ROAD RANT ARCHIVES
This is the place to look back at some past road rant articles I have written. This page contains entries 57 through 109, which includes all those written in 2004.
Tonight's topic: Year in review
Welcome to the final road rant entry of the year 2004. That means it is time for the year in review. When it came to roadtrips, there weren't as many major ones this year as there were in 2003. However, I did make several trips around Oklahoma, especially in the month of May, and I made three major roadtrips: the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip in March, and the two roadtrips I did during the summer.
For this year in review, I will go month by month and review the year's events:
January: On January 1, I launched OKHighways.com, the home of all the Oklahoma highway guides. The site wasn't completed until January 31, and even then, it wasn't fully complete, because I still had most of the state left to cover for the website.
February: I discovered the new alignment of OK 152 near Mustang. At this point, the highway was still signed on S.W. 29th St. and Newcastle Rd. to Wheatland, then went north on Council Rd. to join the new alignment.
March: I took the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip from March 12-20. It was 2,979 miles long, and except for the first two days of the trip, the weather was great. Actually, during my time in Arizona, the high temperatures were in the 90s, which were record temperatures! I saw four baseball spring training games and an NHL hockey game. Who knew that a few months later, the NHL would be locked out and a whole season would be basically wiped out?
April: OK 152 becomes signed along S.W. 44th St. and Airport Rd. The "END" sign that was at the old eastern terminus was not moved to its new terminus two miles to the south. I still think it should have been, since there are no OK 152 assurance shields between Meridian Ave. and Interstate 44 to this day.
May: Roadtrips around Oklahoma dominated this month. I drove over 700 miles in one day four times this month after I had never driven more than 610 in one day prior to this month. But I finished northwest Oklahoma, southwest Oklahoma, and most of southeast Oklahoma during this month's seven trips. This was also the month I left Wendy's. The biggest road-related news was that the Interstate 35 widening was completed just before Memorial Day weekend.
June: The month began with a new job, as I started working at Holiday Inn Express on the 1st of this month. This spelled the end of the long roadtrips I had planned for the summer, but I was still able to get out some. More on that later. I took one 890-mile long, 1-day trip to finish southeast Oklahoma, which I thought finished all of the signed state highway termini in the state. As I would find out later, I wasn't done after all! Also, a sign replacement project on Interstate 35 between OK 7 and S. 19th St. in Moore began during this month.
July: On the 12th of this month, I turned 21 years old. Two days after that, I embarked on a 3-day journey that took me to Dallas, Fort Worth, Texarkana, Little Rock, Memphis, and St. Louis. During this trip, I clinched the state of Arkansas' interstate mileage, at least, for the time being.
August: The month started with 10 straight nights of work (2 were in July), with the final nine being overnight shifts. Thankfully, after that, I was able to take a few days off and take another roadtrip. This time, I went north on Interstate 35 as far north as it goes, which allowed me to clinch that interstate. This was my biggest roadgeek achievement this year. I ended up traveling through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. For four of those (MN, WI, ND, SD), it was my first time to drive in those states.
September: Interstate 240 between Interstate 35 and Interstate 44 becomes the Keith Leftwich Memorial Loop. I won't go into that again, since if you're a regular reader of this page, you know my feeling about this being called a "loop."
October: Resurfacing project on the Leftwich Loop begins.
November: Resurfacing project on the Leftwich Loop completed, sign replacement begins. Discovered two signed state highways that I didn't know existed, OK 18A and OK 82A, and photographed their termini. Now I'm pretty sure I'm finished with Oklahoma state highway termini!
December: Sign replacement on the Leftwich Loop completed. Found out that new signs will be erected soon on Interstate 240 near its eastern terminus as well. Maybe they'll put in a new "END" sign for Interstate 240.
Well, that's the year in review in Oklahoma roads. Some things changed, like I got a new job, and I became a legal adult. But some things didn't change, and if you're a regular reader of this page, you can figure that out for yourself.
Ba-deep, ba-deep, ba-deep, that's all folks! See y'all next year, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: More new signs for Interstate 240
Good evening. After church tonight, I went out to eat. Since I was driving, and I was in the area, I drove by the place that makes the interstate BGS's. I didn't expect to see anything new, since I just drove by there a couple of days ago, but I saw another truck full of new signs out. It looks like the sign replacement project on Interstate 240 is going to be along its entire length! The remaining new signs between Interstate 44 and Interstate 35 were installed last week. Now if they'll just replace signs on Interstate 44 between the H.E. Bailey Turnpike and Interstate 240. A couple of signs along that particular stretch were replaced last week: on Interstate 44 West approaching and at the S.W. 74th St. exit. An overhead sign now warns motorists of the right lane exit only that is present at that particular interchange, whereas before, only a small sign that said "Right Lane Exit Only" was present.
I am now done with the fall semester! Just two more semesters to go, hopefully! The grades I know so far aren't too bad. I know I didn't fail any classes!
Well, this week should be a relatively boring week. Work looks like it's going to be extremely slow, and with no school, I should be able to make up some sleep, which is a very good thing, considering I overslept my nap this afternoon and was late to church tonight!
That's all I have to say for tonight. I hope everybody has a good holiday weekend and please, drive safely this week.
Tonight's topic: Summer 2005 Roadtrip announcement
Good evening, and welcome to yet another road rant entry. I've got finals to study for, so I'm going to attempt to keep this short. I took pictures of the new signs on Interstate 240 on Friday, and they are uploaded to the site. They're not on the Interstate 240 page yet, but I've got a few other things to do this week before I do that.
After some thinking and planning, I have come up with a plan for the summer 2005 roadtrip. I should finally get a week of vacation around June or so, so I am planning early for a roadtrip. Barring any unusual circumstances that would take me somewhere else to take care of more important business during that week, I am planning a trip across the eastern half of the country. It would take me through 15 states, which includes a state I've never been to before. I'll try to sum up the trip as quick as possible, or AQAP as I like to put it. So here goes:
The plan is to take Interstate 40 as far east as it goes (in other words, to Wilmington, North Carolina). This would allow me to clinch Interstate 40, which would make it the longest interstate I've clinched. Then I would go south on U.S. 17 from Wilmington to Charleston, South Carolina, where I would take Interstate 26 northwest to its end in Johnson City, Tennessee. I would stay on that freeway and clinch Interstate 181. Then I would head east on U.S. 58 to connect to Interstate 81. I would take Interstate 81 North (actually east) to Interstate 77, and take that north to Charleston, West Virginia. (Two Charleston's in one trip!) Then I would get on Interstate 79 and take that to its northern end in Erie, Pennsylvania (clinching that interstate), with a sidetrip to the Pittsburgh area. From there, I would head east to Interstate 86, and clinch that interstate. It would be there that I would enter the only new state for me on the trip, New York. I would then go north on Interstate 390 to Rochester, then hit the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) west through Buffalo (with a sidetrip there too) to Cleveland. There, I would go on Interstate 71 South to Louisville (which will, again, clinch that interstate). After that, I would go south on Interstate 65 to Mobile, Alabama. Then I would go west on Interstate 10, then north on Interstate 59, then west on Interstate 20, then north on Interstate 35 to home. All in all, it looks like about 5,000 miles of driving fun. I am already getting excited about it, because it would take me through a lot of new cities, including Asheville, Raleigh/Durham, Wilmington, Charleston (SC; already been to WV once before), Pittsburgh, Rochester, Buffalo, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Montgomery. Have I confused y'all yet? Good. Well, there will be a page made for this trip someday. And after all this, it may not even happen, because some things could happen between now and then.
Well, it's back to the present, and I need to study for my Finance final tomorrow. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Almost there
Good evening. I just have this week of classes left, then I have finals week next week, then I'll be done for this semester. I just hope I pass all my classes!
On to a road-related topic, the signs on Interstate 240 eastbound between Interstate 44 and Interstate 35 were replaced last week. This means that the days of Exit A3 are over. Pictures will be taken of the new signs before the end of the year, God willing. There is one new sort of goof, though; the sign at Exit 4A (Interstate 35 South) has no exit tab attached to it as of yet.
I don't have too much else to say tonight so I'll close. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Two state highways that aren't secret after all!
Good evening. I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving holiday. As for me and my house, I worked on Thursday. Well, actually, I basically sat at the desk doing nothing for about 6 1/2 of the 8 hours I was there. But anyway, my fun came the day after, when I woke up early to take a roadtrip! Last week in this place, I discussed the unsigned state highways. Friday, I took a trip to take pictures of them, and found two highways that I've never seen on a map (except for ODOT's official control maps available online) that are signed after all! OK 18A near Sulphur and OK 82A in Langley are signed highways. Both of them are short (less than 1/2 mile each), but are signed. Heck, both of OK 82A's endpoints even have "END" signs at them! Pictures and pages are up at OKHighways.com for your viewing pleasure.
I'm still fighting this stupid cold. I felt better Wednesday and Thursday, and during my trip Friday, I felt pretty good. Then I took a short nap Friday night between the end of the trip and the beginning of my work shift, and suddenly, I was sick again! Now I'm struggling with a stuffy nose and a clogged throat. Just in time for me to go back to school tomorrow, and then on to work! Yippie yi oh ki yay!
This week I will add the pictures from my 617-mile trip Friday to the site. The two highways I already mentioned, along with two unsigned highways, OK 77C and OK 135, already have pages made. I will add pictures to the pages for the other highways I drove on this week, God willing.
Well, that's about all I have to say for now. Can you believe 2005 is only a month away? And, yet, with all the changes in my life this year, a few things haven't changed. Well, I'll see y'all later, and please drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Secret state highways
Good evening. This past week, Martin over at Roadklahoma discovered an unsigned state highway, OK 135, in Owasso. This made me ask myself a question: are there any other unsigned state highways? Well, I looked through the ODOT website through the county maps on there where Martin found out about OK 135, and I've discovered a couple more; OK 18A and OK 77C. I will look through all of the county maps this week and determine where other unsigned state highways exist, and then, if this weather ever clears up, I will take a mini-trip to photograph the termini. This is great news for me, because I'm sick of only driving to work, school, and church. My driving life is so pathetic right now. I haven't been out of state since mid-August! I'm going through roadtrip withdrawal! Guess that's what happens when you have a full-time job.
Besides that, not too much else is going on. I've got a bit of a sore throat (stupid weather). I tell ya, the weather here the past couple weeks has sucked! It's been cloudy and rainy every day! It's kinda making me depressed.
Anyway, it's going to be an easy week at school; tomorrow's the only day I go this week. Just a couple more weeks and this semester will be over. I just need to get started on a term paper for my Oklahoma History class that's due at the end of the semester. In typical Eric Stuve fashion, I've known about it since Day One of the semester, but haven't done a thing to it yet. I don't get motivated to do big projects and papers until the last minute. Don't know why, but it's the way it's been for me in my life.
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Back to overnights
Hello everyone. Well, it was another good day on Bus 1, as we were blessed with 15 riders today. Of course, that does not include the six or seven workers that I also am privileged to work with. It was still a good day, and I thank the Lord for it.
I hope I enjoy sleeping tonight because it will be the last night I sleep until Friday. I have the great privilege of working overnights for the next four nights! Happy happy joy joy. And no 5-day vacation after this one either! Oh well, life goes on. With the Lord's strength, I will make it through. I just hope I pass this test I have on Wednesday in my last class. I hope I'm still halfway awake by then!
