off, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I requested off for Friday, however, because it is the day of this month's big monthly roadtrip! I will continue getting state highway termini in northeast Oklahoma on Friday. I will also be driving all of unsigned Interstate 444, which means that I will officially complete the state of Oklahoma's interstate mileage! I've been to Delaware one time and I completed all of its interstate mileage in about 90 minutes, but it takes me four years to complete my own home state. But, let's compare: Delaware has three interstates: Interstate 95 has 23 miles, Interstate 295 has about four miles, and Interstate 495 has nine miles, for a grand total of 36 miles. While Oklahoma has seven interstates: Interstate 35 with 235 miles, Interstate 40 with 331 miles, Interstate 44 with 328 miles, Interstate 235 with five miles, Interstate 240 with 16 miles, Interstate 244 with 16 miles, and Interstate 444 with two miles, for a grand total of 933 interstate miles. So see, it would take a lot longer for someone to accomplish Oklahoma's interstate mileage than Delaware's. Here's a challenge: drive all of Texas' or California's interstate mileage. See how long that would take! I've driven about 110 miles of Interstate 10 in that state south of the Red River, and that's only about 13 percent of its length in that state!
I don't have the exact route planned yet for Friday's monthly roadtrip, but I will probably be paying a lot of tolls, since I'll be on Interstate 44 a lot. And, outside of Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton, basically all of Interstate 44 is toll. This roadtrip comes over a month after the Delaware Trip ended, and I thought I would have most, if not all, of the pages from that trip done by now. But do I? No! I just got to Delaware this past week on the trip pages! There's still three days of side trips and three days of the trip back home left to make pages for, which is about 2,540 miles worth of pictures. I think I'll be busy for a while. Plus, there's a few pages of highways from last Friday's mini-trip that I'll be needing to update, then add this Friday's trip to that, and what do you get? Enough pictures and pages to keep me busy for a whole summer!
This summer is going to be a blast! I made the trip route for the Delaware Trip Part 2 this past week, and it will take me through 16 states, not including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which I would be going through on the side trip to Atlantic City that I was going to do during Part One but didn't because of time constraints. Overall, Lord willing, I will be traveling in 28 states this summer! That means there are only 22 states that I will not be traveling through in a three-month period! I'll run off the list, but I'll only use the post office initials to save space. Ready? OK, KS, NE, IA, IL, IN, MI, MO, TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV, UT, CO, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, DE, PA, NJ, WV, and KY. Whew! Basically, I'll be in all the states in the southern half of the country, except Florida, and that should be taken care of during Winter Break. But let's get through this summer's "Big 3" first! The Fields Trip will be the shortest trip, at just over 2,500 miles, while the Deserts & Mountains Trip will rival the Delaware Trip (the first one) in mileage at about 4,000. The mileage is actually just over 3,700, but I may take another Kansas City area trip, since I am making a side trip to visit relatives there. I guess you could say I'm going to Kansas City via California! The Fields Trip will be six days long, and kicks off four weeks from today, when I will be driving from here to Omaha, Nebraska. From there, I will be going to the Field of Dreams near Dyersville, Iowa, and will be visiting more relatives in Grand Rapids and Northville, Michigan. I will also be close to downtown Chicago during the trip, so that should prove to be an interesting part of the journey! To show how far I've come along in the past couple years, two years ago, just driving to Dallas was cool during Spring Break. Last year, I drove all the turnpikes in Oklahoma from beginning to end. And this year's Spring Break I went all the way out to Delaware! Let's see, I think that leaves Alaska as the destination for next year's Spring Break! (Yeah, right!) And the shortest trip of this year is still over 700 miles longer than the longest trip was last year! (Bayous & Blues Trip)
In other non-roadtrip related news, I officially got accepted into the University of Central Oklahoma this week! So that means a 50-mile roadtrip on Interstate 35, Interstate 235, and the Broadway Extension (U.S. 77) every day I go to class! This will also mean that coverage of new signs in northern Oklahoma City will improve drastically, since I'll be seeing those roads a lot more often. Also, nobody, I repeat, NOBODY female between the ages of 18 and 21 flirted with me at Wendy's last week. Kinda shocking, but it's a good thing, because I wouldn't be interested anyways. So this will be the end of that topic's discussion on this page.
Another thought - I wonder if Bill Clinton will be watching "Mr. Personality" on Fox that debuts this week with Monica Lewinsky as host. Better yet, what if Clinton himself was one of the masked guys and he just wants Miss Lewinsky to deliver more pizza to the oval office, or whatever office he has now. Of course, Praise God, Dubya is in the oval office these days, not Clinton!
Okay, I think I have rambled way, way, way too much for tonight. Got another Earth Science test tomorrow, but this time, won't have to wake up too much earlier, since I actually got the review done tonight! Just need to study a little more in the morning, and I should do fine. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/14/03 @ 1:03 am
Tonight's topic: I'm still awake at this hour?!
Howdy! Just got finished listening to the tapes from Friday night's Southern Gospel Jubilee. It was a blessing. And, yes, there was plenty of the Hicks Wave that night. My friend who was sitting next to me and I were trying not to laugh, since we do that wave all the time, ever since the Hicks Trio was at last year's jubilee. Now we just hope they come back again next year. Or, better yet, I could make a roadtrip to Ringgold, Georgia, where Bro. Hicks is the pastor of a church out there. Now that's an idea!
Just five more weeks until the Fields Trip! Then five weeks after that will be the Deserts & Mountains Trip, and six weeks after that will be Delaware Trip Part Two. So the next 22 weeks are going to take me across the country! I wouldn't be surprised if I'm working on Delaware Trip (Part One) pages during the Fields Trip! I did get up to Baltimore this week on the trip pages. I'm almost out to Delaware! Still have 2,600+ miles of pictures left to do pages for, however.
I did take a mini-trip Friday. I went up to the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond to turn in my admission application. Now I get to wait for it to be processed and for them to hopefully accept me. I just want to get out of Oklahoma City Community College! After the way they handled my tuition this semester (don't make me go into that story again!), I want to go somewhere where my money is handled better, and that place is anywhere but OKCCC. If I do get accepted (which I should), this will mean I'll be driving 25 miles one-way each day to UCO, which means 50 miles roundtrip, and 250 miles in one week if I went all five days. Definitely a stark contrast to the present, when I am driving three miles to OKCCC. Back to the mini-trip, I also took a trip down to the Tuttle area to see if they finally officially extended OK 4 south to Interstate 44. And yes, it has been extended, so I took several pictures of the new signs in the area. But the new southern terminus doesn't have an "END" sign, unlike the old one at OK 37. I'll update the OK 4 and OK 37 pages when I get a chance, which at the rate I'm going, will be around January of 2004. I also rephotographed (is that a word?) the exits on Interstate 235 and the Broadway Extension in both directions, to replace the sun-glared ones, especially on the Broadway Extension. An update to those Photographic Exit Tours pages should come a lot sooner, since it won't be too much work.
I really have to watch what I say on here now. At least two church staff members have told me they came to this site. Before you know it, OKRoads.com will be the place for Southwest Baptist Church members to see pictures of road signs! Something kind of funny, however, is that last week, the home page had the lowest amount of page views it's had in a week period in a month, since the first week of March. (Pre-Delaware Trip) And it's only on pace for 950 page views this month, compared to over 1100 last month. This month looks to be the first month in OKRoads.com history where there were less page views than the month before. Another weird thing is that five different visitors to the site have e-mailed me in the past week. I got four total e-mails all last month, and two were from the same person! So less page views equals more visitor response, I guess.
This week will be another four night work week. I do have Tuesday night off, however, which means I can go to the Lord's supper. I'd much rather do that than go to work from 5-10:30 after being at school from 9:30-4! My prediction is that five females will flirt with me this week. Last week's count was two. I guess there's something women like about the Employee of the Month for March! It's funny I got the award for that month - I was gone for half of it to go to Delaware! They also had a record week the week I was gone, and I still got a $25 Wal-Mart gift card, even though I was 1500 miles away! Maybe I should be gone more often!
