September 30, 2005
Start: Little Rock, Arkansas
End: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Miles: 276 miles
Route taken: Route 10 west to
Route 71 north to Route 64 to Muskogee Turnpike, exit at Tulsa.
My time in Little Rock was brief and that is probably for the best
there wasn’t much in the town for me to see.
It served as a stopover, a place to rest for the night and
then keep on moving.
That is the feeling I get however, when I am in this part of
the country. Whenever I cross the Midwest I have a
decision to make as to which boring, flat state I am going to choose.
Arkansas is more of a southern state than a Midwest one and really serves as a warm up act for
the monotony that awaits me
as I cross into either Oklahoma,
Kansas or Texas.
Those were my three choices and none of them really appealed
This is a part of the country that has never appealed to me.
When you get past the beauty of Montana, Wyoming,
Colorado and New Mexico there is a barrier before the next scenic
The wall of drudgery is the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas,
Oklahoma and Texas.
Those states represent the gray of America. They are long stretches of nothing and to
get to Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas,
or Louisiana one of prior states must be traveled.
Though parts of all of those dreary states have highlights
within them the overall mass of land is flat, unimaginative and
was like God started in the east, got to this part and slapped up some
cornfields and called it a day, needing the rest in order to create the
majestic western part of this country.
For shear tedium, Kansas is the worst, followed closely by Nebraska. The two states are twins of staleness,
tandem to up the suicide rate in the country.
Prairie lands, corn fields and barren land make up both states
with an occasional wild flower, which gives you momentary hope, but
you suspicious that it is a mirage.
Oklahoma has the worst roads. For a state with
roads they might need to hold a bake sale, because the money they are
from the pay highways isn’t being used to improve their thoroughfares.
There is a stretch of Interstate 40 in Oklahoma that has bumps every 30 seconds for at least
miles. When I was on that highway I was jostled so much I thought I was
to have to buy a kidney belt.
The state highways and two-lane roads aren’t any better. They
are choppy as well and speeding only exacerbates the problem.
Texas is brutal just because it is so long. Drive
from the Louisiana border to the other end of Texas and you think you have recreated the
by our forefathers to the west.
badlands and the Black Hill Mountains, but those are more tourist destinations and
direct routes to ferry you across the state.
as flat and windy and the same length as South Dakota but puts you further north than most people
When I left Little Rock I took a back road that split the Ozark Mountains and the Quachita National Forest.
It was a pretty ride with glimpses of the Arkansas River along the way and mountain ranges on my left
Knowing I was in Oklahoma was pretty easy. The mountains were gone and
started pushing me around a bit on the road. It wasn’t anything serious
with Tulsa about two hours away, I pressed on through
To get to Tulsa
efficiently, you have to take a toll road. I got on the Muskogee
bounced all the way into the city. There was one stretch where the
been given fresh blacktop, but only one of the two lanes received the
One lane for 10 miles created quite a back up and all I could do was
breaths and wait it out.
When I reached the city limits I found a motel that was near
the interstate. I checked in, got to my room and was unpacking the bike
noticed the clouds thickening up. The first drops of rain hit me as I
locking up the bike. I was contemplating taking a little putt around
the weather told me I wasn’t going anywhere.