I don't really have too much else to say tonight. No more new signs have gone up on Interstate 240 in either direction. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: God still answers prayer
Good evening. It was a great week. It ended up that my big paper's due date got pushed back from last Friday to tomorrow. Of course, I just finished writing it tonight, but I started writing it a few days ago. So I didn't put everything off until the last minute! That was answer to prayer #1. Answer to prayer #2 was that on my church bus, we had 22 riders today. Now, that doesn't sound like much, but for the two years we've been in this route area, it's the most we've ever had, breaking the record set exactly one year ago on this weekend, when we had 21. We filled the bus and let it overflow! OK, so it didn't quite overflow, but it was the fullest I had ever seen it. (Side note: Is "fullest" a word? If not, then I say it is!) Answer to prayer #3 was how the election turned out. I run the risk of alienating myself from most other road scholars, but that's all right with me. Now my prayer is to have a beautiful wife who loves the Lord Jesus Christ, who wants to be my bus co-captain, and who loves guys who take pictures of road signs! :)
Anyhoo, back to things that have actually happened or will happen in the near future. Interstate 240 West now has some new signs between Interstate 44 and Interstate 35. The past few overnights, lanes have been closed to not only stripe the new surface but also to put up those new signs. Pictures will be coming soon, God willing. On the other hand, all of eastbound Interstate 240 still has the old signs. But the days of Exit A3 are numbered, I'm afraid. (See the OKHighways Sign Goofs page for that one)
Fall foliage news: it's starting to look a wee bit more like fall. But today's high was in the 70s. By the end of the week, however, lows may reach the 20s, so wave bye-bye to the green grass and trees, and say hello to yellow grass and not-so-leafy trees for a few months.
While doing some research for my paper, I realized that through my account at college, I can access the archives of the Oklahoman. So as any road scholar would do, I spent some time looking up articles on roads. I think the most amusing one I saw was an article written in the mid-1990s, somewhere around 1994 or 1995. Anyway, someone from ODOT said that by 2005, Interstate 35 between Interstate 40 and Interstate 44 would be widened to six lanes, and that the Interstate 235/U.S. 77 and Interstate 44 interchange would have been reconstructed. Well, it's almost 2005, and neither one of those things have even started! A little bit of wishful thinking on their part! Maybe by 2010, but I seriously doubt it. I feel a political rant coming on: at least Brad Carson's not in the U.S. Congress anymore and won't run for public office ever again after his defeat in the Senate race on Tuesday, which was the ugliest political race I've ever seen. There was also an independent candidate who did basically nothing except have her name on the ballot, and she got 86,000 votes (6%)! Not too bad for someone who did nothing but pay money to have her name on the ballot. That shows just how ugly this race was. <end political rant>
Well, I have my own blog, and I took advantage of it! :) I think now would be a good time to close before I drive off most of the remaining website visitors. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: A long week is ahead
How we doin'? I'm going to keep this as short as possible. I've got a long week ahead, with a couple of big assignments due Friday that I've barely started on. I'm also really tired, and had a long, lonely weekend. So I don't have too much to say tonight.
Striping has begun on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 240. Last night/this morning, the left two lanes were striped. This is on the section between Interstate 44 and Interstate 35 that was recently striped. As I reported last week, it looks like there will soon be new signs on Interstate 240 as well. I also noticed a new sign for Exit 114 (S.W. 74th St.) off of Interstate 44, so the signs on that stretch of highway may get replaced as well. (If so, it's about time, as the signs on Interstate 44 between U.S. 62/U.S. 277 and Interstate 240 are very old. They go back to the time when the freeway was signed as just U.S. 62, which was in the early 1980s, which was before my time.)
Some fall foliage may finally start appearing this week around here. It's been unusually mild here lately, so it doesn't even look like early November out there. A few trees have a little fall foliage, but not as much as they normally do by now. This week, it's supposed to be cool, so the leaves may start falling very soon!
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, drive safely, and please vote on Tuesday!
Tonight's topic: Entry #100
Good evening, and welcome to the 100th road rant entry! I've had a lot of things to rant about over the past couple of years, and I look forward to more rants in the years to come. Even though my roadtrips are very, very limited these days, I still have my life to talk about, and anything else that may happen.
Tonight I drove by the place that makes the Big Green Signs (BGSs) for Oklahoma's interstates. It's just a couple miles south of where I work. Anyway, I noticed some new signs that I didn't see last time. It appears that the BGSs on Interstate 240 will be replaced very soon. This goes along with the resurfacing project that is still in progress. Well, almost all the surfacing is complete with the exception of some on- and off-ramps, and there is still striping to do. But it appears that some of the acceleration and deceleration lanes were lengthened. Of course, they couldn't do it for that dangerous stretch between Western and Interstate 35, but at the May, Penn, and Western interchanges, it looks like there are longer lanes. For once, there is something positive on Interstate 240 going on! New pavement, new signs, and longer acceleration/deceleration lanes.
As I look back at the first entry on November 11, 2002, and compare then to now, a few things have happened. I have driven in 36 states, I have driven on every signed highway of every type in Oklahoma, I have driven all of Interstates 20, 35, 64, and 70, and the site has grown by leaps and bounds. Some things have remained the same, though, like I'm still single (even though that may change soon, Lord willing!), I'm still working on the same church bus, and Interstate 40 in Oklahoma County still has very old signage.
I believe that is all I have for tonight. Thank you to all road rant fans who may actually read this mumbo-jumbo I put up here every week. I'm hoping that a roadtrip to somewhere about 450 miles away will be in the near future, but that's all I'm going to say about that. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Cool weather = Sore throat
Welcome to the 99th road rant entry. Last week was OK. My tests on Wednesday didn't go so great, but at least I'm still passing my classes. There's still half the semester left to go.
My fall break is this Thursday and Friday. I have no plans to go anywhere. Working a full-time job and going to school can kind of make a guy tired. Plus, this cool weather has made my throat sore, and the cough to go along with it. Plus, being up most of the day yesterday after working overnight didn't help either, but I was doing work for the bus ministry, so since it's the Lord's work, I just trust in the Lord.
I have some Accounting homework to do. It's due in 12 hours, and I would like to be sleeping for most of those hours between now and then. I shall close for now. Please join me next week for the 100th road rant entry. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Life is as usual
Good evening, and welcome to the 98th road rant entry. This week, I have two tests, both on Wednesday. Wish me luck; I'm going to need it!
We had a great day today on the church bus. We had the 2nd most kids ever since we moved to out current route area three years ago. Twenty overall. It was a blessing. My goal for today was 20, and the Lord let it happen. Now I'm just praying for 35 by the beginning of next month. I also continue to pray for a co-captain, if you know what I mean. ;)
One of my road pictures is going to be features in a hunting magazine in Virginia soon. It's kind of neat to see my pictures actually having some kind of use in things I never thought possible. And, yes, this did get my seal of approval.
I actually got to be off work last night/this morning, which was nice. It threw my body off, though; I didn't ride the church bus this morning because I started feeling not so good. Well, I'm all better now! After seeing how many we had, I'm definitely feeling better!
Well, that's all I have to say for tonight. Tomorrow will be another Monday, and it looks like the rain we had today is supposed to continue tomorrow. My car hasn't looked this clean on the outside in a long time! See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: I got to take a trip!
Good evening. This has been a long weekend. It's been all right, but not the best I've ever had.
Anyhoo, Thursday I took a trip to the Tahlequah area to look at some historical sites that we've been discussing in my Oklahoma History class. Well, by the time I got out there, I could only spend a few minutes there, because I had to be back by 3 for work. Well, I got home at 3, so I was a bit late to work. Oops! Oh well, got some new road sign pics, and they will be on the pages on OKHighways by the end of the week. And I still have a job.
Well, I don't have too much else to say tonight. My life has been pretty normal, so I'll close. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Life is crazy
How we doin'? It has been a crazy week, but it was pretty good. We had another good day on the church bus today, with the most kids we've had since I became captain in May.
I got to meet a fan of OKHighways.com last night while at work. It kinda surprised me; the site actually has a fan! But the man was nice; he even gave me a little booklet about Oklahoma highway history. It looks like it's from the 1960s. I haven't got the chance to read it yet, but hopefully will in the next couple days.
Tomorrow I have an Accounting test. Yippie. I just hope I pass. Since Mondays usually are my worst days of the week, I think passing the test is a respectable goal.
I was able to take a little trip on Tuesday. The signs on OK 92 at Interstate 40 have not been changed to reflect that the northern terminus is now located there instead of at OK 66 two miles to the north. I may take another one this Thursday; it depends on how I feel and how much time I have.
OKRoads.com's home page had its 60,000th hit last night about 11:30. To whoever it was, congratulations. Oh wait, it was me! I just happened to check the site statistics when the home page had 59,999 hits, and decided I would push it over the hump.
Interstate 240 between Interstate 44 and Interstate 35 is now the Keith Leftwich Memorial Loop, named after the state senator who passed away a couple years ago. I have one problem with the name - I-240 between I-44 and I-35 is not a loop! It's mostly a 4-mile straight line! Now, if the name was applied to I-35 between I-240 and I-44 West, and on I-44 from I-240 to I-35, then it would be a loop. But four miles of relatively straight highway does not make a loop the last time I checked. Oh well, this is Oklahoma. Personally, I would have called it the Keith Leftwich Memorial Highway, because that sounds more accurate.
Anyway, that's my rant for the day. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Short roadtrip Tuesday
Hello, and welcome to the 95th road rant entry. That means in five weeks, it will be #100. I rant too much about too much things, but that's what this page is for.
I plan on taking a short roadtrip Tuesday around the area. I plan on photographing the new signs on Interstate 35 in Norman and the new northern terminus of the northern OK 92. ODOT voted to move the northern end of that highway two miles to the south from OK 66 to Interstate 40, so I will see what pictures I can get on Tuesday, God willing. Plus, it will give me something to do, because my life is getting crazy. I had a test on Friday, I have one tomorrow, and two on Friday. Work is getting crazy as well, and the past week hasn't been the greatest. From the time I woke up last Monday morning, I don't know of too much good that's happened.
Had a notable guest at my hotel last night; too bad he was the football coach for one of my two least favorite colleges. Frank Solich, former head coach at Nebraska, was a guest at the hotel last night. I got to speak to him a little bit early this morning. Story of my life - I just told someone yesterday about how I love to see Nebraska and Texas lose in college football more than anyone else, and the former head coach of one of those teams stays in the hotel I work at. After all the bashing of Texans I do (it's all in fun, though), I'll probably end up marrying a Texan. At least, when the time comes.
I don't have too much else to say tonight. I need to get some sleep because I'm very tired. Have a good week, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Whatever
Good evening. It was another good day on the church bus today. Had a couple less kids than last week, but it was still good.
I don't have too much to say tonight. I finished the pages from my trip to the Midwest last week. Now, I have no idea what I'm going to do next, and when I'm going to do it. So, for a while, the new picture of the week and road rant entry may be the only updates I do.
Something I forgot to cover last week was that last Sunday marked the 2-year anniversary of the launch of OKRoads. 58,600-plus hits later, the site is still going. And we're still ad-free!
A meeting this week at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will determine the fate of OK 3A, also known as the Northwest Expressway between OK 74 and I-44. Personally, I think I may be one of five only non-ODOT employees who refer to the road as OK 3A. If it is decommissioned, I will take a drive up there to take pictures of the route minus the OK 3A signs.
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Today's topic: Crazy days
Good morning. The past couple days have been a little weird around here, but they've been good days. Yesterday was the best day on my church bus route in a long time. Some other prayers have also been answered.
I have today off of school, but I'm not off work. I've got to do something today besides be bored. I will probably do some more webpages later today, and hope to finish all of them tomorrow. I just have pages from Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota left to do. That may sound like a lot, but it's not.