I moved the Deserts & Mountains Trip dates again! Now it is scheduled from June 23-July 1. I really think that is when it will happen. I hope that it won't change anymore, because I'm getting tired of changing it!
That's all for now. I have a big grade of some sort in three of my four classes this week, and I need to get some sleep. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Written: 4/7/03 @ 12:22 am
Tonight's topic: Another stressful week. Plus, roadtrip changes (again!)
Happy Daylight Savings Time! It's nice to see the sun come down at 8:30 instead of 7:30. Gives me an extra hour of daylight roadtripping. Of course, it's still a little less than three weeks before I'll be on another roadtrip, when I plan on doing the big monthly roadtrip in northeast Oklahoma on April 25. At the rate I'm going, I'll still be working on Delaware Trip pages, but more on that later.
Well, I have changed the dates of the Fields Trip and the Deserts & Mountains Trip once again, this time, hopefully, will be the last time I do so. The Fields Trip has been moved back up to May 19-24 (where I originally moved it after the Delaware Trip came up), and the Deserts & Mountains Trip will now be July 1-8, which is when I had the Fields Trip scheduled for. I haven't changed the date on the D & M trip page yet, so this is the first notice of that change. I have decided against going to college camp this year, since it'll be in Branson instead of the mountains of Colorado and the camp won't be nearly as long and exciting. So instead I'll be visiting relatives in Michigan, and will be driving to Michigan for the first time ever. I haven't rode in a car to Michigan since the last time we as a family did it ten years ago, so this will sort of be a trip down memory lane for me. The Delaware Trip Part Two dates have not changed. (Yet!) It is still scheduled for August 6-13. I may decide to lengthen it a couple days to spend more time there again since the last trip was so good. This leaves the month of June without a major roadtrip. I will probably compile more state highway termini and may make a couple trips to Arlington to see a Rangers game or two, and also to drive the only 12 miles of Interstate 44 I have yet to drive, which are the first 12 miles in Texas.
I worked 30 hours and 27 minutes last week. So I got even less done on the website this past week than the week before! On the Delaware Trip pages, I am now up to the West Virginia-Pennsylvania State Line, which I saw in the last 20 minutes of Day Three. Just seven more days and about 2,900 more miles of pictures remaining! This week I am scheduled to work four nights, with Friday night off as well so I can go to the Southern Gospel Jubilee at my church. I must be there to see the Hicks Trio, and Brother Hicks' wave. You'd have to see it to know what I'm talking about, and since most people who read this page have never seen me personally, then I guess I could invite y'all to the jubilee to see for yourself. Friday night, 7:00, Southwest Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A-men?
I found out today that my bus captain does indeed read this page, so I guess I'd better watch what I say about him. Oh wait, God reads this page too (and only knows everything I say, think, and do), I should be mindful of that, a-men?
By the way, I really appreciate the particular young lady who asked me if I wanted to "hang out" with her on Friday night while I was working at Wendy's. She must be an OKRoads.com fan and just wanted to see some cool pictures of road signs! In all reality, I didn't appreciate it that much, but it sure got an unusual reaction from my fellow Wendy's crew members! I am not some guy who will take the first girl who flirts with me! I have to get to know the person really well in order for me to even consider a relationship, and since I have yet to even have one in my 19 1/2+ years, I want to keep it that way. There is only one young lady I will date, and that will be the one that God has for me to marry. Who exactly it is, I don't know. I don't want to be like Bill Clinton, and have to come before the American people and say "I did not have sexual relations with that woman..." like he did.
Enough about Bill Clinton and females for tonight. Hopefully I will get a couple more pages done from the Delaware Trip this week. Estimated time of completion - don't ask! Let's just say, hopefully by the time the Fields Trip gets here, I'll have them done. I guess I could start the Fields Trip countdown now. Fourty-one days until the Fields Trip kicks off! Have a good week, and drive safely.
Written: 3/30/03 @ 11:50 pm
Tonight's topic: I want to go on another roadtrip now! Or at least get away for a few days!
What a stressful week I've had. First, I worked 29 hours this last week, which is the most I've ever worked. Second, I have an Earth Science test tomorrow that I still have stuff to do for, and third, I've been battling my sinuses and have been coughing my head off since Tuesday night.
How does this apply to you? Well, I haven't had much time to update OKRoads.com. I did get a couple pages done from the trip. I am now up to the Indiana-Ohio State Line on my trip pages. (Oooooooooh!) This week I'll be working the same amount of hours, so not too much chances this week either. Guess that's what I get for taking a week and a half off to go to Delaware. But I can't wait to get back on the road again April 25, when the big monthly roadtrip will take place. The next major roadtrip is the Deserts & Mountains Trip, set to take place June 9-15. But it may not happen due to a reason I'll get into later.
Back to Delaware (my new second home), I have begun the very early planning stages of Delaware Trip Part Two. It is currently set to take place from August 6-13. I plan on taking a slightly different route this time. It will start out the same way that Part One ended, except that I will not be taking I-81 in Tennessee; instead, I will be taking Interstate 40 to U.S. 64 in Raleigh, North Carolina, then U.S. 64 East to U.S. 13, then U.S. 13 up to Delmar. On the way back, I will be taking a really different route, as I will be taking U.S. 13 South to Norfolk, then hit Interstate 64 West all the way to St. Louis, then take Interstate 44 home. This will allow me to travel in North Carolina and Kentucky for the first time.
However, don't count your chickens before they hatch. This roadtrip (and the Deserts & Mountains Trip and the Fields Trip as well) may NOT happen. Why? Because it appears I may be getting a "promotion" of sorts. My church bus captain may be leaving sometime this summer, and since I am the only other bus worker besides him who is around during the visitation time on Saturday, that means that I would probably be taking over. That also means that I would not be able to miss a weekend to go on a roadtrip. (Which happens on all of the "Big 3" roadtrips) I know this is bad news for roadgeeks, but I have to put the Lord's work first. After all, without Him, I wouldn't have had as great a Delaware Trip as I did. Heck, without working on the church bus, I would have never met the people who live in Delaware who were here in Oklahoma who invited me to visit them in the first place, so the trip wouldn't have even happened if it wasn't for the Lord. But all is not lost! If this does happen like I think it could, then I will still do long roadtrips, I'll just have to cut them short to five days long. (Monday-Friday) I could still pull off a 2,000-2,500 mile roadtrip in five days! But who knows, maybe this won't come to fruition, the "Big 3" roadtrips will go on as scheduled, and I will have traveled in 29 states by the end of the summer! Right now, I have driven in 20 states, and hope to add Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Kentucky, and North Carolina to that list.
Unfortunately, the infamous Western stoplights at 89th and 94th are STILL not set properly! So it still changes for no reason at 94th! One of these days, one of these days...
Well it's time for me to go. Some people need a few hours of sleep since they have to wake up early to do some last-minute cramming for an Earth Science test that they've known about for a couple weeks but kinda had a 4,000 mile long roadtrip to Delaware in there somewhere. See y'all next week.
Written: 3/23/03 @ 10:47 pm
Tonight's topic: Well, it's back to the old grind this week. Plus, the Delaware Trip Awards!
Howdy! I am back in Oklahoma City after the longest, but greatest roadtrip of my life so far, the Delaware Trip. Ten days, 1,803 pictures of road signs and sights, and exactly 4,000 miles after it began, I arrived back home about 5:30 Saturday afternoon. The last day ended up being the best weather day of the roadtrip, but more on that later.
Anyways, I'll be going back to school and work tomorrow. I will be getting quite the welcome back to work this week, as I will be working five nights! Guess they have to make up for me being gone for a week and a half. They didn't pay me to go on this trip, you know.
I got back yesterday, hoping that the stoplights along Western at 89th and 94th would be set back to normal again, since I was gone for ten days. But, of course, they weren't! The one at 94th still changes for no reason! I gave them a week and a half! They must've taken a Spring Break trip too. So I still get to rant about that, I guess.
