May 23, 2017
From New Orleans we continued our ever zig-zagging route through the country and went north to Arkansas. In Arkansas we had rented a yurt (tent) for two days in Petit Jean State Park, this would allow us plenty of time to explore the park. Two days later, our summary of the whole experience was: “Maybe we shouldn’t camp anymore”.
Upon arrival in the park we learned that renting a yurt means that you do not get a nicely made bed, with fresh linnen and pillows. Since the closest thing to bedlinnen we have with us are my t-shirts, after arriving we could directly leave the park again to find a Walmart. What we also learned is that tents typically don’t come with air-conditioning equipped, who would have thought. Also did you know that plastic yurt behaves very much like a greenhouse when it stand in direct sunlight? To the point where we couldn’t be in the tent for longer than 10 minutes during the day because of the heat. Our solution to the heat issue, opening the entrance and the “windows” turned out to be flawed as well. While it did manage to cool the tent down, it also allowed four squadrons of mosquito’s and forty other bug-like species to now call the tent home. After the first night my body looked like something you remember from those old school books where they showed pictures of people with smallpox.
Luckily the heat issue was taken care of more effectively by mother nature during our first evening in the park, by the start of the largest thunder storm we both ever witnessed. Too bad the thunderstorm wouldn’t stop for the next 20 hours…
Missouri and Oklahoma
After the tribulations in Arkansas it was time for our journey to continue north bound, this time to get to the Mother Road. Route 66. Over the course of the trip we will drive three different part of Route 66; From Santa Rosa, New Mexico to Amarillo, Texas; from Flagstaff, Arizona to Barstow, California and our first stretch from Springfield, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
There is not much to say about Route 66 that hasn’t been said before. For a lot of people driving the entirety of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica is the quintessential road trip. It is what most of us probably envision when someone mentions a road trip and Annemarie and I have as a result always had this grant romantic idea of the Mother Road. And although we have only driven a couple of hundred miles on Route 66 now, we can say that it truly is a fascinating experience that does not disappoint. When driving on Route 66 you at times feel as if you are going back into the past, as if you are driving through worlds largest open air museum. Everywhere you go you see fragments of a time where this road and the people who travelled from Illinois to California where a great source of income for everyone who lived close to the road. You see a never-ending stream of motels, diners and roadside attractions; the large majority of which are now in a decaying state, since with the arrival of the interstates no-one drives past them anymore.