Besides that, there isn't anything else going on in my life, so I will move on to a topic that has been bothering me lately. It is what I call the #1 Oklahoma Driving Theory. This is something that I have observed over the years, and feel the need to rant on it. Since this page is called Road Rant, after all, this is the place to talk about it. So here goes.
The Numero Uno Oklahoma Driving Theory According to Eric Stuve is:
The right lane is the fast lane.
This situation happens every time I am on the road here, whether it is for two miles or for 200. I'm driving along on the interstate, and in the left lane, a car is going about 55. In the middle lane, a car is going about 57. The right lane at this point is clear of cars. Since the speed limit is 60, and the average speed of OKC freeways is about 70, this means one thing: the right lane is the fast lane. If you want to get somewhere here, you've got to learn to pass on the right. It's not the PC thing to do, but with the many bonehead drivers in Oklahoma, our rule here seems to be "Keep Left Except to Pass." I guess Okies like to drive on the wrong side of the road. Now, yes, there are some who actually try to follow the rules (left lane is fast, right lane is for slower vehicles), but this causes a dangerous situation when the right lane is the fast lane for some.
Well, that's all I have for this morning. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: I don't know
Good evening. I really don't have too much to talk about tonight. I am back in school again, and so far I am making straight A's! That is sure to change tomorrow, when I have an assignment due in one class and a quiz in another class. At least I'm enjoying having a 4.0 GPA for the semester while I can.
The weather finally warmed up here last week. And, of course, my allergies have decided to start acting up, so I'm a bit under the weather. Life happens.
I didn't quite get to the Minnesota pages from my trip to the Midwest, but I did get the Iowa and Missouri pages done. I hope to put together the Interstate 35 Minnesota page tomorrow. My goal is to have all pages from that trip done by September 15. I may get them done by the end of this week if I have enough time.
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Back to school
Good evening. I go back to school tomorrow. It will be my first day in the 16th grade. Hopefully it will be the next-to-last August I will be starting school in.
My plans for the site this week are to do pages from my Upper Midwest trip for highways I drove in Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota. I don't think I'll have too much homework to worry about this week. It's only week one of 15. Ugh.
I am kinda glad this summer's over, though, to be honest. It was not the worst summer I've ever had (I hope I'll never have one like I did in 1996, when my father and grandmother died within a week and a half of each other), but it definitely wasn't the best. I was able to finish Oklahoma's highways, though, and I got to take two out-of-state trips. Highlights include finishing Oklahoma and clinching Interstate 35. It was a tough summer for me personally, though, as many of my friends moved away, leaving me to start over again and attempt to make new friends, which is not the easiest thing for me to do. But enough of the pity party; it wasn't like '96.
Well, that's all I have for tonight. I've got to try to get some sleep tonight, because right after school tomorrow, I've got to go to work for eight hours! So see y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: What am I doing here?
Good Wednesday evening. I am at work instead of at church. Due to a situation beyond my control, I had to work tonight. But I bring good tidings of great joy tonight. OKRoads2.com will cease to exist August 31. (That is OKRoads2, the site I use mainly for picture storage, not the main OKRoads site. I hear a huge sigh of relief.) Why? Because my web hosting provider has expanded space a whole lot for no more money than what I'm paying now! I went from 450 MB of disk space on OKRoads to 10 GB! So I have more than enough room to move everything over here, which I did earlier today. This will save me about $27/month, and give me more than enough room to move all the Oklahoma stuff back here! Of course, I just launched OKHighways.com in January for that purpose, so I probably will not change that. But I could if I need the money freed up in the future.
I said all that to say this: if there are any pages or pics that don't come up, chances are they are on OKRoads2 and I will be deleting everything from there later tonight. I will leave an error page up until August 31, informing those to take the "2" out of the "okroads2.com" part of the URL to get to the page.
Besides that, it hasn't been too exciting of a week thus far. So see y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Last week's trip
Good evening. I drove 2,652 miles in five days on my trip to the upper Midwest. The most miles in one day was on Monday, when I drove 725 miles from Wichita, Kansas, to North Branch, Minnesota. Tuesday, I drove 695 miles from North Branch to Duluth, then south through western Wiconsin, then west through Minnesota to Fargo, North Dakota. Wednesday, I drove 684 miles from Fargo to Overland Park, Kansas. I was in seven states during the day Wednesday. I started in Fargo, went over the state line to Minnesota for breakfast, then went back into North Dakota, then went through South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. I also made a quick trip into Nebraska to get a new state map, for a total of seven states on that day. I made stops in six of them, with Iowa being the only exception, and since I made a couple of stops there Monday, I stopped in all nine states I went through on this trip. Four of them were new states for me to drive in, which leaves me with just 14 more states to drive in! (The New England States, the Northwest, Alaska, & Hawaii)
The main highlight of the trip came Tuesday morning, though, as I clinched Interstate 35. That was the main goal of this trip, and with the Lord's safety, I was able to do so. I also clinched Interstate 129, Interstate 229 (SD), Interstate 235 (KS) Interstate 480 (IA/NE), Interstate 494, Interstate 535, and Interstate 694. With the clinching of Interstate 235 in Kansas, I have now driven every mile of interstate in the Sunflower State. The nearest stretch of interstate I have not driven to my house is Interstate 410 in northwest San Antonio. The nearest state that I have never been to is now Wyoming.
I enjoyed this trip, even though it was cold and cloudy for most of it. The low Wednesday morning in Fargo was in the 40s! My hotel there, though, was neat. It was the Radisson in downtown Fargo, and it's the 2nd tallest building in the state! My room was on the 10th floor, so I got a good view of the downtown area. Only reason why I stayed there was because they actually had a room - the other decent ones there did not for some reason.
I didn't see any cars spin out on this trip, thankfully. It didn't rain too much, mostly sprinkles, which were just enough to mess up a few pictures. It happens.
Pages from this trip will be up as soon as I figure out how to do them. I am thinking about doing a major site redesign, so I need to see how that works before I move further. No use to do these pages when I'd just redo them.
I have one more week of freedom before I start my 4th year of college. I have a light schedule this semester, as I'm only going three days a week. Should save me some gas, considering it's a 30-mile drive each way from here to the college I attend.
That's about all I have from tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Let the trip begin!
Hello from Wichita, Kansas. The first day of the second major roadtrip this summer is over, and I have made it this far. Tomorrow will see some progress, Lord willing, as I plan on getting to at least St. Paul, Minnesota, if not farther. So far the weather has been pretty good. Tomorrow could be an interesting day, but the other days look OK so far. I plan to start out the day by clinching Interstate 235, which in turn will clinch the state of Kansas' interstate mileage. From there, I will take K-96 East to Interstate 35, then take that to wherever I end up.
I have had one hour of sleep in the last 24 hours, and that was this afternoon here in Wichita. I had enough time to take a nap between the time I got here and the time I needed to get ready to go to a church here.
Saw yet another car spin out this past week. This time, it was actually a 2-car wreck, and it was on Interstate 40 near Portland Wednesday morning when it was raining. Again, the Lord provided safety through it all, but it was yet another scary moment! That's now three spinouts I've seen on an interstate in three weeks after never seeing one in all the driving I had done before then!
That's about all I have for tonight. I will have a full trip report in the next entry. See y'all later, and drive safely.
This morning's topic: The late shift streak
Good morning. This is the 3rd of nine consecutive graveyard shifts for me. At least there isn't too much to do at this time of night/morning. I'm just looking ahead to next week, though, when at this time, Lord willing, I will be in Wichita, Kansas. The second and final major roadtrip of this summer is set to take place next Sunday through Thursday. The plan is to clinch Interstate 35 and most of Interstate 29. I gave more details in last week's entry, so look there to see what the plan is.
Until then, though, it's nothing but overnight shifts for me. Yippie yi o ki yay! Zippity doo dah! Whoop de doo! As long as I get paid for it, it's all right with me.
I hope to finish the pages from my trip in mid-July this week. Last week I was able to do most of the pages from the trip. All I have left are some pages from Texas and I will be done for now.
I don't have too much else to say this morning so I will close for now. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Another roadtrip?
Hello once again. Last week was very very busy for me. I taught at my church's Vacation Bible School in the morning, and went to work for the rest of the day. So I didn't have too much time to chill. It looks like I won't have too much time next week either, as I will be working someone else's shift at work while they are on vacation. Wednesday night will be my last night off until Sunday, August 8. I may be able to take off a couple of days that week, though, so you know what that means...
Roadtrip! This time, I plan on going up Interstate 35 as far north as it goes, then go south on Interstate 535 and U.S. 53 to Interstate 94, take that west to Interstate 29, then take that and Interstate 35 south to home. In summary, I plan on going through Oklahoma (of course), Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. For those last four states, it will be my first time to drive in those states. And for Minnesota and Wisconsin, it will be my first time in those states period. I call this trip Dairies & Lakes cut in half. Basically, I would clinch Interstate 35, most of Interstate 29, and some of Interstate 94. I may also visit a friend in Omaha and go to the Mall of America in Minneapolis. More details to come, but it is looking like a really fun 5-day trip is shaping up!
Besides that, I don't have too much else to say tonight. I'm tired and need some sleep. So tune in next week for more road rants. Same time, same place, same crazy single dude typing out the rant. Until next time, that's all folks!
Tonight's topic: Review of last week's trip
Good evening. Welcome to yet another road rant entry. I was able to take a roadtrip Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I drove 2,133 miles in those three days. Wednesday, I drove 774 miles from Oklahoma City to Dallas to Fort Worth to Dallas to Bryant, Arkansas. Thursday, I drove from Bryant to Little Rock to Pine Bluff, and then back to Little Rock. Then I went up the U.S. 67 freeway, then went east to the future Interstate 555, then took that and Interstate 55 south to Memphis, where I drove Interstate 240. After that, I headed back north on Interstate 55 to Arnold, Missouri, where I ended the day after 815 miles of driving.
Friday, I had one goal: to be back home by 3 so I could get to work at that time. I left Arnold at about 6 am, and at 2:15 that afternoon, I got home after driving 540 miles of driving that day. I almost got involved in a wreck on Interstate 44 in Missouri. It rained for most of my time in Missouri, and I was going west on I-44. I saw some headlights in the median, and thought it was a work truck. About as soon as I thought of that, I realized that it was a car spinning out! To tell you how close it got, something (probably mud) hit my car as I passed the spinning out car! Thank the Lord that the median at that point was wide, and was a valley, so the car didn't make it fully across. A mile later, the median was narrow and flat, so if it had happened there, I probably wouldn't be here right now.
I also saw the aftermath of a bad accident in Memphis on Thursday on Interstate 55. Van rammed into the back of a semi, killing the van driver on impact. Traffic backed up for a few miles as the cleanup took place. There was also some kind of wreck on Interstate 240 just a few miles east of there, but its backup wasn't as bad.
This week will be a very busy week. I will be teaching at my church's Vacation Bible School this week, along with working at least 40 hours. I may have to work for someone Wednesday, so I could have some overtime. I plan on using my little bit of extra time this week to create pages from my roadtrip last week.
Well, that's really about all I for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: A roadtrip? Yes!
Welcome to my final entry as a 20-year-old. Tomorrow, I will finally turn 21. Which means I can stay in any hotel! So I will be celebrating it by taking a roadtrip. Since I finished Oklahoma, it's time for me to go elsewhere to discover new roads. So I hope to be able to take an extra day off work this week and go on a big trip Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The plan is to drive down to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, then over to Little Rock, then over to Memphis, then up to maybe St. Louis, and then back. My goal is to drive as many interstates as possible and to clinch as many as possible. It will be a bit like a terminus trip, except I will be going through potentially as many as seven states! Next week, I'll report on the trip and have the pictures up.