Now it is time for the first ever Roadtrip Awards. Since the Delaware Trip was 4,000 miles and ten days long, there are plenty of days and things to choose from for the trip. So I will be "giving" awards to the best and worst experiences of the roadtrip. Roll out the red carpet, because here we go!
Best Weather: Day Ten. (Jackson-OKC) Saved the best for last, I guess. It was sunny almost the whole day. There were a few clouds in Oklahoma, but no rain. No fog, either, which was a great blessing, considering it was foggy every morning of the trip except for Day Four and Day Ten, but Day Four became rainy in Delaware, so that day is out of contention.
Worst Weather: Easy choice; Day Eight! (Delmar-Wytheville) Rain almost the whole way, with no sight of sunshine at all.
Best Motel 6: Washington, PA (Between Day Three and Day Four). Great view from the hotel room; room was huge for a Motel 6.
Worst Motel 6: Terre Haute, IN (Between Day Two and Day Three). Wasn't that bad, but could've used a data port on the same side of the bed as the phone instead of having to drag the phone cord across the bed to the phone jack!
Most Scenic State: This is a toughie. West Virginia was neat, but I was only there for 14 miles. Maryland was nice also, but it flattened out once I reached Annapolis. Virginia was nice as well. But I think this award would have to go to Tennessee. With very green grass, and scenic hills and views from the highway, it was a joy to drive through.
Least Scenic State: Oklahoma. Yes, I know I'm from there. But still, compared to where I was, Oklahoma sucked. New Jersey wasn't too scenic either (at least, what I saw), and I didn't think Delaware was that scenic. Too many traffic lights along U.S. 13!
Best Roads: Once again, I would have to say Tennessee. Long acceleration and deceleration ramps, smooth interstates, and good signage to point in the right direction for an Okie like me who had no idea which way to go.
Worst Roads: This is a tie between Arkansas and Pennsylvania. I-40 in Arkansas has several construction zones (to resurface I-40, which is badly needed), and Pennsylvania's acceleration and deceleration ramps are even shorter than Oklahoma's, and that's pretty bad! In the Keystone State, they're basically nonexistent, especially along the parts of I-70 that are not on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The turnpike wasn't too bad, but construction was prevalent there too.
Best Day Overall: Day Four. This was the day I finally arrived in Delaware! All the months of anticipation for the trip and all the miles I drove became worth it when I saw that "Welcome to Delaware" sign, and then about 25 miles later, the house of the people who I stayed with (the Slabaugh family).
Stupidest Driver: The lady in Washington, DC, driving the blue Chevy Corsica, who cut me off not once, but twice! People like that don't deserve to have a license. I realize that I was from out of town too, but please look to make sure you can get over! I came within inches of hitting this car because of this lady's stupidness, then she goes and does it again 15 seconds later! As a preacher friend of mine once said, "If you're stupid, you're stupid!"
Best Food: This award will definitely not go to all the fast food places I ate at! It goes to Mrs. Slabaugh and the Slabaugh daughters, whose home cooking each morning and night was a great blessing. Good food, good meat, good Lord, let's eat! Amen!
Funniest Sign: This is a tie between two signs I saw on Day Nine. In southwestern Virginia, there was a sign along I-81 for Hungry Mother State Park. And in eastern Tennessee, there was a sign along I-40 for the Frozen Head State Park. Let us not forget Toad Suck Park along I-40 in Arkansas, but I already got a picture of that sign from the Bayous & Blues Trip.
Best Moment: Being invited back for Part Two, of course!
Worst Moment: Having to leave Delaware and come back to Oklahoma. But as much as I loved being gone, it is good to be home. Now to work on all the pages from this roadtrip! That should keep me busy for a long time!
Written: 3/21/03 @ 8:01 pm
Tonight's topic: Why do drivers slow down for an accident in the other direction's lanes?
Good evening from the Motel 6 of Jackson, Tennessee. It is good to be back in the Central Time Zone after a week in the Eastern Time Zone. I won't be in the Eastern Time Zone again until July during the Fields Trip.
I was on the Delaware Trip a week ago, and I am still on it now! I have driven about 3,450 miles so far on this trip, with another 550 left to go tomorrow! So this trip will be around 4,000 miles long total! It has been quite a ride, but it has been an awesome trip. I am so happy that I was able to go and to be with my friends in Delaware. I learned a lot of things that will have some kind of an effect on my life and I also got to see a lot of states for the first time ever! Overall, I have seen six states for the first time in my life in the last week: West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia. I also got to go through Illinois and Indiana for the first time in ten years (the last time my dad drove the family on a yearly roadtrip to Michigan to visit his relatives-the roadtrips began at an early age for me!), and got to see Ohio for the first time in 10-15 years, which is almost my whole life! I also got to see a bunch of interstate termini (watch out, Alex at AARoads.com; you'll be getting a bunch of e-mails in the next couple weeks with a lot of Interstate Guide submissions that will probably put me at the top of the number of submissions to the Interstate Guide - I'm already like 3rd or 4th, and I've only been doing this for a year!), and realized that Virginia drivers are crazy, Knoxville is a really fun city to drive through, yet Nashville is not very difficult at all, and many more things that I'll save for a later time! I think I will be compiling a "Best and Worst of the Delaware Trip" page. Topics will include Best Scenery, Worst Scenery, Best Motel 6, Worst Motel 6, Best Trip Day, Worst Trip Day, etc. The trip is definitely long enough to where there were many ups and downs, but fortunately, there were a lot more positives than negatives!
Finally, on to tonight's topic. Yesterday, while driving on Interstate 81 South near the Interstate 581 junction in Roanoke, Virginia, traffic began to back up. It was backed up for an accident involving a semi. But here's the deal - the wreck was in the NORTHBOUND lanes! And I was driving south! People slowed down just to see the wreck. My reaction to this is as follows: Haven't you people seen an accident before? They happen all the time! Now, traffic was backed up in the northbound lanes for at least 10 miles (I've been trying to locate a story on the Internet about this wreck so I could post the link here so y'all would know what I'm talking about), but still, why do people slow down for an accident in the other direction's lanes? Now, I realize this wreck involved a semi. But, still, why did you people slow down to a crawl? I know, there were a lot of cops around because of the wreck, but still, you could've gone at least 50 mph and still see what the deal was instead of slowing down to 5 mph and backing up traffic for a mile or so! And this is not just a problem in Virginia either, no, no, no. I've seen this happen in other places too! Like one time, on the way back from Michigan (actually, I think it was the same trip I mentioned earlier that was ten years ago), instead of going straight home, we went to Emporia, Kansas, where my mom's parents lived, and visited them. So that meant taking I-70 West from St. Louis instead of I-44. Well, this was during the Flood of 1993. Traffic was backed up for miles on I-270 West near I-70, and on I-70 as well, because people were stopped on the shoulder gawking at the floodwaters on the Missouri River! Give me a break! I know it was a bad flood, but still, move the #^@$ out of the way! If you want to see the flood up close, please get OFF the interstate! You may get swept away by floodwaters, but unless you want to potentially cause an even bigger accident that could be fatal to someone else, it would be more prudent to just exit the interstate! Or, better yet, you could just not even venture out and just watch the coverage of it on TV!
Whew. Had to get that off my chest. Anyways, an ironic thing happened tonight. I was in line at Subway here in Jackson, preparing to eat dinner, and there's a college women's basketball team in there. Turns out, the team is from none other than Oklahoma Christian University! And one of them just happened to be someone who used to go to the church that I go to! So it was weird to see someone I know from Oklahoma in Tennessee, 550 miles away from home! It sure was good to see some Okies again! Before today, I don't think I had seen an Oklahoma license plate (excluding semis) since last Sunday morning in Pennsylvania, when the car zoomed by me, only for me to see it pulled over by a cop a few minutes later!
