We got up the next day in Amarillo to find that the storm we were watching the night before had passed over and we had clear blue skies. That’s one thing about weather out there, it comes fast and leaves fast. Out here in Cali we just never see rain from May until about November and even in the winter it’s spotty. We found that it rains regularly in the summer from Texas on East. However, we had a clear morning so we hit the road.
A few things we saw before we got out of Texas; A giant cross in the middle of a field that was nearly 200 feet tall. Biggest cross I had ever seen! Amazing. Also, we noticed the the rest stops on the way from Amarillo to the Oaklahoma border were massive. I mean, these things were destinations in and of themselves. Everything is truly bigger in Texas.
The ride across Oklahoma was uneventful. Nothing really there, but it is very beautiful. Lush green farmland for as far as you can see in every direction. We did end up hitting rain though. We saw a storm raging in the distance and so we stopped and put our rain covers on our bags and zipped up our jacket vents. Then we revved up and headed into the black clouds.
It was pretty intense. Lightning going off, and rain coming down HARD. Within seconds I was drenched and that’s where I realized my rain suit which I left at home would have been nice. Of course I was covered in leather so most of me stayed dry, but when wearing chaps your whole pelvic region is exposed and so within about 20 seconds I felt like I was sitting in a puddle. The good thing is that summer storms are not cold, and that makes the water a lot more tolerable. Since the storm was coming at us and we were headed into it, we managed to break through it in just about 20 minutes and it was sunny and hot on the other side. In fact the transition was like hitting a hot brick wall it was so abrupt, so we dried out rather quickly.
We continued on into Arkansas and began looking for a hotel to stay in. We pulled into a little town called Clarksville and took a trip through town by accident (stupid GPS) but it was interesting. I’m amazed at how such small towns can have so many churches. In a big city like Fresno where churches struggle to fill half the seats it’s amazing to see these small towns with church after church after church, many of them very large. I get the feeling that EVERYONE in the south goes to church.
We also discovered after checking into our room that we had landed in a “dry county”. What that means is that there is no liquor sold anywhere in the county. The nearest liquor store was 20 miles away in the next county so we were out of luck on our daily beer and cigar. I love my beer, but a 40 minute roundtrip after riding for 10 hours straight was not going to happen.
So this may sound like such a straight laced little town right? All these churches and no beer. Yet they had the typical giant adult store right at the freeway offramp. We also discovered that you can buy slim-jims (a slim jim is a device for breaking into cars) and switch blade knives at the corner market. So beer is a deadly sin, but carjacking equipment is OK? I just don’t get it.
The next day we got up early and hit the road for Tennessee and my parents place. My girls were flying into Nashville to meet us so I was pretty excited. It would also be nice to see my family and actually have a house to relax in instead of a hotel.
The only downside is that it was starting to get hot, and very, very humid.