I finished all the pages on OKHighways on Thursday, and immediately after that, I began work on the new Bayous & Blues Roadtrip pages. I thought it would take me a few days, but I finished all of the new pages yesterday. Most of the pictures have been renamed, and all of the pages are in this page style, with the links on the left side. I didn't change too many of the picture descriptions, but I formatted the tables to where everything is aligned in the center, like all of my other pages. I also gave each highway in each state a different page. This means that the old Interstate 55 page for the Bayous & Blues Roadtrip has been split up into four different pages, one for each state I drove that highway in on that trip. The pages should be faster to load, so that is good for all you dial-up users out there, myself included.
I don't have too much else to report tonight so I shall close. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Future roadtrips?
Good evening. I am very glad that these last three days are over. They have all been rolled into one big day. Since Friday morning, I have had 8 hours of sleep, if even that. My mother's surgery went very well, and my friend's wedding was good. Of course, he's now moving away, but it's the story of my summer. Several friends of mine from church have moved away in recent months. It's kinda getting lonely around here. Sometimes life has those moments.
Anyway, I am thinking about doing two, possibly three, 2-day roadtrips in the next few weeks. They would take place on a Wednesday and Thursday, that way, I wouldn't have to miss work, as long as I get back on Thursday in time for work. Possible trip ideas include Dallas, Wichita, Little Rock, and Lubbock. I just want to get some kind of trip in this summer, besides those that I did around Oklahoma.
I hope to finish the remaining pages on OKHighways this week. Tomorrow, I plan on adding pictures to those highways I drove during the final roadtrip on June 23 that I already have pages for. Once that wraps up, I will be creating new pages for the nine remaining highways that I don't have pages for yet. After that, updates will be limited to a new picture of the week each week, and maybe a few extra touches here and there.
I am almost a week away from turning 21! My birthday is next Monday. I will probably be working. It will keep me out of trouble. Even if I wasn't working, I wouldn't be doing those things most people do when they turn 21.
I found out tonight that I'll be teaching 4th grade at this year's Vacation Bible School at my church. I moved up a few years from last year, when I taught 1st grade. This will also be my first VBS as a bus captain. Hopefully we will have a good turnout.
That's about all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and have a safe holiday weekend.
This morning's topic: Getting used to the late shift
Good morning. I am still getting used to the overnight shift. I am normally sleeping by this time, but I was so tired yesterday afternoon that I missed church last night because I was still sleeping. I didn't wake up until 11 pm. But I go to work at 3 this afternoon, so I'm probably going to try to get some more sleep in a few hours. Until then, I get to find out what is on TV between 2 and 6 in the morning. Well, from my experience, not much!
Anyway, I accomplished a great feat last Wednesday - I finished Oklahoma! I have now driven every highway in Oklahoma, whether it be an interstate, U.S., or state highway. The last highway I drove was OK 83 near Poteau. I got its western terminus at 6:10 Wednesday night, so I now have every state highway terminus in the state. My focus is now on finishing up the pages that are left. After that, my focus will shift to covering any construction projects going on in the state. With the reconstruction of the I-35/I-240 and the I-44/I-235 interchanges coming soon, plus the Crosstown relocation of I-40, I should have enough here to keep me busy. Wednesday's trip was 890 miles long, shattering the month-old record of 758 miles I drove on May 21. I have driven over 700 miles in one day six times since the beginning of May. Before May, the most miles I ever drove in one day was only 610. On Wednesday, I left my house at 6 am, and got back home at 10 pm. After taking out breaks and dinner, I drove 15 1/2 hours on Wednesday! But it was worth it to finish Oklahoma.
The new job continues to go well. Today is a pay day, my first real pay day since I started, so I am very much looking forward to it.
This week is going to be busy, especially Friday and Saturday. Friday morning, my mother goes in for mouth surgery. Then Friday night, I have to go to a wedding rehearsal. No, I'm not getting married (still a long way from that at my present rate!) but a good friend of mine is, and I'm part of his wedding. The big event is Saturday, and of course, I have to work the late shift Friday night/Saturday morning and Saturday night/Sunday morning, so I'm going to be bushed. I predict that I'll miss church again next Sunday night because I won't wake up on time! I hope that isn't the case, but it could be.
Someone on Friday viewed the OKRoads home page for the 50,000th time. Congratulations, you win absolutely nothing! Well, I can't tell who visited when, all I know is it wasn't me because I was asleep at the time it happened. OKHighways has had over 7,000 hits since its launch January 1.
Well, I'm going to relax now and maybe get some more sleep. The way the end of this week is going to be, I'm going to need all the sleep I can get now while I still have time. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Why does June have to be a bad month?
Good evening. Today did not start out very well. Somehow my cat, Pepper (also known as Jim) died in the middle of the night last night. So that was what I woke up to today. Enough said. Once again, the month of June brings the loss of someone (or something) in my family. It was eight years ago that two close relatives died within 11 days of each other. As much as I don't like to admit it sometimes, death is a part of life.
Anyway, on to some better news - I should finish Oklahoma on Wednesday! That day, since it's about the only day I can do a trip of any magnitude these days, I plan on leaving here bright and early (before the sun comes up!) and driving down to the southeast corner of Oklahoma. I have nine highways left to drive and 22 state highway termini left to get. The final terminus should be OK 83's western terminus at U.S. 59 near Poteau. At least, that is the plan. I hope to get back home in time for church that night.
I've got another two overnighters this week, which should mean I can get a lot of webpages done that night, unless I decide to use the extra time at work to sleep. It's not like there is much else to do in a hotel at 3 am.
Once I finish Oklahoma on Wednesday, my focus will then shift to finishing the remaining pages (which I am already doing), and then after that, it will shift to covering any construction projects throughout the state that I can see in one day's time. At least, I'd be doing that until school starts. Once school starts, I really won't have much free time! Let's see, I'll be working 40 hours a week, taking 12 hours of school, and will continue to serve as a church bus captain. Welcome to the real world, Eric!
Well, I don't have too much else to say tonight so I will close. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: The late shift
Good evening. For the first time since Wednesday, I am at home at this time of night. The past two nights, I have been on my way to work at this time! I have worked the graveyard shift for the last two nights, but I'm off tonight so I get to relax some, just in time for a 40-hour week this week! Oh well, I don't have any overnighters this week, so that is good.
I finished a lot of pages on OKHighways last week. All of them were completed while I was at work! It's kinda neat to be able to do other work while I'm getting paid. If the phone isn't ringing or if there isn't anyone coming in to the hotel, then what else could I do? Since I'm out of school for the summer, I don't have any classes to study for. I'm not much of a bookworm (I don't read many books), and so I bring the laptop to work and do webpages! And they don't have a problem with it either - as long as I help a customer when they need something, and I treat them nice, everything is good.
I made a great discovery last week - the annual average daily traffic maps for every interstate, U.S., and state highway in Oklahoma! The maps don't have the turnpikes, since they are maintained by a different authority. But I now have traffic counts for every other highway in Oklahoma! So they will be put onto the pages on OKHighways. A couple of interesting figures: OK 325 near Black Mesa has an average of 60 cars a day, the lowest of any state highway. The most traveled stretch of road is Interstate 44 near N.W. 23rd St. in Oklahoma City, with 164,400 cars per day, which is more than any stretch of Interstate 35.
I have tentatively scheduled the final Oklahoma terminus trip for next Wednesday, June 23. This trip would allow me to complete southeast Oklahoma, which in turn will complete Oklahoma. This does not mean that I will have driven every single mile of signed highway in Oklahoma, but it does mean that I will have driven on every signed highway in Oklahoma at least once.
Listen up OKRoads fans - I will probably be doing an update on this site this week! I am currently working on pages from my Turnpikes Trip back on May 21, and I drove all of Interstate 540 in Arkansas during that trip. So I plan to create an Interstate 540 guide here this week. Look for it around mid-week. Chances are that it will probably be done at work!
Well I need to get some sleep before going in at 3 tomorrow afternoon. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Nine more highways to go!
Welcome to the first full week of June 2004. Last week I began my new job. It hasn't gone too bad so far. Had one guy get really upset because the television didn't have WGN. Yet there are 70 other channels he could've watched! Besides that, though, it was a pretty good first week at the new job.
Before I started my new job, however, I took yet another Oklahoma trip on Memorial Day. I drove 750 miles around southeast Oklahoma and picked up 27 more highway termini. This leaves just one more trip and nine more highways to drive before I can say that I have driven on every signed highway in Oklahoma. The highways left are U.S. 259 and OK's 4 (East), 37 (South), 63A, 83, 87, 98, 128, and 259A. I have about 21 state highway termini left. One more trip should take care of that. It will probably be later this month. It's a little tougher to schedule a mini-trip now considering that I work a full-time job and my only days off are church days.
I plan on creating a lot of new pages this week on OKHighways. At my new job I have a lot of down time, so I plan on bringing my laptop with me so I can create webpages. It's kind of neat getting paid more to do less! And I don't have to clean up other people's food messes like I did at Wendy's! At this job, I just let the housekeepers take care of it the next morning!
It's kind of a good thing that I have this job to work at and I'm not in Seattle right now like my original plan for this weekend was. It's wet and cold up there with some snow in the mountains. Instead of that, I get to work, and put up with a thunderstorm that pops up every afternoon! Typical springtime weather in Oklahoma.
Last week was the best week OKRoads has had since April. The month of May saw the lowest amount of page views since October of last year. June has started out well, though, so thanks to you, the OKRoads fan, for visiting the site. (Even though I'm not doing much updating to it right now and there aren't too much more updates planned)
Well that's about all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: A new job
Good evening. Last week was a really good week. I got to see God at work. I have been blessed with a new job, so I won't be unemployed for any long length of time! Last night was my final night at Wendy's, and Lord willing, on Tuesday, I will be starting my new job as a front desk clerk and night auditor at Holiday Inn Express near Will Rogers World Airport here in Oklahoma City. It is a full-time job, and my vacation time is limited to one week a year, so the days of the 2-week roadtrips are officially over. But it was time for me to grow up a bit. As long as I have Sunday and Wednesday off (which I do, all because God worked it out that way), I'll be satisfied.
Somehow I was not scheduled to work on Friday, so I took a mini-trip around south-central Oklahoma. I got an Eric Stuve record 50 state highway termini in one day! That includes OK 77D's three termini (by the way, that highway is still signed, three months after it was decommissioned) and OK 77S's four termini. And I didn't even get all that I had planned to get - I ran out of disks! I brought nine disks with me for pictures, and took 280 pictures, and still had to cut it a bit short! Oh well, I will be finishing that up tomorrow and will also swing down to southeast Oklahoma near Durant, McAlester, and Hugo to get some more highway termini. I would like to get as much termini as I can; I start my new job Tuesday and it will be tough to finish up the state. I still plan to finish Oklahoma by the end of June. I have a lot of new pages to make (I probably have at least 50 new state highway pages to create, and that will go up tomorrow!) so it should keep me busy for most of the summer. I drove 658 miles on Friday, but that's only the 4th most miles I've driven in one day this month! Before this month, it would've been first!
Here's the current top five list of
most miles I've driven in one day:
All of these were for trips that were mostly around Oklahoma!