Well, I think I have ranted enough for tonight. Coming Monday (maybe), the Delaware Trip (Part One) awards! And yes, there will be a Delaware Trip Part Two in August since I have been invited back, so I will be posting information on that soon! See y'all later, and drive safely! Oh, one last thing, if you'll be driving on Interstate 40 West between Jackson, Tennessee, and Oklahoma City tomorrow, please make sure that you pass the semis as quickly as possible! I have a long day of driving ahead tomorrow and your cooperation would be very much appreciated. Good night.
Written: 3/15/03 @ 10:15 pm EST
Tonight's topic: I've driven 1,095 miles in the last three days, and I'm still not at my destination!
Hello from the Motel 6 of Washington, Pennsylvania! Here is tonight's promised update to OKRoads.com! I have just one more day of driving left to go, and I will finally be in Delaware! The trip countdown is down to, oh wait, I am on the trip right now! So no countdown necessary! Just think, I still have one week left of roadtrip fun left to go before I come home! Do I sound a little excited? Because I am. The trip I have been counting down to for months and months is finally here, and I am living in it right now.
I just have a 360-mile day of driving ahead tomorrow, and I will be in Delmar, Delaware. Finally! It seems like I have been driving for forever just to get there, and now, I am getting close, but still have several hours of driving left to go.
I wonder how my favorite Oklahoma City roads are doing. No, they didn't get the stoplights at 89th and 94th timed correctly before I left Thursday afternoon, but they have a week before I get back! For now, though, I am enjoying the scenery of the northeast, and am the farthest away from home I have been in my entire life, and it is great!
This Motel 6 does have a good view of the town of Washington, and the room is huge (compared to the ones in Joplin and Terre Haute I've stayed in the last couple nights), but otherwise, there are only 10 channels on the TV and the AC adaptor for the laptop is dragged across the room, much like the phone cord was dragged across the bed last night in Terre Haute! The only hotel I've stayed in so far on this trip that actually had a data port was the one in Joplin, otherwise, I have had to use the phone jack. No big deal, I do have a cell phone, and as long as I get connected to the Internet so I can upload the pictures from each day of roadtripping, I'm happy.
Don't know how the updates will be for the rest of the week, at least while I'm in Delaware, since I'll be trying to take care of business. I know that tomorrow night there probably won't be any updates since I plan on going to church with the family I'll be visiting. Gotta have the church in the roadtrip, amen? That's all for now. Delmar, Delaware, beware, because I am coming to town tomorrow afternoon!
Written: 3/12/03 @ 3:53 pm
Today's topic: It's Roadtrip Time once again! And 89th & Western is...done?!
It is a great day in Oklahoma City today. It is sunny, the temperatures are at almost 80, and the trip to Delaware begins tomorrow. Now that I actually know who I'm staying with (the people who invited me) and where exactly they live, now all I'm waiting on is to get through Magazine Feature Writing and Microeconomics tomorrow morning, then I get to come home, put my luggage in the car, and say sayonara to Oklahoma for ten days! Glory, hallelujah!
As the topic states, 89th & Western is basically done! Finally! Everything is now beautifully striped. The stoplights are still not back to being timed properly, and some sidewalks still need to be put in, but it's close enough for me to call it done. Now they are going to tear up Walker, 1/2 mile east of Western! But I don't have to go down that road very often at all, so it won't affect me too much.
The weather looks like it will be great during the trip. Not too much precipitation is in the forecast, and temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s the whole trip. But of course, the trip is ten days long, so the weather could change, and I could be stuck in 15 feet of snow in Delaware for a few extra days. Not that I would necessarily mind that, but some people would need to get back to work and school, like me. But I don't want to think about that right now, I have ten days of roadtrip fun ahead!
I finally washed my car today for the first time in months. I just love the shine on those wheels. I even created a page about my car today, with plenty of pictures for your viewing pleasure.
This week hasn't been too bad, and it is about to get even better! But I gotta go now, since I don't have too much time to mess around. Some people get to drive 4000 miles in the next 10 days and see some great people! Delmar, Delaware, here I come!
Written: 3/9/03 @ 10:40 pm
Tonight's topic: Some big roadtrip somewhere is almost here!
Howdy! Another week has gone by. It was a great week, with an awesome Missions Conference at my church going on from Wednesday-Sunday. It was a great time to be with some missionaries serving the Lord around the world.
OK, enough preaching, let's get to the roads! As you know by now if you are a regular reader of this page, I have a particular trip coming up very soon. But I can't seem to remember where I was going. Was it California? Hawaii? Alaska? Mexico? Oh, wait, wrong side of the country. Delmar, Delaware is the destination, and Lord willing, I will be leaving Thursday afternoon to head on my way there! But I got just a little taste of Delaware today (sort of) - the friend who invited me was at my church this morning! Totally surprised me, considering the fact that she said she'd never come back to Oklahoma when she left in November! But it was a good surprise; a very good surprise! So of course, being the compassionate road scholar that I am, I didn't talk to her. Just kidding, of course I talked to her! I told her that I didn't expect to see her until next Monday, but there she was today, and I didn't even need to drive to Delaware to see her for the first time since Thanksgiving! But the trip is still on, of course, since she was just here for a short visit, and I probably wouldn't see her again for a long time if I didn't go. (She took off for Tulsa after the morning service.) It's just the anticipation of seeing this particular person is not as much anymore because I saw her today.
Another trip development - I will be going solo after all. My friend is not able to go due to school duties, so it will be yet another solo journey for me. Oh well, now I can go to Atlantic City and Philadelphia while I am there along with Washington, DC! (Which I plan to do!) Maybe I can get someone to tag along with me there in Delaware. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...
Last week was a great week of warm weather. 89th is finally paved, but is not striped. Western south of 89th is still not striped either, and the stoplights are still messed up. OK, people, you have until Thursday afternoon at 1:00 PM to finish it up so I can actually say another big roadtrip has begun and 89th & Western is done! But until it is done, I will continue to rant about 89th & Western.
This could possibly be my last entry before the trip. I won't have too much time to work on this site the next two weeks, except for daily updates from the road. I hope to be able to access the Internet while I am in Delaware (so I don't have to upload pictures from Delaware, Maryland, Philly, and New Jersey at the hotel in Wytheville, VA along with the pictures from the last day heading there and the first day heading back). Just in case I am not able to update the site while in Delaware, I will be doing my normal Monday updates on Sunday morning from Washington, PA before I head out towards Delaware.
As for the rest of the website news - I have finished all highway guide pages! Right now, my project is to finish the Sign Photos Index. I have done all the pictures from trips on November 6, 8, 13, 22, and 26, and also have done the big monthly roadtrip from last month. I won't be providing access to the page from the home page until I get the page completed, and since I don't think I'll get it done by Thursday, that'll mean I'll probably never get it done because after Thursday, I will probably be driving close to 4,000 miles in 10 days. Yes, I know the trip is 3,000 miles, but that doesn't include the side trips I plan on making to Washington, DC on Monday, through the state of Delaware on Tuesday (the Delaware State Highway Terminus Gallery & Guides), and Atlantic City and Philadelphia on Wednesday. That is the plan right now, but it could change. I fully expect to have 2,000+ pictures from the Delaware trip. That's about 64 disks worth of pictures of road signs! And don't forget that I'll be taking pictures of other stuff too, but those won't be on this website since they won't be road signs.
I think that's about all for now. I have to get some sleep tonight because this will be the last night I'll be sleeping in for two weeks, and I like to get my sleep. I'll see ya on the road, and drive safely!
Written: 3/3/03 @ 12:00 am
Tonight's topic: Just ten more days!
Howdy once again. Last week was a terrible week weatherwise. The sun didn't come out at all, the temperatures stayed below 40 all week, and there was some precipitation as well. I didn't do the Tulsa trip on Friday. I hope to do it on April 11. April looks like it'll be a busy month for roadtrips. I will also be taking two monthly roadtrips that month to finish northeast Oklahoma, and am also planning a 2-day trip to Arlington to see a Rangers baseball game. That takes all four Fridays in the month of April away!
