Traveling down the interstate highways north of Paducah, Kentucky, on through Nashville, Tennessee, and down into Birmingham, Alabama, every half mile or so we come across a poor dead animal—most often a deer—whose carcass litters the roadway.
At one point I thought I spotted a coyote among the dead, but no, it was just another dadgum dead dear. I think that phrase would make a fine song title.
On Friday I arrived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, only to find there were no hotel rooms available anywhere other than a couple of seedy looking joints. Every spare room was reserved by folks working on the film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.”
Had Studly Doright been with me I might’ve been open to staying in one of the less reputable establishments, but as a woman traveling alone I wasn’t taking any chances. I googled bed and breakfasts within a fifty mile radius of Bartlesville and one in nearby Pawhuska popped up, so I called the Grandview Inn and crossed my fingers.
A gentleman answered the phone at the Grandview and after hearing my request told me he was booked up. I sighed and then said, “I don’t guess you know of any place a woman traveling alone could stay safely…”
“It’s just for one person?”
“We have one small room with a bed that is suitable for one person. It doesn’t have an en-suite bathroom, but there’s one just outside the room. We don’t rent it out often, but if you’re interested I can get it ready for you.”
I almost cried with relief. “Do you need my credit card.”
“No, just show up. The room will be ready.”
Now, I have a very dear childhood friend who lives in Bartlesville. She and her husband had just moved into their new home (it’s beautiful!), but everything was still in boxes. They only had one bed set up, and while they offered to put me up I just couldn’t do that to them. But I did let them take me to dinner.
Since I was staying in Pawhuska, we drove the 25 miles from Bartlesville and had dinner at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile. We enjoyed a lovely meal, and as we were getting ready to part ways I asked our server if she was familiar with the Grandview Inn.
She said, “Hold on,” then turned to the people at the table beside us. One of the diners, a man holding a precious infant, stood and came to our table. It was the man I’d spoken with on the phone earlier! He and his wife were dining with friends. I felt much better about my upcoming stay having met them in that setting and my friend was no longer reluctant to leave me in Pawhuska.
The inn was beautiful, and I spent a comfortable night there. I meant to take pictures, but was in a hurry that morning to be at the funeral home in Bartlesville. The Grandview has a website, and if you ever find yourself in the Pawhuska area I highly recommend it.
I stopped for a potty break at a rest stop somewhere on Interstate 40 yesterday. After using the facilities I washed my hands and looked around for a hand dryer. The item pictured above was built into the wall and when I stuck my hands inside, warm air blew from the vents.
Very slow moving, mildly warm air, that is. After several minutes my hands were still wet and I had to use my blue jeans as a towel.
I turned to a woman who was stationed at another drying station and said, “This isn’t a very efficient dryer.”
She said, “If you leave your hands in long enough, the moisture dries up out of boredom.”
One of my older posts popped up in my feed today and I thought it was worth reposting. “Old and Lost River” was inspired during one of my epic road trips. Damned Covid-19 has shut down my solo travels for the past ten months, so I’m reliving a few in my mind. I hope you’ll enjoy this.
I’m in a hotel room somewhere in Georgia. I believe the town is named Milledgeville. Why am I in Milledgeville? Because Studly Doright came home from work this afternoon and said, “Let’s go somewhere that’s not here,” so I called a pet sitter to watch over Gracie and we got into our car and drove north for five hours or so.
COVID messed with all of our vacation plans this year, so Studly had several days he needed to take off before the end of 2020. Hence, the road trip.
Tomorrow we’ll push further north to Dillard, Georgia. He visited there last year on a motorcycle trip with our now deceased, and much loved friend, Jim, and it’s held a special place in his heart ever since.
I packed in a hurry, so there is no telling what essentials I left behind. I packed the wine, though. I never forget the wine.
On Saturday afternoon Studly Doright and I drove out to the Tallahassee RV Park to meet up with my brother and sister-in-law who were spending the night there before moving on with their big adventure.
They’d stopped by on Monday on their way to Fort Myers, Florida, where they’d pick up their new Airstream trailer. After several days of orientation and practice with their new trailer they were ready to hit the road. First, though, they needed to collect a few things they’d left at our house. Rather than have them drive all the way to Doright Manor and back to the RV park, we loaded their stuff into Studly’s pickup and met them at the park.
Their new trailer is beautiful—very posh and spacious. We enjoyed wine and cheese with them and their adorable dog, Gus.
We had a wonderful dinner with Kelly and Susan before bidding them goodbye and safe travels. Kelly says he’ll start a blog about their journey. If he does, I’ll share it with you all. It’s bound to be good.
In the evenings during our quarantine, Studly Doright and I have been watching a series of YouTube videos shot by a 31-year-old solo female adventure motorcyclist from The Netherlands. Her name is Noraly, and she is fearless.
I’ve subscribed to her blog and am enjoying every minute of it. Many of the videos are quite recent. On her planned trip from Patagonia to Alaska, she had a harrowing experience while trying to get out of Peru to keep from being quarantined there due to COVID-19. Her bike had to stay in Peru while she made it home to The Netherlands, and she’s unsure when, or if, she’ll be reunited with it.
She makes me want to be brave, but I have trouble being brave riding a motorcycle on smooth American roads. Noraly rides on all terrain—gravel, sand, rocks. She stops at checkpoints and speaks whatever language is necessary to get through. I can only speak English and a smattering of Spanish. What have I done with my life?
Motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy Noraly’s adventures, but even non-motorcyclists will find something to enjoy in her videos. She meets so many lovely people who welcome her with open arms. These videos have restored much of my faith in humanity. And, they’re kind of addictive.
Studly Doright and I are traveling south to Silver Springs, Florida, today. I wasn’t sure I’d come up with a post en route, so here’s a photo of a squirrel in our yard. Let’s call this one, Autumn Squirrel.