It appears that I am officially a church bus captain now. The first two weeks have been a little disappointing, but at least there were a couple of kids who rode the bus. I guess I didn't scare all of them off! :)
The Interstate 35 widening is now complete! The construction wrapped up on Thursday. The highway is now six lanes wide from S.E. 59th St. to Interstate 240, and eight lanes wide from Interstate 240 to S.E. 89th St. There is one problem spot - the off-ramp to S.E. 66th from Interstate 35 North begins immediately after the ramp from Interstate 240 merges on. I can already see a lot of accidents or near-misses happening there. If you are going north on Interstate 35 and want to get off at S.E. 66th, I recommend taking the I-240 exit, and just keep going straight. That way, you don't have to cut across a lane of traffic merging from I-240. There are also a couple of sign goofs - the advance signage on southbound for S.E. 82nd St. at I-240 says S.E. 82th St. Also, the exit sign on southbound for 82nd St. says Exit Only, but the right lane continues 1/2 mile further south to S.E. 89th. I have taken pictures and will put them on OKHighways when I have the time.
That's about all I have from tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Changes in life
Good evening. Sometimes change can be a good thing. Recall that last week I announced my future plans which did not include roadtrips. This was a change for me. But that's not the only other thing that has changed in my life recently. Well, at least one thing hasn't changed: I'm still single. I am in the process of changing jobs. Since I cancelled my big summer trips (okay, I'll use that word), I have decided to get a better job. Also, until I hear otherwise, I am now a church bus captain. Even though the first weekend was rough (and it looks like the second weekend will be too), I know that if I just stick to it and not give up that God will provide.
I will be going to church camp in southeast Oklahoma for the next three days. I am looking forward to it, as I need a spiritual boost. Also, it's in southeast Oklahoma, which I have not seen too much of. I may even snap a few road sign pictures on the way there and back!
Friday I took the turnpikes trip, which actually ended up being three trips in one. I also took pictures of 10 highway termini and also drove all of Interstate 540 in Arkansas. After 757 miles of driving that day (the third time this month I've broken my record for most miles driven in one day), I returned home. You may notice that this week's picture of the week is from Interstate 540 in Arkansas. I figured that since I won't be able to do any really big trips that I'd better do something like that while I can! I now have 33 new state highway pages to create on OKHighways. That does not include several U.S. highway pages I get to create. I should be keeping busy for a while. I just have most of southeast Oklahoma left to do and I will be finished with Oklahoma's state highway termini!
Well, I need to go pack for camp so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: A farewell of sorts
What a difference a week makes. I'm not going to beat around the bush, I'm going to get right to it:
Any future major roadtrips are up in the air at this time. All trips outside of Oklahoma that were planned for the rest of 2004 have been postponed indefinitely. I refuse to say cancelled, but it is a definite possibility.
The past couple of days have taught me a few lessons. I won't go into detail here, but I do not feel like I should be leaving here for more than a couple of days anytime during this summer. I began thinking about canceling the summer roadtrips around the middle of last week, and made the decision to at least postpone the roadtrips (if not outright cancel) yesterday. Some things in life I should be here for and not on the road. I've got two close family members (out of the four who live here in Oklahoma including myself) who have things going on. One had something happen recently and the other has something ahead in the near future. I hope y'all, the OKRoads fans, will understand this. At this point in my life, and with everything going on like it has recently, I am left with no other decision but to stay around here for the whole summer.
However, this does NOT mean that I will never update OKRoads ever again! I still plan on redoing the Bayous & Blues Roadtrip pages and pictures, and I plan to post a new picture of the week and road rant entry each week. There just won't be any new pictures, unless I am able to go out of state for a few days.
That being said, I will be working on OKHighways a lot. I have taken four days of Oklahoma state highway terminus roadtrips in the past two weeks, so I have a lot of pages to create and to add pictures to. That site will continue to be updated as well. I still have southeast Oklahoma left to do, but I should be able to complete that with about two days of driving.
Well, I was going to rant about something, but I forgot, so I think I'll close. This was a tough entry to make, but I know that God will carry me through. Just because the summer roadtrips won't happen this year doesn't mean that all is lost. Again, the sites will remain up and running, and I will continue to do my normal Sunday night (or Wednesday night on OKHighways) updates. There just won't be any other updates after I finish the pages I have left to do. I still do have the roadtrip passion within me; it's just time that I take care of matters here at home. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Two record roadtrip days in the last week!
Good evening, and welcome to the 75th road rant entry. I finally finished the Spring semester on Wednesday, and immediately began the roadtrips. I did a small trip on Wednesday afternoon near Wellston and Guthrie to check on the progress of a couple of construction projects. One of the pictures I took that day is the current picture of the week on OKHighways. That was just the beginning though...
I left my house Thursday morning on a mission - to finish northwest Oklahoma (including the panhandle) in two days. After driving 710 miles on Thursday (a record that didn't last long!) I only got as far west as Liberal, Kansas, where I spent the night at a Super 8. Friday, I broke the previous day's record and drove 740 miles and finished the panhandle at about 3:45 that afternoon, then headed home and finally pulled into my driveway at 9:45 that night. After 1,450 miles of driving in two days I was bushed! I think I'm still recovering! But the weather was absolutely perfect, and I now have plenty of new pages to create on OKHighways.com! I paid $1.79/gallon for gas three times on this trip, and $1.83/gallon the other time. Wednesday was a sad day in Oklahoma because I saw $2/gallon gas here for the first time ever. It was for premium, but still, $2 is $2. At this rate, gas will be $3/gallon by the end of the summer! At least I don't drive a SUV...
One of the new signs on Interstate 35 has a bit of a sign goof, or at least it appears to be. It is the sign for the S.E. 66th St. exit on southbound, and as of Wednesday, the sign assembly had no exit tab, and the sign looked like one that would belong on a non-interstate freeway. A picture can be seen here for your enjoyment. (It will open in a new window)
The mini-trips won't be done for too long, though, as I am planning to take another one on Wednesday or Thursday. The weather looks better for the former than the latter, so it'll probably be Wednesday. I will be finishing southwest Oklahoma and may get a little bit of a start on southeast Oklahoma. I didn't get most of the suffixed routes in southwest Oklahoma during my time in the area in late 2002, so I'll be making up for it now, Lord willing. That just means more pages to do!
I am still seriously considering the 3-week roadtrip in late June/early July. I kinda liked the roadtrip I took last week, when I drove as far as possible in one day then found a hotel to stay the night at. I know I can get into a Super 8 now!
Well, that's about all I have for tonight. I need to work on some webpages now. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: A 3-week roadtrip may become reality
Good evening. I just spent the last couple hours studying for my Management final exam tomorrow and eliminating a virus that decided to infect my laptop tonight. Thank God for Norton Anti-Virus software that caught the virus.
This week marks the end of this semester of classes. I just hope my Business Law final goes halfway decent on Tuesday morning. Then I have an Accounting final Tuesday afternoon, and a Management Information Systems final on Wednesday morning. After that, I will be going on a mini-trip to see the (hopefully) completed construction on OK 66 near Wellston and OK 33 near Interstate 35. Then I will take Thursday and Friday to go up to the Oklahoma panhandle and finish northwest Oklahoma's state highway terminus points. Weather looks really good for the trip - forecasted high in Guymon on Thursday is 95! The record for that day is 91, so I may have to turn on the AC in the car! With gas prices getting higher every day, though, I'll probably just suffer through some heat so I can conserve gas! Gas prices have reached $1.65/gallon here. It is totally ridiculous, but with my little car, the impact is minimal. I figured out that with each 25-cent increase in gas prices, the extra cost is only $25 for a 3,000 mile roadtrip. ($2.50 for each fill-up, approximately 10 fill-ups)
Speaking of roadtrips, I am seriously considering combining the two summer roadtrips. I would leave June 14 (Monday) and go until July 2 or whenever I get back. For this roadtrip, I would not make hotel reservations; rather, I would drive as far as I can and then find a hotel that would hopefully take a 20 & 11/12-year-old. (I turn 21 on July 12) I would do the Dairies & Lakes Roadtrip first, then instead of heading home, I would head west on Interstate 70 from Kansas City and meet up with where the Seattle Trip would be on its first day, and do that trip. I am estimating the trip length to be three weeks. Problem is, though, that if I took the whole time, I would get back the day before a friend of mine is getting married, and I'm supposed to be in his wedding. So, as of right now, it's still up in the air.
Most of the remaining new sign gantries on Interstate 35 in the construction zone were put up today. Pictures will be coming Wednesday, and one of them will probably be the OKHighways Picture of the Week.
Well, that's about all I have for tonight. So I'll see y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Just one more week of classes left!
Good evening. Another Bus Sunday has come and gone and it was a record day, with 1,070 kids riding the buses to my church today. The bus I work on brought in 18 of those. This will probably the last Bus Sunday that I'm not a bus captain, as it appears that I will be moving up to that position in a few weeks.
I was unable to do the SW Oklahoma Roadtrip on Friday due to weather. There were some tornado warnings in some of the counties I would have been in that day. I took one look at the weather map Friday morning and decided to cancel. So I ended up relaxing a bit and spent some time of food and fellowship with the family. It was a nice day off work, which I don't get too many of those anymore!
Last Thursday in my infamous Business Law class, we had a substitute professor, and for the first time all semester, I actually understood the material that was being covered! It's amazing what difference a professor makes. Too bad he wasn't our professor for the whole semester - maybe I would actually be halfway interested in the laws of business!
New signs have been put up along Interstate 35 North at Interstate 240. I plan on taking pictures sometime this week, maybe as soon as tomorrow. In other Oklahoma City road news, OK 152 has been moved from S.W. 29th St. to S.W. 44th St./Airport Rd. The OK 152 page at OKHighways has been updated with the new terminus point. Thanks go out to Mark for e-mailing me Monday about the change. I had a little bit of spare time that day, so as soon as I replied to his e-mail, I snapped some pictures of the highway's new alignment.
I have five days of classes this week and three days of finals next week, then this semester is over! I am ready for it to be over so I can do some roadtrips! I have switched the dates of the two roadtrips this summer, with the Dairies & Lakes Roadtrip now scheduled for June and the Seattle Trip now scheduled for August. The dates are still subject to change, though, because with my seemingly imminent promotion to church bus captain coming, I may have to make some more trip date adjustments.
Well, as a famous cartoon character once said, "That's all folks!" See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: SW Oklahoma Roadtrip this Friday!
Good evening. It has been another pretty good week for me. I had the opportunity once again to be a church bus captain the past couple days, and it didn't go too bad. It was actually the best day that we've ever had when I'm in charge. It wasn't anything I did, though, it was all the Lord.
This Friday, I will be finishing southwest Oklahoma. From August to November 2002, I got all of southwest Oklahoma's non-suffixed routes done, but didn't do most of the suffixed routes. (ie. OK 54A, OK 183A, etc.) So this Friday, God willing, I will be taking that afternoon and early evening to finish it up. Two weeks from this Thursday, I will be finishing northwest Oklahoma during a 2-day trip to the Oklahoma panhandle. Two weeks from then (which would be four weeks from this Friday; confused yet?), I will be driving the Cimarron and Muskogee Turnpikes in both directions, and will also get some better pictures of a couple of highways in northeast Oklahoma. (OK 116 in particular; check out the OKHighways OK 116 page to see the reason why!)
After I close this entry, I will be working on the Interstate 10 Arizona page from the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip of just a month ago. I have already added the pictures taken from my northwest Oklahoma roadtrip on April 9 to several pages on OKHighways.
Well, I made yet another bad grade on my Business Law test on Tuesday. I haven't gone into it here, but my Business Law class is killing me this semester! So far, we've had three tests, and I've failed every one! It's only because of bonus points that I'm even making a D. Hopefully I can somehow pull out a good grade on the final, otherwise, I'm basically out of luck. My other four classes are going well, though, and it is possible that I could have A's in all my classes except for business law! Word of advice: do NOT take Business Law at 9:30 am, and do NOT have Dr. Foster as your professor, unless you want to fail. I feel better now that that's off my chest.