Last week was just plain busy. I worked 22 hours, which for me, is a lot. It was a pretty good week, though. Let me just say that the Lord provides every need. He has given me more than I anticipated for the upcoming Delaware Trip, which in itself is a blessing.
Speaking of the Delaware Trip, it is just ten days away from kicking off! Looks like the weather for this week will be great. But I really care about the weather from Oklahoma City to Joplin on March 13, Joplin to Terre Haute on March 14, Terre Haute to Washington, PA on March 15, and Washington, PA to Delmar, DE on March 16. I won't go into the other six days of the trip, since I think I've bored you already, and you can always check out the Delaware Trip page for more information.
I did get one thing accomplished on the site last week: I finally finished all pages relating to Thanksgiving Weekend! Now it's time to do the pages from the February roadtrip. Hopefully, I will finish them in the next ten days. I am also attempting to update the Sign Photo Index. This will take me a long time, considering I haven't updated it since the October 11 monthly roadtrip, which was 2,116 pictures ago! I now have 2,819 pictures on this site! Just think how much more I'll have after the Delaware Trip!
Because of last week's sucky weather, 89th & Western and surrounding areas is in the exact same state as it was last Monday. But with temperatures in the 60s forecasted for this week, they should be able to get 89th paved, striping done on Western south of 89th, and the stoplights at 89th and 94th back to normal (finally!). I swear, every time I am at 89th and Western, someone runs the red left turn light. And, I'm not talking about it being yellow when they start the turn, I'm talking about the light for through traffic is green for five seconds, and there are still cars turning left! If there were cameras at this stoplight, there would be a lot of very angry people. And quite frankly I'm not a fan of cameras at stoplights. But I am not one of those who runs the red light because I go straight when I'm in the area, which s quite often.
Today's date is a pretty cool date numerically, 03/03/03. I wonder what I'll be doing on 04/04/04. Hopefully I'll have a few cross-country roadtrips under my belt, three billion in the bank, and a girlfriend who likes roadtrips as much as I do. I don't think I should go any further than that. Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.
This week looks to be a 10-hour work week, so I should have time to work on the site. I hope so, because the next two weeks are pretty much taken due to the Delaware Trip. I won't have too much time to mess with anything else.
I think that's all I have to say about that. Have a great week, and drive safely. (By the way, where's the OKRoads.com mention in "Street Talk" at? See entry 7 for more on that topic.)
Written: 2/23/03 @ 11:03 pm
Tonight's topic: General rants
This week is going to suck. I can just feel it. It's supposed to be cold, windy, and wet all week long. That means that the Tulsa trip probably won't happen Friday, and I'll have to push it back again, this time to at least April. Oh well, let's get this crappy weather out of the way now, so when it comes time for me to leave for Delaware, the weather will be fantastic, I'll feel fantastic, and life will be great.
There is an advantage, however, if I don't do the Tulsa trip on Friday. I'll have more time to get pages done! Hopefully, I will have all pages done by the time the Delaware Trip kicks off. Updates have been non-existent since the last entry; I've been busy. But my best friend is married now, hallelujah. Now maybe he'll settle down so I can spend more time with him than I have in the past year.
The Delaware Trip is now just 17 days away (in 45 minutes)! It is getting so close, I am beginning to smell it! Not literally, but it's just a saying. Anticipation for the trip is mounting, nervousness is beginning to set in already, but I will be seeing friends and will get a bunch of road sign pictures from the eastern half of the country! I should be able to debut DelRoads.com after this trip. See, that's why I want to get everything done before the trip!
Not too much to write about tonight, so have fun, and drive safely, because Oklahomans don't know how to drive in one inch of snow, much less 15 like what some parts of the state got today.
Written: 2/20/03 @ 2:27 pm
Today's topic: Three more weeks until you-know-what kicks off!
This week hasn't been as busy as I thought it would be. I've had plenty of time to update the site, and today, I hope to pretty much wrap up the pages from Thanksgiving Weekend!
I sort of lied in the topic of Monday's rant about no roadtrips this week. I took a mini-trip today, and it was definitely a mini-trip! It took less than an hour. All it was was to check and see if OK 4 is signed south of OK 37 now that the highway is finished. But, of course, it still has the end sign at OK 37! The road is complete, all signs on Interstate 44 say that the highway is OK 4, so sign the highway south of OK 37 any time now! I also took a picture of the new shields on the Interstate 44 East BGS approaching Interstate 240. The old shields were great to look at, because they were so hard to see, you couldn't believe that the sign was still there after all these years! But, last Thursday, the shields were replaced. The rest of the sign, however, is still button copy, but readable. (Dare to compare - Old shields on sign | New shields on sign)
Well, I finally went and did it - I called the people in Delaware today who I'll be visiting to make sure that me and my friend were still invited. And, fortunately, we are. So the trip is as official with them as it is with us. No matter what, we would be heading out that way anyways. Of course, the person who invited me won't be there until the day after we get there, but at least that person won't be gone all week. Then it'd really be bad! The trip would still go on, though, no matter what. So, on that note, three weeks from now at this time, Lord willing, I will be driving on Interstate 44 and we will be on our way to Joplin, which is the first hotel stop of the trip.
I am finally wrapping up on the Thanksgiving Weekend roadtrip pages, as stated earlier. I just have a couple more left to do, and those shouldn't take too long. So then I can start putting together pages from last Friday's roadtrip! Next Friday, I will be going to Tulsa to drive around all day and compile the Photographic Exit Tours of Tulsa. I will be driving both directions of all freeways in T-Town (Interstates 44 and 244, the B.A., the Gilcrease (OK 11), the Mingo Valley (U.S. 169), the Creek Turnpike (in my opinion, should be Interstate x44), and U.S. 75) Hopefully, Wendy's won't schedule for me to work that night, even though I didn't request it off. I'm trying to take it easy on requesting days off for a couple weeks - I've requested three off between this week and last week, and I'm only able to work four nights a week! And since the Delaware Trip is in just three weeks, I need the hours now, since I (unfortunately) won't be getting paid to go to Delaware. Seeing the people I'm going to see will be enough payment for me. Oh, and taking hundreds of pictures of road signs along the way, of course!
89th and Western is about 95% done, I'd say. 89th still needs to be paved, and Western's southbound lanes are being paved as I type this. I took seven pictures of Western today, and here they are, heading southbound, from north to south:
|Here's the northern
end of the construction, at around the
8000 block of S. Western. You can see the old pavement
meet the new.
|Western at S.W.
89th. The right-turn lane here is very
narrow, but it's still better than what it was before!
|On this day, the
southbound lanes were being paved, so
traffic was routed onto the northbound lanes, which were
paved earlier this week.
|At about the 9300
block, you can see the new pavement
stoplight at 94th and Western. The left
turn lane here should prevent many accidents from
|More new pavement
is seen here at the 9500 block. The
school to the right is Sky Ranch Elementary, where I
went to school many years ago!
|And here's where
the new construction ends, at the 9700
block. Now if they would just re-stripe Western from here
on south to the next stoplight at 104th, that would be
That's all for today! I'll be back Monday with more rants. See ya!
Written: 2/17/03 @ 2:35 pm
Today's topic: The longest road day ever! Plus, the week ahead. (Sorry, no roadtrips this week!)
It's a beautiful President's Day here in Oklahoma City. I can't say that, however, for the place I will be at one month from today, Washington, DC. I just hope that there isn't a big snowstorm a month from now, because I'll be really angry. Of course, that is because the Delaware Trip is now less than a month away! The countdown is now down to 24 days until the trip kicks off, and 27 days until I actually get there! Oh, wait, I forgot, it won't be just me! My friend is actually going along with me, which totally surprised me! I had already made the hotel reservations for one person because it didn't look like he was going to be going. But I guess he is. I just won't be letting him drive my car any, considering the fact that he has got at least three tickets, and I have got zero.
Sorry about the lack of updates in the last week. School work caught up with me and I had some unexpected other events happen as well that prevented me from updating the site too much. This week, I will hopefully find some time to update the site, because it is going to be a busy week. All my nights this week are taken by something. So I may be putting together Thanksgiving Weekend roadtrip pages while on the Delaware Trip!