The Interstate 35 widening project is moving right along. The on-ramp from Shields to Interstate 240 East that has been closed throughout the widening project has been reopened. Also, traffic going from I-240 East to I-35 South no longer has to take the I-35 service road, as the normal exit ramp there has been reopened as well. It's a bit dangerous, though, but even with the construction, there's more room to merge onto I-35 South now than there was before! But anything is an improvement over what it was before this widening began! The I-240 East ramp to I-35 North, though, remains closed, even though ODOT's traffic advisory site says it's open. I also noticed an empty sign gantry near the I-35/I-240 interchange; it looks like the size for one that would go on the c/d lane on I-35 North. I'll be sure to keep y'all updated on the progress. I only have two and a half weeks of class left, so my days of driving that ten times a week (twice a day for five days) is almost over.
Now I shall work on some webpages. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Fifty days until the Seattle Trip begins, but could it begin sooner?
Good evening. It was another long week last week, but it was pretty good. I was able to get 18 state highway termini on Friday in northwest Oklahoma. The weather was OK, but it did rain a few times during the day. Only about two of the 107 pictures I took that day were affected, though. The pictures are up on OKHighways.com, and I will begin creating pages for those pictures in the near future.
The roadtrip schedule for the rest of this year may be changing. Something much more important may come up this summer, so I may be taking a 3-week-long roadtrip in late spring. Now, what I would do in this situation is I would combine the Seattle Trip and the Dairies & Lakes Roadtrip into one big roadtrip. So I would be driving from here to Seattle, then from there to Minnesota and Michigan. I don't know how everything's going to happen, but stay tuned. It may still be two separate roadtrips this summer, but it may be one long roadtrip in late May/early June and that's it. My weekends will be taken up with this position, so I will have to say good-bye to the 2-week roadtrips. The only exception to that will be my honeymoon, which will happen in God's timing.
I don't really have too much else to say tonight, so I shall close. See y'all later, and drive safely. And don't forget to file your taxes by Thursday night at midnight!
Tonight's topic: Let the Oklahoma terminus trips resume!
How we doin'? I will probably be recovering from the hour of sleep lost last night for a while. I got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep, which is about half of what I worked last night. It was another long week of work for me, with 35 hours on the clock. Oh well, at least I'm making a little money...
This Friday will mark the beginning of this year's Oklahoma terminus trips, which was formerly known as the monthly roadtrip. But this year, the trips will be twice a month. This Friday, God willing, I will be driving up to northwest Oklahoma to attempt to get 22 state highway termini from OK 50 and U.S. 281, and from Interstate 40 to the Kansas State Line. With the extra hour of daylight and the fact that I'll be a bit further west, I should have a little more than 7 hours worth of daylight. The trip will begin at 1 pm when I leave UCO after going to classes for that day, and will get as many termini as possible (hopefully all 22) until the sun goes down at about 8:15. A 2-day trip in early May will take care of the rest of northwest Oklahoma and the panhandle. (That's why it'll take two days!)
The last week hasn't been too shabby despite all the hours I've put in at work. There's just four weeks of classes left to go, then three days worth of finals, then the 2-day terminus trip on May 6 and 7.
Hopefully I will find some spare time this week to begin working on the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip pages. The only website work I did on this site after I finished the Florida Trip pages Monday was that I updated two pages that hadn't been updated in months: the Site Map and the About Me pages. Now, on the Site Map, I do realize there are some broken links in the Bayous & Blues Roadtrip and the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip sections. That is because the Bayous & Blues Roadtrip pages will be reconfigured to the format on the site map, and the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip pages have not been built yet, as I just stated a few lines ago.
Well, that's really about all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Florida Trip pages almost complete!
Good evening. Last week was definitely back to reality for me, as I worked every night possible. Thirty-two hours later, I am still recovering from going back to work. At least I didn't have any tests at school last week. I do have one tomorrow, though, but there's just five weeks of class left before finals week and summer break!
I should be finished with Florida Trip pages by this time tomorrow. I plan on doing the Interstate 40 Arkansas page tonight, then I'll finish it up with the Interstate 40 Oklahoma, Interstate 240 Oklahoma, and the Miscellaneous Pictures pages tomorrow afternoon. Then I can start building pages from the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip of just a couple weeks ago. Normally I don't get started on a roadtrip's pages until several months after it happened, but in this case, it will just be a couple weeks. After those pages are complete, I will temporarily take down the Bayous & Blues Roadtrip pages, redo them, and then post them back up. The site map should be updated this week. It is still online, though, it just hasn't been updated in a long, long time!
But my attention to OKRoads is about to be shifted to OKHighways. Next Friday (April 9), I will be taking my first Oklahoma state highway terminus roadtrip since last October 31, when I finished northeast Oklahoma and started southeast Oklahoma. Lord willing, I will resume these terminus roadtrips by traveling to northwest Oklahoma. On Friday, April 23, the plan is to finish southwest Oklahoma. I did all of the main state highways in that quadrant of the state in 2002, but did not do the lettered spur routes. So I plan to take care of those on that day. In the month of May, I will be taking a 2-day terminus trip on the two days immediately following finals to take care of the panhandle and the rest of northwest Oklahoma. Then a couple weeks after that, I will be taking a trip along the Cimarron and Muskogee Turnpikes so I can get some pictures of those. Then before I know it, the Seattle Trip will begin on June 1.
Well, the terminus trips are about all I have to look forward to in April. The Southern Gospel Jubilee that my church has each April has been cancelled for this year. So there won't be any Hicks Trio wave this year. Actually there won't be any special night of purely southern gospel until next April 15, when the next jubilee is scheduled for. I guess instead of going to hear some good music for about 3 1/2 hours that Friday night, I'll be going to work and hear and see a bunch of crap. As if I don't see and hear enough already...
The former official car of OKRoads is up and running again! The 1994 Nissan Sentra I had that was damaged in the May 8 tornado of last year now belongs to my brother, under one condition; he lets me crack 100,000 miles on it. It is only about 225 short of that (by now it's probably about 200) so that day should be coming soon. My brother got a couple windows installed in it, with one more still remaining before it has windows all around again. For those who don't know, I was at work when this tornado came through, and the Nissan lost its rear windshield and both driver's side windows. For pictures of the car, see this page.
Well, I have a test tomorrow, and a page to build, so I'll conclude this rant for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Roadtrip awards
Good evening from Oklahoma City! Spring is in the air back at home. When I left Friday morning March 12 for Arizona, the grass was just beginning to turn green, and the trees weren't even beginning to bloom. I returned home yesterday to find green grass almost everywhere and several trees now in bloom, and others beginning the process. So spring is in the air! But it's still cold here compared to what I experienced last week. The highs in Arizona were in the upper 80s/lower 90s all week! The high yesterday in Phoenix was 95! And it's only March! The thing is, it's not supposed to be this warm there right now; the average high is only around 75 for this time of year.
Anyway, it's time to announce the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip awards! I'm going to do this a little different this time. I'm going to grade a few parts of the roadtrip, and give awards based on that. So here goes...
Weather: Except for Day One and Day Two, it was absolutely fantastic! There was barely a cloud in the sky for the final seven days of the trip. Grade: 9 out of 10.
Hotels: I stayed in your typical Motel 6's on this trip. No new ones, so there isn't one best hotel award. I couldn't establish an Internet connection on Day Two in Van Horn, Texas, but that's because it's in the middle of nowhere, and not because of the hotel. The hotel in Van Horn, though, did have the best view from the room. Grade: 7 out of 10.
Traffic: I did get caught in quite a few traffic jams on this trip. On Day One alone, I was in three traffic jams; two due to construction on Interstate 35 in Oklahoma (why they had to have only one lane opened during Spring Break, I don't know), and one due to rush hour in Fort Worth, and only two southbound lanes to handle all the traffic. I also got caught in a traffic jam due to an accident on Loop 101 in Peoria on Wednesday, and had to detour on city streets, and I ended up having to cut out some of that day's planned roadtrip, and was still late to the game for that day because of another traffic jam. But there were times when there weren't many other cars on the road, such as Interstate 10 in west Texas on an early Sunday morning. (Day Three) Grade: 4 out of 10.
Now for some regular trip awards:
Roads: I really liked the city streets in Phoenix. They were 4-6 lanes wide plus a middle turn lane, and many stoplights are timed to a particular speed, so if you go the speed limit, you should hit every light on green. Much better than Oklahoma's stoplights, which change at the worst possible time at the last possible moment!
Games: All the games were great, but the best one was saved for last. The NHL game I saw my final night in Phoenix was exciting, and it had a controversial call at the end of the overtime. It ended in a tie, but still was exciting.
Stadiums: I attended two games at Surprise Stadium, and it was my favorite. It is only about a year old, and the place was absolutely beautiful. The other two ballparks I was at (Tucson Electric Park and Maryvale Baseball Park) aren't too old either. The newest sporting venue I was at was Glendale Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes. The arena was just opened in December 2003, and is a beautiful facility.
Most Scenic Drive: Interstate 17. The drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff was one of the prettiest I have ever been on. The change in the scenery in just 140 miles is drastic. You go from desert sand and cacti to the plateau plain to the Coconino National Forest and Flagstaff, with Humphreys Peak in the distance, with some snow still remaining on top of it.
Least Scenic Drive: Interstate 10 from Van Horn to Tucson was among the most boring drives I have ever been on. It's a whole lot of nothing.
Celebrity Sighting of the Trip: Garth Brooks, playing baseball for the Kansas City Royals, popped out to 2nd base in his only at-bat against the Athletics on Thursday, a game that the A's won 9-2.
Overall, this trip was pretty good. It was at least the second best roadtrip I've ever been on, if not the best. (Only the Delaware Trip from last Spring Break can match this trip) God was good to me throughout this trip in many ways. Now I get to look forward to June 1, when I plan on leaving for Seattle on the Seattle Trip. Until then, it's back to the old grind of work and school. But I feel charged up and ready to go for the final seven weeks of this semester. I just hope I pass Business Law.
Well, folks, that's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: The trip so far
How we doin'? I am reporting live from Tucson, Arizona, where the high today reached 78 degrees. Not too shabby. And it looks like there will be no rain at all for the remaining six days of this trip! There was some rain on the first two days of the trip (mostly Day Two), but otherwise, it has been pretty good weather for the trip.
I have driven 1,220 miles on this trip so far. Tonight on my way back from dinner on the Tucson-Benson Highway near my hotel here in Tucson, my car hit the 60,000 mile mark. And, remember, when I got this car last May, it had 25,295 miles on it. It may get to 100k by the end of the year.
Tomorrow, I will be driving Interstate 19 in both directions and will see what other Tucson-area road scholaring I can do before Game 1 of the roadtrip begins at 1:05. Interstate 19 will be the second of three interstates I will clinch on this trip. I clinched Interstate 20 yesterday, making it the second longest clinched interstate I have, behind only Interstate 70. Now that I'm in Arizona, the trip will settle down for a few days. I might be driving fewer miles in the next four days combined than I did today.
In other news, I did get a good grade on my Management midterm three hours before this trip began, so it was a good way to launch the trip. Also, gas prices are still rising. Here in Arizona, prices range from $1.83-$1.99/gallon for regular unleaded! I paid $1.55/gallon in New Mexico earlier today!