I was able to take a roadtrip last Friday, on V-Day. It was the longest single-day roadtrip I've ever taken, in terms of miles driven. The previous record of 516 miles set June 27, 2001 when I drove from St. Louis to Oklahoma City was broken on Friday, when I drove 557 miles around northeastern Oklahoma! It was a good trip, but with some near-misses near Tulsa. I got really close to slamming someone on the narrow part of I-44 in west Tulsa (I HATE that part of interstate! It shouldn't even be called an interstate!) who had slammed on their brakes to avoid someone. It was all because a Nissan truck had died in the left lane of the highway, and with no room on the highway, it was quite fun getting around them. Too bad the truck wasn't a Ford, otherwise, I could've brought out my Ford jokes. Maybe some other time. Also, my check engine light made a return appearance for the first time since the Bayous & Blues Trip on Friday. I'm sure I'll see it again during the Delaware Trip, but I won't worry about it until something drastic happens.
V-Day was an all right day, I guess. My V-Day present came the day before, when I saw one of my many females from high school for the first time in about a year. I had an awesome conversation with this young lady. It was the best conversation I've had with a female in a long time! I just wish that I had just taken advantage of the opportunity to see her again the next night, but I forgot where she told me she was going to be. No wonder I've been single for the last 19 1/2 years of my life; when an opportunity presents itself right in front of me, I don't take advantage of it! Oh well, I was dead tired after the trip Friday, so I wasn't really in the mood to stay up even longer and see this young lady again. Hopefully I'll see her again at college soon.
The Deserts & Mountains Trip is getting as bad as the Fields Trip in terms of setting dates for it. I had to push back the D & M Trip from May to June, just two days after I moved it up from July to May, because I found out that college church camp was that same week, and I want to go to that too. You know, there was this one time, at church camp... I wonder how Wendy's is going to like me taking three weeks off work in a seven-week period. They only schedule me for about 10-15 hours a week anyways, so they won't miss me that much! I know I'm their best dining room closer, but they'll get over it!
This week will be an exciting one. My best friend is getting married Friday night, and I am his best man! So that means I get to prepare a speech. I may just have to bring up that one time, in Kansas City, on a journalism trip, where someone else we were with called our room, and he was saying how he'd like to do the mumbo jumbo with a dolphin, and...
That is a true story, but I don't think I'll bring it up Friday night. Probably wouldn't be the best thing. I want to live to see the Delaware Trip happen anyways. Speaking of Delaware, I tried to call out there Saturday, but the phone number I got is a business number, and they weren't in the office. So I guess I'll try again sometime during the week, that is, if they can dig themselves out of the snow out there! But, hey, at least they didn't give me a wrong number! Then I'd really be angry!
89th and Western is almost done! Western north of 89th is completed, with the new lanes striped and everything! 89th is still a mess, and Western south of 89th is still a mess, but progress is being made.
I think I'm done ranting for the day. Some people have to go to work in an hour to make some money to fund all these roadtrips! Money doesn't grow on trees, you know. Buh-bye!
Written: 2/9/03 @ 11:52 pm
Tonight's topic: The week ahead
Hello from snowy Oklahoma City! We got some snow on Thursday, but got a couple more inches overnight last night. That meant that several churches closed. Of course, the church I go to never closes, which I actually appreciate. And the roads weren't that bad! Now as long as the weather isn't like that during the Delaware Trip in about a month we'll be OK.
I think I'm going to make this a tradition. Unless something great in the world of roads happens during the week, I'm going to have an entry each Sunday night to preview the week ahead, where I will be going, what I plan on doing, and anything else that crosses my mind. I am a journalism student, so I must have practice writing entertaining articles. I want to be the next Don Gammill, you know. (For those who have no idea who Mr. Gammill is, he is the writer of "Street Talk," a column that appears each Monday morning in The Daily Oklahoman. Now if he would give props to OKRoads.com in his column it would very much be appreciated.)
Western still has not been paved yet south of 89th. But it's been too cold and snowy for that. You know, two inches of snow in Oklahoma City freaks people out. It's kinda like if it rained in Los Angeles or Phoenix; people don't know how to react. But temperatures are supposed to be warmer this week with little, if any, precipitation, so hopefully they'll get Western paved and striped and the main topic of all these road rants will almost be done!
That means I need another road to rant on. Here's a possibility: the stoplight at N.W. 12th St. and Moore Ave./Interstate 35 South in Moore. Now, I work at the Wendy's on the northeast corner of the intersection. N.W. 12th St. is a busy street, with several restaurants and hotels located on or near it. And Wendy's is one of them. There are no left turn lanes on 12th or Moore Ave. Before I go too far, maybe I should explain a little bit about the intersection. N.W. 12th St. runs east-west, Moore Ave. comes in from the north, and becomes the Interstate 35 off-ramp south of 12th. Do you get it now? Good! Anyways, there are no left turn lanes; there is a left green arrow light on eastbound 12th St. but it never, I repeat, NEVER turns green, so all traffic from eastbound 12th St. wanting to turn left on Moore Ave. to bug me at Wendy's must yield to oncoming traffic, which can be a nightmare. When the lights are green on Moore Ave. and the I-35 ramps (the off-ramp from the service road comes in from the south), there is no control there either. No green arrows at all! That means that you have to watch it or you'll get in a wreck. I don't know how many times I have seen accidents happen at that intersection. And they're not minor ones, no, they are serious ones that require ambulance and fire to be called, and since there is no hospital in Moore, victims must be taken to Southwest Medical Center Oklahoma City, which is about 5-10 miles away. The moral of the story is: PLEASE PUT LEFT TURN LANES IN AT 12TH STREET AND MOORE AVE. IN MOORE!!!!! I think this will be a good road to rant about, because knowing Oklahoma like I do, this won't get done until the day I get married, and that won't be for a long time. So I could still be ranting about this when I'm 50. Just think how big this site would be if I still had it going then. I'd probably have every interstate photographed end-to-end, both directions, in the whole nation, I'd probably have completed terminus galleries for 10 states, and it would be really sad if I still worked at Wendy's then, 31 years from now! (But, hey, at least at Wendy's I know I can get off work for a roadtrip! ;-) )
Speaking of roadtrips, this Friday is the big day. For the month anyways. I will be driving the most miles I've ever driven in one day on this month's big monthly roadtrip. I'll only be taking 15 termini's worth of pictures this time instead of 24 like last time, but I'll be covering a lot more territory. I plan on being gone all day, and since I'll be going alone, it will help me to forget the main reason that most people like the particular day that Friday is. And I won't go into that again.
This week looks like it could be a normal week. Nothing major should happen, except for the roadtrip Friday, and updates will be mostly minor. There isn't too much left to do before I have everything updated the way I like it. I just need to get around to the final few pages from Thanksgiving Weekend and polish up a few things here and there, and I'll be content. Of course, just watch, I'll finish the new highway guide pages Thursday, then Friday I'll be going on a 540-mile roadtrip!
The trip countdown to Delaware is now down to 31 days. It's 34 days until I get there, Lord willing. I will find out Saturday if I will be going alone or with a friend of mine. He has to tell me by Saturday since that is when I will be making the hotel reservations and will be making first contact with the people I will be visiting. So, if the people I will be visiting in March have found this page and are reading it (you know who you are!!!!), then brace yourselves, because I plan on making a phone call to y'all on Saturday afternoon to warn you of my coming, in case you've forgotten, since the last time I talked to anybody who I'll be visiting was the weekend before Thanksgiving.