Well, that's about all I have for tonight. I need to get some kind of sleep tonight. See y'all later, drive safely, and I'll announce the roadtrip awards next entry!
Tonight's topic: Just a few hours to go!
Good evening. How we doin'? Last week started out bad, as I was sick for most of the week. But, I'm almost completely recovered, and it was just in time for my church's missions conference. May I say, it was awesome. It has really been a good past couple days. I needed the push to keep pressing on the upward way.
Anyway, this Friday is my Management midterm! And the beginning of the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip! The weather forecast for the first four days of the trip looks good, with a high of 85 in Tucson forecasted for next Monday! It may reach 90 degrees while I'm there! I'd better be sure to bring some sunscreen - I don't want to be known as "Lobster Guy" when I get back to Oklahoma!
Besides the midterm and a quiz tomorrow in the same class, this week looks like it shouldn't be too difficult for me at college, so that is good. It gives me a little time to prepare for the trip.
I may have to cancel one of this year's roadtrips. I can hear a collective gasp now. Well, anyway, I may not have enough cash flow to do both the Mystery Trip and the San Diego Trip, so I'm thinking of eliminating the Mystery Trip. Since I don't know where I'm going, and it's only four days long, it would help me to save money for San Diego, because I would really like to go there in December. But that's still nine months away, so things could change. I should have enough funds available, though, for this summer's trips, without having to amass some credit card debt.
Well, I've got to study for the Management quiz I have tomorrow morning at 11, so I'll close for now. See y'all later, drive safely, and Lord willing, I will be writing next Sunday night from Tucson, Arizona!
Tonight's topic: Happy February 29th!
Happy February 29th to y'all out there. Anything you have done today will be what will have done on February 29 for the next four years. Hopefully you kept that in mind today...
Last week was a week I'd like to forget for the most part. I won't go into detail here, because it is personal. Anyway, I'm hoping that this week will be much better. It isn't starting out too great, though; I've got a good ol' sore throat again. Guess that means I'll be drinking a lot of water and hot chocolate for a few days...
I am estimating that sometime this week, Interstate 35 North will be shifted to their new lanes between S.E. 59th and S.E. 89th. The southbound lanes were moved on February 19. Today, I noticed that there was a barrier up where the right lane will be when the construction is said and done. After this happens, the right lane will be closed at 89th. This will only be temporary, though, as the roadwork shifts to the on- and off-ramps and joining the overpasses with the street that will be on it.
In three hours, it will be 11 days to go until the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip kicks off! So, in hours, that would be, let's see, about 281 hours. In the last week, I have purchased yet another ticket to another sporting event. I will be seeing an NHL hockey game on Thursday night of the trip. I will be seeing the Detroit Red Wings against the Phoenix Coyotes. I am looking forward to it, because it will be my first NHL game, and also, the Red Wings happen to be my favorite team. Of course, I'll be in Phoenix for this game, so I may be the only Red Wings fan there. But this is going to be a sports fan's trip here - I'll be seeing four Spring Training baseball games and one NHL game. I could also see an NBA game if I wanted to, but I've got to draw the line somewhere. I would like to be able to go on the rest of this year's planned roadtrips without racking up a lot of credit card debt, unlike most other college students.
I got several Florida Trip pages done last week, but I've still got a lot to do, and only a few days to do it. By my calculations, I've got to do about 3-4 pages a day to have them all done in time for the Spring Training trip. And the next couple weeks are going to be eventful in my life, so I'm really hoping I can make some time to complete pages.
Well, if I keep on typing this rant, I won't get any pages done, so I'll close. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Update on progress of Florida Trip pages
Good evening. Last week wasn't too bad, I guess. I got a lot of Florida Trip pages done, and am now to the Interstate 49/Interstate 10 interchange that I saw during Day Three of the Florida Trip. The next pages will be the Interstate 10 pages from the trip (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida). All the pictures from these states on I-10 were in cloudy skies, and it was raining for all of them in Mississippi and Alabama, so those pictures aren't very good at all!
Speaking of roadtrips, at midnight, it will be 18 days to go until the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip begins! It's also 18 days until my Management midterm. That's right, I have a midterm on the same day that I'm leaving for Arizona. I can tell you one thing; my mind won't be on the midterm that day! I just hope I make a decent grade on it.
Last week was a record week for OKRoads. The home page had 281 hits on Monday, and 260 hits yesterday. As of right now, it has had 197 hits today. And considering that the page is now 318 hits away from setting a record for the month, and the site had almost 1,300 hits last week, I think the record's going to be broken.
Last week also marked a landmark of sorts for the Interstate 35 widening project. The southbound lanes are now on the new concrete pavement. The right lane is closed from S.E. 59th to S.E. 89th, so now, travelers (including myself) are thrown off because the left lane ended at 59th for several years, and now, it is the right lane that ends and the left two lanes that continue on. This is only temporary, however (thank goodness!), as now the focus of the construction on that side shifts to removing the detour route and finishing the bridges and shoulders. The northbound lanes, however, are still using the detour, so no new lane shifts there, at least, not for right now. When the lanes are shifted to the new mainline, however, there will be another situation where the right lane ends at the same place where the left lane had ended for a few years, and the left lane continues. Looks like it's going to be some fun driving for me up to school for the rest of the semester. As if it wasn't already fun enough...
Well, I don't have much else to say tonight, except see y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: I'm glad this weekend is over!
How we doin'? Let me start out tonight by sarcastically saying that I just love this time of year. Can't you just feel the love in the air? Well, at least most people do. As for me and single people around the world, it was just another weekend.
Anyway, before I get completely off track, last week wasn't too bad. I decided to check out the OK 152 construction on Wednesday (without the camera; this was a spur-of-the-moment decision) and was pleasantly surprised to see that eventually an interchange will be in place at OK 152 and Council Rd. So I went back Friday, camera in tow, and took a bunch of pictures of the new alignment. They can be seen here. Also during Friday's trip, I took some more pictures of some local highway termini that I didn't get the first time I was in the area.
It's kind of odd that I mention an Oklahoma road thing to start out, because about 24 hours ago, I deleted almost everything related to Oklahoma roads from this site. It's all now at OKHighways.com, except for the Interstate 635 pages, which I will get to sometime before the end of the year. But OKHighways.com is part of the OKRoads family, so I will continue to talk about Oklahoma roads here. I'm not going to create a separate Road Rant for Oklahoma roads when I'll be here about 315 days this year.
The Interstate 35 widening project saw a lot of work done to it last week. The concrete median is now in place, and the light poles are in place, so now it looks more like a real freeway! Grading has begun on the new on- and off-ramps, and I expect to see the lines painted on the pavement in the next week or two.
After I close this column tonight, I will finally create the pages for the rest of this year's major roadtrips. Now, all things on the pages are only tentative; they can, and will, probably change a few times before the actual trip occurs. With one trip, it will definitely change, because I don't even know where I'm going!
Well, tomorrow is President's Day, which for me, means absolutely nothing! I have a test tomorrow, plus I've probably got to go to work. Sounds like a normal Monday to me!
I ordered my tickets to the Spring Training games this last week, and have already received one of them. It's too bad that it looks like A-Rod's going to be traded to the Yankees, though, because I really wanted to see A-Rod vs. Sammy Sosa when I go to the Cubs-Rangers game on Day Six of the trip. Life goes on, and actually, I've already seen A-Rod play a couple times, so what am I complaining about?
I finished the South Texas Roadtrip pages on Friday night, so I will be starting the Florida Trip pages sometime this week. My goal is to have all Florida Trip pages finished by the time I leave for Arizona in 26 days. After those pages are done, I have a few other things planned for the site. These include:
And there are probably more little things I want to do to the site. It just depends on time, mostly. The first bullet is the most high-priority, because I want to make that roadtrip's pages just like the other ones, because I know many people still have dial-up (I are one!) and it takes forever to load some of those pages. (Of course, it also takes a while for some of the South Texas Roadtrip pages to load, but that's because Texas has a bunch of Frontage Rd. exits!) Also, I would like to make the B & B Roadtrip pages consistent with the other pages. I'm a big fan of consistency; that was one of the driving forces behind the launching of OKHighways.com.
The other bullets are important too, don't get me wrong. Well, maybe updating the About Me page is kind of a low priority, because not much has changed.
Well, that's all I have for tonight. So, take it easy, see y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: The new logo. Plus, other events of the week
Good evening. Last week was quite a busy week. I had three tests, and no, my classes did not get cancelled anytime during the week. At least I have no tests this week, but I still have plenty of other work to do.
There is one less thing that I don't have to do anymore, though, thanks to one of you who (I guess) actually reads this page. In last week's rant, I mentioned about how I wanted to change the logo on the site to reflect the nationwide perspective this website has now taken. I didn't think that I asked anyone to do it, but a particular someone e-mailed me Tuesday and offered to create the logo for me, just out of the blue! It turned out to be one of my friends from Delaware who I didn't know if I'd ever hear from again. So, thank you very much, Laura, for creating the new OKRoads logo. It is so much better looking than a logo I probably would have created, and it saved me a few bucks too. And, most of all, it's exactly the way that I wanted it to look! It's good sometimes to have friends in particular places who are nice enough to help a friend out. Now I kinda wonder what I'm supposed to do in return - return for Delaware Part Three? Well, there are still no plans for one of those at this time. But I can change my mind real quickly...
Just one more week, and all Oklahoma highway pages (with the exception of those major roadtrips' Oklahoma pages) will be deleted from OKRoads. Almost all of the pages are now in some form at OKHighways. I know this is old news to most of you who read this page, but I'm restating it, because it's going to be a lot of pages that are going to be gone from this site at this time next week, and I'm probably going to get a bunch of e-mail asking where the pages are. I may set up a special e-mail address just for that.
Two more Oklahoma state highways bit the dust last week: OK 77D and the western OK 53A. These join OK 97T as highways that have already been decommissioned in 2004. By the end of the year, I guarantee than OK 40A will be decommissioned. A few other short lettered spur routes will probably bite the dust as well.
Well, that infamous day for single people all around the country is coming Saturday: V-Day. Last year on that day, I took a mini-trip around NE Oklahoma. This year, I will be doing my normal Saturday church bus visitation, then I'll probably sleep for the rest of the day to help me forget what the day means. I am debating about going to a V-Day banquet with my Sunday School class, but I'll see how I feel when the time comes. But, as a church sign says that I pass every day on my way to school and work, "Jesus is the Real Valentine's Day." And to that I say, amen, amen, and AMEN!
I actually did get to work some last week. I worked more last week than the previous two weeks combined! Which is good, because I'll be leaving for Arizona in 33 days! In 90 minutes, it'll be 32 days!
Sometime late yesterday (Saturday), someone was the 30,000th visitor to OKRoads since the site was created September 5, 2002. To whomever it was (and it wasn't me), congratulations. You win...absolutely nothing! But you do get my sincerest thanks for visiting OKRoads. Actually, last week, the home page was viewed over 1,000 times, the most it has been since I went to Florida. And today has had the most page views on the home page of any day this year. I don't know if OKRoads was mentioned in any prominent place, or if all the OKRoads fans decided to visit the site today, but there were an unusually high number of hits this weekend.
My goals for this week on OKRoads are to: 1) Finish the South Texas Roadtrip pages, and 2) Create pages for the other four 2004 roadtrips.
That's all I have for tonight. I have to go do some homework now, as any good college student should. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: OKHighways.com is complete for now!
How we doin'? At about 10:30 last night, I officially finished OKHighways.com, at least for the time being. There are a couple highways that I have pictures for, but don't have either terminus photographed, so until then, the guides for those few highways won't be made. Other than that, all pages are as complete as they will be for a while!