One last thing, I may be pushing back the Fields Trip once again. It looks like most of my relatives from Michigan may not be there the week I'll be going to see them so that would ruin that plan because that's why I added the Michigan part in the first place! I may switch the trip with the Deserts & Mountains Trip, which I am planning to take in July as of right now. I don't have a page made yet for the D & M trip (as I will refer to it as from now on) but basically I would be taking Interstate 40 West to Interstate 15, Interstate 15 North to Interstate 70, Interstate 70 East to Interstate 470 in east Topeka, Kansas, then south on the Kansas Turnpike to home. Why take Interstate 70 all the way to Topeka instead of taking Interstate 135 South to Wichita? Because that would mean that after this trip, I will have driven all of Interstate 70! Right now, I only have two 2-digit interstates driven from beginning to end, and both of them were last year - Interstate 27 in the Texas panhandle, and Interstate 12 in Louisiana. Interstate 70 is a whole lot longer, so I think it would be a great accomplishment. As of right now, I have only driven Interstate 70 between Topeka and St. Louis. But I will be driving all of Interstate 70 from St. Louis eastward to Baltimore during the Delaware Trip, and the western half would be taken care of during the D & M Trip.
Whew, I think that's enough for one entry! See y'all next week, unless something great happens and I just have to tell y'all about it!
Written: 2/5/03 @ 9:45 pm
Today's topic: 89th & Western is almost done, can you believe it?
My favorite road to rant about on this page has been the ongoing construction at S.W. 89th St. and S. Western Ave. in Oklahoma City. I've ranted on and on about how long it's taken, how dangerous it is, and many other things. But I am happy to say today that the project looks like it is almost complete!
S. Western between about the 8100 block (81st) and the 8900 block (89th) was resurfaced late last week. It has not been striped yet. The surface on the section between 89th and 97th (where the construction ends) has been removed and is now at its bare uneven lower level. This is not-so-great news right now because traffic has been backed up pretty good since there's just one lane of traffic open in each direction on Western. I'm not going to say yet that it is completely okay to drive on Western, but it looks like the days of the construction are numbered! All I have to say about that is "It's about #*^$&($ time!!!!!"
We're supposed to get a few inches of snow here tomorrow. That means my trip planned this Friday to Tulsa may not happen. It also may not happen because I need to get the oil changed now (it's already a few hundred miles over) and my left front tire looks a little low. And since tomorrow's going to suck weatherwise, I probably won't be in the mood to get that stuff done. So if I do indeed have to postpone the Tulsa trip, I will probably do it the last Friday of February (the 28th). Next Friday (the 14th) will be the big monthly roadtrip, and the Friday after that, I won't be doing a roadtrip due to a friend's wedding. So that leaves one Friday left in February, because in March, the only trip I'm taking is the Delaware Trip. I think that trip is more than long enough! By the way, the trip countdown is now down to 36 days, and the countdown until I get there is down to 39 days. It's getting closer and closer!
Written: 1/31/03 @ 11:20 pm
Tonight's topic: Useless state highways
As I begin this road rant, it's almost time for January to end and for February to begin. Which means that the shortest month of the year is almost here. Also, that means the month with V-Day in it is almost here, and that is scary. It's scary! (Read Entry 4 for more about that!)
Today as I was roadtripping around central Oklahoma, taking pictures of lettered routes' termini, I thought about this topic of useless state highways. And I figured it'd be a perfect topic for a road rant so here goes!
First off, out of all the highways I've seen so far, I think OK 42 in western Oklahoma is the most useless. At a grand total of 1.4 miles, it connects OK 152 with the booming metropolis of Dill City (population 526). The entire highway is located in the city limits; so couldn't it be a county-maintained road? At the very least, it should be renamed OK 152A, since there isn't one of those yet. But a 2-digit state highway shouldn't be allowed to be that short! The next shortest state highway that is 2 digits is OK 79 in far southern Oklahoma at 3.6 miles, and that's because it enters from Texas, where it is an important highway in the Wichita Falls area, and soon after entering the Sooner State, it meets its end at U.S. 70. That highway doesn't have much use in Oklahoma, but it is another way to get to Wichita Falls. At least it has good use, unlike another useless state highway, OK 96 in far south-central Oklahoma. It connects the town of Burneyville (population so small it isn't even listed on the official Oklahoma state highway map!) with OK 32. At a grand total of four miles, it is surprising to see anyone besides farm vehicles on the highway. If I remember correctly, there is a plant of some sort at the southern end of the highway, but that's about it.
Now I know I'm picking on the shorter state highways here, but the ones that are longer are more useful because they connect more highways and places! My opinion - either decomission some of these short useless highways (like OK 19C and OK 19D are gone, as I found out today, and OK 19C might've actually had some good use to it, but how am I to know if the highway is no more?) or renumber them. Heck, with the money saved from getting rid of just a few of these highways, maybe there could be some construction projects that actually mean something that would get accomplished, like rebuilding the I-35/I-240 interchange into a stack like those seen in Dallas. OK, so maybe I'm being a little far-fetched here (there isn't enough room to put one anyways, but they could tear down Crossroads Mall-that mall sucks anyways, but they'd have to move Best Buy first, and I wouldn't like that) but still, just think what this could do. We could actually get road projects done that would be for the good of the community, and not just a community of 526 people with their own 2-digit state highway! There were more people in my high school graduating class two years ago than total citizens in Dill City, who get to enjoy the luxury of having OK 42 run exclusively in their town!
Oh yeah, one last thing-in a few short minutes, it will be just 40 days until the Delaware Trip kicks off! And 43 more days until I actually get there! Come on March 13, 2003, get here!
Written: 1/28/03 @ 9:09 pm
Tonight's topic: I needed to write something for this month, so here it is!
I just debuted the new terminus gallery home page. The new page takes up twice as much space as the old one. But that's because each highway has its own table so in case I missed a highway, it will be a whole lot easier for me to make a new line than it was with the old way, when all the numbered highways were in one table, and when I found out about some highway changes, I had to add an extra line in the same cell, and it just didn't look good.
Yes, the construction at 89th & Western continues. Hopefully it will be done by the time that the Delaware Trip kicks off on the afternoon of Thursday, March 13. Yes, I have moved the beginning of the trip up one day. This is so I won't be doing 550 miles of driving on the last day; I'll only be doing about 350, which means I should be there in time for church Sunday night, and I'll see everybody a few hours earlier, which is a very good thing. ;-) It will probably be a solo journey for me, since my "partner in crime" may not be able to go. Oh well, it'll be just like every other roadtrip I take!
I started my 4th semester at Oklahoma City Community College last Tuesday. This semester I'm taking Earth Science, Magazine Feature Writing, Principles of Microeconomics, and Documentary Films. I'm still working about 10-15 hours a week at Wendy's. I made two roadtrips this month, one on the 4th around the Shawnee and Cushing areas, and one on the 7th, which was the big monthly roadtrip around northeast Oklahoma. The next big monthly roadtrip will be on February 14. Yes, it will be on V-Day, which, in my opinion, is the worst day of the year. I figure I've been single for the last 18 V-Days, so the 19th one I'll be single too, and it's on a Friday (a day where I have no classes this semester-makes for good roadtrip days!) so I figured, I'll take a roadtrip by myself to "celebrate" V-Day. If any nice-looking Christian females between the ages of 18 and 21 are wanting to join me on this roadtrip, please let me know. Oh, and you have to live in Oklahoma-I ain't driving to Minnesota to pick someone up! In the words of former president George Bush, "Not gonna do it, not gonna do it!"
The Delaware Trip countdown is down to 44 days. I will actually arrive there in 47 days. I hope the next six weeks go by very fast and I am on the way there before I know it! I may compile the Delaware State Highway Terminus Gallery & Guides while I'm there. Heck, the state's so small, I could get all the highway termini in one day!
Beginning this Friday and throughout the month of February, I will be taking a weekly roadtrip on Fridays. This week, I will be taking pictures of the lettered routes around the Oklahoma City area, and may get a few other termini as well. Next Friday, I am thinking about going to Tulsa and driving around T-town to compile the Photographic Exit Tours of Tulsa, and the Friday after that is V-Day!
That's all for tonight. I'll see y'all on the roads of Oklahoma!
Written: 12/15/02 @ 11:06 pm
Tonight's topic: It's Roadtrip Time! And they're still working on 89th & Western!
As I sit here at my computer I look at the clock and realize that in less than ten hours Lord willing I will be on my way to Houston for the beginning of the Bayous & Blues Roadtrip. Now I apologize for not making any new entries in here in a couple weeks. But let's see-I've been to western Oklahoma taking pictures of highway termini (which I am still working on the pages for!), I've been to the Kansas City area and back (still haven't even started on those pages) and now I get to depart on a 1700+-mile journey that will take me through Dallas, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Jackson, Memphis, Little Rock, and back home again! Which means even more pages to create! Ah, having a roads website is a lot of fun!
I just finished my fall semester of college on Thursday, praise the Lord. My advice-don't take Accounting and College Algebra in the same semester! I made it through, though, and I think I actually did all right in both classes! Of course, I had three other classes as well, but I know I have A's in two of those and a B or C in the other. That may be my worst grade of the semester. But that's another reason why I haven't made any new entries in here the last couple weeks is because I've been solving logarithms, balancing the books, watching "The Player" over and over again for my Film Studies class, making a PowerPoint presentation about this website for my computer class, and the list could go on and on and on...
Another roadtrip is here, and they're STILL working on 89th & Western! Progress has been made, though, and things are looking like they may be completed by the time the Delaware Trip rolls around in March. All three roadtrips I've gone on this year (the Spring Break trip, the Plains & Panhandles Trip, and the Bayous & Blues Trip), I've driven by 89th & Western, and construction has been going on. Hopefully, it will be done in time for the Delaware Trip! A word of warning for southbound travelers on Western-where the new pavement begins near the Lightning Creek shops and apartments, the right lane ends unexpectedly and the left lane basically becomes the right lane without much warning. So be warned-until they get the new part actually paved, please watch it there! I just have a bad feeling someone's gonna get in a wreck there because of the poor "lane striping."
Well I have a lot of things to do and not much time to do it before I take off. Gotta try to get some good sleep tonight since I'll be driving over 400 miles each of the next four days. I'll see you in Houston!
Written: 11/25/02 @ 1:02 pm
Today's topic: "What are you doing there, young man?"
This was a real event that happened to me last Friday. I wonder if it's happened to any other road scholars out there.
Anyways, I was in southwest Oklahoma taking some terminus pictures for my state highway terminus gallery and guides. I stopped at a Total gas station in Sterling, a town of 762 people. It was at the corner of OK 17 and OK 65, which just happened to be OK 65's northern terminus. I got out of my car and since it was a nice day with temperatures in the 70s, I decided to walk around the intersection so I could get good close-up pictures of all the signs associated with the terminus. After taking my last picture of the END OK 65 sign, I started proceeding to my car, when all of a sudden someone pulls up right besides me and asks me "What are you doing there, young man?" Startled, I turned to see who was asking me the question, and lo and behold, it was a Sterling police officer! Probably one of maybe two or three in this small town, but anyways, I responded simply "Taking pictures of road signs!" He kinda gave me a funny look and asked me why I was doing so. I proceeded to explain to him that I have a roads website about roads in Oklahoma and that this just happened to be the northern end of an Oklahoma state highway. He then said "OK", he made a couple positive comments about my camera, I told him "Have a good day" and he proceeded on to patrol the streets of a town that has only about 150 more people than my high school graduating class of 2001!
Anyone else out there ever been asked by a police officer what in the world they're doing while taking pictures of road signs? Feel free to send your stories to me here.
Written: 11/21/02 @ 11:07 pm
Tonight's topic: S.W. 89th St. & S. Western Ave. construction, Oklahoma City
Tonight I was flipping channels about 10:15 and came across the 10 o'clock news on KOCO (channel 5; OKC's ABC affiliate). Tyler Suiters (reporter) was reporting about the most dangerous intersections in Oklahoma City. And guess what the second most dangerous surface street intersection in Oklahoma City is? S.W. 89th and Western, an intersection I have to travel through every day because it can be dangerous to go any other way! (BTW-Western runs north-south, 89th runs east-west.) My reaction when I heard that information was simply, "If they finished the %&*# construction there it probably wouldn't be so dangerous!!"
Anyways, this intersection is the site of several businesses and strip malls and restaurants. The only left turn lanes were at the actual intersection. Well, about a year ago, they (the Oklahoma City street department) started widening Western between approximately S.W. 81st (about 1/2 mile south of I-240) and S.W. 97th to include a much-needed middle turn lane. Of course, I just happen to live off of a street just south of where the middle turn lane ends, and we need it too because there's quite a few wrecks there as well! Widening is underway on S.W. 89th for a couple blocks surrounding Western as well. Right turn lanes are also being put in at 89th & Western. As I stated earlier, this started about a year ago.
So where does the project stand now? Well, the curbs and sidewalks are completed north of 89th, but south of 89th the southbound lanes are still being worked on to even get the right-of-way and then the concrete will get poured. North of 89th the widening is only in the southbound lanes, but south of 89th it is a equally widened in both directions. And this has been under construction for a year. A YEAR! The weather hasn't been that bad in the last year! It seems that every time I embark on a major roadtrip, I say to myself, "Well, another roadtrip five months later and they're still working on this stupid street!" Business has been affected here. One restaurant has closed down, and business at the surrounding shops and the drug store on the southwest corner has been affected as well. But if there is anything good about this, it's that the 7-11 at 94th and Western has the cheapest gas around! And you can save $5 at the Jiffy Lube just up the street because of the construction! But you can't get into some places closer to the corner without turning earlier or turning around. And now apparently they'll be closing Western completely between S.W. 66th and S.W. 70th (about 1/2 mile north of I-240) tomorrow at 9 am. Hopefully it won't be for long because some people like me have to use Western quite often!
Another disadvantage of the construction is that the stoplights have a set time to be green. That means that I'm traveling north or south on Western at 7 in the morning, there's nobody in sight waiting to turn from 94th, and the *$*! light changes to red! On 89th, the left-turn light stays green for a set period of time even if there's nobody in sight! Traffic on southbound Western backs up all the way to 83rd or 84th around 5-6 pm on weekdays to wait for the 89th stoplight! And also, there is little to no warning of lane closures, so when you try to get around people waiting to turn since we STILL have no center turn lane, you might have to get back over because of a lane closure that creeps up on you out of nowhere!
In summary, if you are visiting Oklahoma City, please if at all possible AVOID 89th & Western. Heck, avoid Western period! Until I say otherwise, use Penn or Walker to go north-south and use 74th (I-240 service road) or 104th to go east-west.
Now for some pictures of the construction area to show y'all just what I am talking about. All pics were taken 11/22/02.
|A view of the
blocked off access to businesses closer to the
89th & Western. The building on the corner was a bank, but they just moved
down the street. As soon as they moved, this part was torn up almost
|A look at the
southbound lanes at about the 9100 block of S. Western.
part on the left was partially incomplete, while the part on the right was
complete except for the actual surfacing. Later this day, I discovered that
this part was worked on, so the road now has a curb almost all the way to
94th. Progress is being made finally!
|An actual lane ends
orange construction sign is shown here! Almost all of
the lane closures have taken place during the daytime, which creates
backed up traffic during the rush hours, especially on southbound Western
at 89th. This picture was taken on northbound Western just north of the
stoplight at S.W. 94th.
|A look at the
then-unfinished part of the southbound widening. This
also was mostly completed later this day.
|A look at the
construction from the stoplight at 94th & Western.
That is a
gas price of $1.08/gallon at that 7-11 for regular unleaded. I was stopped
here for a few seconds even though there were no cars on 94th at this time.
Pre-construction, the light changed only if there were vehicles present on
94th, but now, it changes at will, and it really sucks when you're trying to get
somewhere and don't want to wait for no good reason! The left turn lane
here was really needed, though, as this is an intersection where accidents
happen regularly. An elementary school is located just south of this light
(behind me in the photo) and that created traffic problems around 3:30 pm.
|And finally, a look
at what will be a right turn lane from northbound Western
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This page last updated August 18, 2004 07:25 PM