Two weeks from today, I will be deleting a bunch of pages from OKRoads.com. These include all Oklahoma Highway Guides, all Photographic Exit Tours, and Future Interstate 635. All of those pages are now in one form or another at OKHighways, with the exception of the I-635 pages, which are going to be redone and put back up sometime before the year is over. Hopefully it will be before I go to Seattle in June!
Now that OKHighways is done, I can resume work on OKRoads! My first objective is to find a new logo. I found the perfect logo, problem is, I'd have to pay $7.95 for it, and I barely made that much last week! (I had yet another 1-night work week; 3rd one in a row!) With the deletion of the Oklahoma pages, the Oklahoma State Capitol logo has to go. My plan for the logo is to use an outline of the United States, put the American flag inside it, and then put OKRoads.com inside the logo. It's going to be cool. I just have to find one that doesn't cost $7.95!
Since this week will probably be another slow work week, (4th 1-night work week in a row? Maybe!) I should have plenty of time to work on pages on this site! I hope to get most, if not all, of the South Texas Roadtrip pages done this week. Before that, I will be creating pages for this year's roadtrips. Those should be up tomorrow or Tuesday.
I have my first tests of the semester this week. It's supposed to snow here Wednesday, so hopefully it will be enough to cancel classes Thursday, because I have two tests that day!
Congratulations to the New England Patriots for winning the Super Bowl tonight. Even though I didn't really care about the game and spent most of the game at church (amen!), I still congratulate them anyway. Hopefully my Dallas Cowboys will make it into the next Super Bowl. Then I would actually care!
Well, I don't have too much else to say tonight. So I'll see y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: OKHighways.com is almost complete!
Good evening. A snowstorm is blowing in, so it may get fun around here for a day or two. Of course, this is Oklahoma, where if one flake of snow falls, there's a long line at the local Wal-Mart to stock up on supplies like it's Y2K all over again! About 1-3 inches of snow are expected to fall here tomorrow. I don't like driving in snow. But I don't have too much of a choice; I've got classes to go to, and my professors like to count attendance as part of the grade, so unless they somehow cancel classes (I don't think they will, since it won't be that much snow), I will probably have to drive in this crap. So it's going to be interesting the next couple days.
Anyway, I am almost done with OKHighways.com! I finished the U.S. highway pages, and have started on the interstate pages. I hope to have those finished by the end of this week. You may have noticed that I have deleted the links to the Oklahoma Highway Guides and the Oklahoma State Highway Terminus Gallery & Guides from the home page. For those webmasters who have links to my Oklahoma pages, I plan to send an e-mail in the coming days to inform y'all of the change and to change your links, because on February 15, all Oklahoma pages are coming down.
Had another slow week of work last week. I worked just Monday night again. I don't know if I can make it on one night a week for much longer! I've got to pay for this site, you know! Unfortunately, I may have to eventually put ads on this site. Either this one or OKHighways. But I will probably have to make some kind of profit to keep the site running. But, putting ads on the site is a last resort, because I kind of like having no ads on here, and I think y'all do too, so I will keep the sites ad-free for as long as I possibly can.
The Interstate 35 construction continues to progress. The concrete has been put down on what will be the new lanes of the interstate between S.E. 59th and S.E. 89th. ODOT's website says that the mainline is supposed to open in February, so hopefully, by the time I leave for Arizona, I won't have to make a detour anymore. The whole construction process, however, doesn't wrap up until May or June, because after the mainline opens, they've got to do all the frontage roads, side bridge work, shoulders, and other stuff. Then they get to redo the I-35/I-240 interchange for the next four years! Fun!
In other Oklahoma highway news, it looks like OK 97T has been decommissioned. The highway was just completed last January, and already it is no more! Kind of a waste of money, isn't it? I mean, I don't think you build a highway and spend the money to put signs on it only to get rid of it a year later! Just another way of how Oklahoma wastes money. Hey, why don't they just decommission OK 97 north of the Keystone Expressway (U.S. 64/U.S. 412)? I mean, all it does is go through neighborhoods in Sand Springs and lead to Zink Ranch. Hey, while you're at it, ODOT, why don't you decommission OK 42? All it is is a 1.4 mile road from OK 152 to Dill City, which has a population of a whopping 526 people. There were more people in my high school graduating class three years ago! Back to OK 97T, at least I got pictures of it while it existed! Now I get to make my first ever defunct highway page, with pictures to prove it! Coming soon to OKHighways.com!
Well, it's getting late, and I've got a long week ahead, full of more schoolwork. Enjoy the week, drive safely, and watch out for Okies who don't know how to drive in snow!
Tonight's topic: The road to recovery
Good evening. Last week was an okay week I guess. I was sick for most of it, and am still recovering a bit from it, just in time for it to be really cold here for a couple days. At least I don't live in New England...
I did get a little work done on OKHighways last week, but since I was sick, it was a lot less than I would have liked to get done. This week, I will hopefully wrap up the U.S. highway pages and start on the interstate pages.
I've only been in class one week, and already, I get a day out of school! Tomorrow is MLK Day. I'd better enjoy it; it'll be the last time I get to sleep in until May! I have four final exams this semester, with one each day Monday-Thursday of Finals Week, so my last day of the semester will be May 6.
The Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip page is now online, so feel free to take a look at what is ahead in just 54 days!
My best friend's wife is having their first child tomorrow. I send my congratulations to the happy couple, and also realize that it'll be a very long time before anything even close to that will happen in my life! I have to find the wife first of all, and at the current rate, that'll happen to me, well, when I'm 65.
Well, I don't have too much else to say tonight, so I guess I'll close. See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: Work on OKHighways continues
Good evening. How we doin'? Well, my four and a half weeks of freedom is almost over, as I will be starting my Spring semester tomorrow morning at 11. So it's back to driving 26 miles each way to go to school (52 miles combined, for those non-math-whizzes out there) five days a week. Oh well, it gives me a chance to see how construction on Interstate 35 is doing and to see some new signs.
Actually, there are some new signs that were installed just last week on Interstate 35 North near Interstate 235. One of the signs at the one-mile advance point of Interstate 235 (and Interstate 40) has been replaced. (See pic of the old signage here.) That means only one of the goofy-font signs is still on that gantry. (However, the odd-font signage at the S.E. 15th St. exit remains) The one-mile advance sign for Interstate 235 and Interstate 40 (just south of S.E. 15th) has been replaced with two separate signs, one for Exit 126 (Interstate 40 West), and the other for Interstate 235 North. The 1/2 mile advance signage for Interstate 40 West has also been replaced with two separate signs, again, one for Interstate 235 and one for Interstate 40. (Old signs here) Finally, the signage at the point where Interstate 35 leaves the mainline in a beautiful, one lane, off-ramp has new interstate shields, with state names inside the shields! (Old signs with old shields here) The signs otherwise remained the same at that point, and the two other sign gantries between the departure of Interstate 35 North and the Exit 126 remain the same. These new signs came as a surprise to me, considering that I had just been on I-35 the week before, and the same old signs were there. If there were any new signs on I-35, I thought they would've been between Interstate 40 and U.S. 77 in Edmond, since all those signs are scheduled to be replaced soon (so say good-bye to the nice button copy sign on I-35 North at N.E. 10th), but there are no new signs to be found up there yet. Once the I-35 construction gets finished by I-240, and new signs are up on that new stretch, I will photograph the new sign gantries. Of course, they will be on OKHighways.com, since OKRoads.com is now for roads in states besides Oklahoma! (But Road Rant serves both sites)
Anyway, it wasn't too bad of a week last week. Took it easy for most of the week. I get one week of school before my first day off, as I'm out of school next Monday for MLK Day. After that, though, I have no other break this semester except Spring Break, and as you all should know by now, I'll be busy for all of it. What is it, about 61 days to go until the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip begins?! It'll hopefully be here before I know it, because by the looks of my textbooks, this is going to be a tough semester! Oh well, it's supposed to get tougher. I am starting my 6th semester of college, after all!
I know there haven't been any updates on this site this year. Well, it's because I am feverishly working on OKHighways to get those pages done. Once I completely finish OKHighways (in other words, get all the pages currently on here reformatted for there), I will be back to regularly updating OKRoads again, since OKHighways won't need updating (except for changing that site's picture of the week each Thursday) until my next terminus trip in April.
The first thing I will probably do once OKHighways is finished is to create pages for this year's roadtrips. Here's a quick summary of this year's trips. (Yes, another summary!) Hopefully, this will make y'all happy until I get to the pages. Except for the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip, all dates are tentative. Here goes:
March 12-20: Spring Training 2004
Dates will become finalized as I figure out when exactly Fall Break and Winter Break are, how my classes will go, and how long the trips will end up being.
That's all I have for this week. I plan on finishing the state highway pages tonight (only have about 7 or 8 left to make, and only two are all-new pages), and then I'll start on the U.S. highway pages tomorrow or Tuesday. I shouldn't have too much homework yet, since it is only the first week of classes, so updates should be pretty regular on that site throughout this week.
See y'all later, and drive safely.
Tonight's topic: OKHighways.com is now online!
Good evening. For your information, I do not have the Sugar Bowl on my TV right now. I don't think OU deserves to be there, and they've been losing for most of the game thus far, so I'm just not going to watch it. Instead, I'm going to type this rant out, and then do some pages on OKHighways.com.
OKHighways.com finally launched at about 1 Thursday afternoon. I had hoped that the pages would have uploaded earlier that day, but it didn't quite work as planned. I also had hundreds of pictures to upload, and the Internet connection did not want to cooperate with me, so it took a while.
Even though the site is now online, there is still a lot of work to do. I have several pages left to create. Tonight I will probably be building the new pages for both OK 82's, OK 84, OK 85, and OK 85A. I may do a couple others if I feel like it.
Now for a bit of sad news - it appears that my fellow Oklahoma road scholar up in Tulsa, Martin McMahon, lost his father on New Year's Day. My condolences go out to not only Martin, but his entire family, as they go through this time of grief. As someone who lost his father eight years ago this June when I was 12 years old, I can say that I've been in the same situation before. Keep your chin up, Martin, things will get better with time.
This may be the final road rant entry ever. I am thinking about changing the name of this column. Since I don't talk about roads most of the time on this page, I think the title "Road Rant" may be a bit misleading.
Now that I said that, I'm going to talk about my next roadtrip a bit. Now, someday before the trip, I'll make pages for all five of 2004's major roadtrips (well, one of those trips will be determined about two weeks before I go, but more on that when the time comes). But the Spring Training 2004 Roadtrip will be March 12-20, and I have determined the baseball games that I plan on going to. Monday afternoon in Tucson, I will be seeing the Chicago White Sox versus the Colorado Rockies. Tuesday morning, I will be driving up to Phoenix, and that afternoon, I will see the San Francisco Giants vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. Wednesday afternoon, I will see the Chicago Cubs vs. the Texas Rangers (potential Sosa vs. A-Rod matchup), and Thursday afternoon, I will see the Oakland Athletics play the Kansas City Royals. Eight teams, four games, three stadiums, all in four days. As soon as I finish OKHighways.com's pages, I will resume work on pages here at OKRoads.
Well, I will enjoy one more week of freedom before I go back to college next Monday. My schedule is the same as last semester when it comes to time. My classes are all in the same building, which is nice. Actually, both of my classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are in the same classroom! Not too much walking to do this semester. Except for the first few weeks, when I'll have to walk three miles uphill both ways in the snow to get to my classes from the parking lot!
That's all I have for tonight. See y'all later, and drive safely.
This page last updated January 02, 2005 09:38 PM