16 Jun Day 45 – Bohemian Rhapsody
Firstly Sorry for not Blogging for the last two days. It has been pretty ridiculous. Day 45 we couldn’t post due to the most amazing thunderstorm that knocked out all forms of communication and Day 46 was because we got invited to an impromptu Book and Hot Tub session. I will explain more so please read both posts!
Oklahoma is partial to some pretty amazing sights but to wake up the morning after the 45 mile day to this was an absolute treat. It makes all the difference on those first ten miles if everything is lit up in a deep orange light. The Morning is a strange time for me. I think the combination of stiff muscles, swollen feet and just general groggy morning feeling is never good, but mix that with some of the most amazing sights and sounds of nature and actually things are actually pretty good.
So we all know the stereotypical country america, you know, pick-up truck, Baseball hat, a slury lazy announciation of words. I have done my fair few impressions of them over the years but I genuinely didn’t think they existed. Once more on this trip I have been astounded, they do exist, in fact one stopped to offer me a lift, but it was the way it happened that made me feel like I was in a movie. So there I am plodding along, and a light brown Chevrolet pick-up truck comes past me and stops about 15 ft ahead of me. There is a young kid in the back of the pick-up in a vest soaking up the afternoon sun and three guys in the cab. As I got closer the driver, who must have been just over 16, leans out the window, his left arm dangling down the outside of the door, turns his head, that is covered by a camouflaged hunting baseball hat, and says in this deep country accent ‘Hey man, we’re all goin’ right the way down to Stroud. Wanna hop in?’ ‘nah’ I replied ‘ I am walking to California but….’ before I could finish my sentence of ‘thanks for stopping’ his foot was on the gas and he was shouting ‘Suit yourself!!’ and he waved as he tore off into the distance. Absoultely amazing. I think It would be really easy to Hitchhike across America. Everyone seems really nice and as long as you were a good judge of character then I am sure the story wouldn’t end like Wolf Creek!
The landscape is changing. I can now start seeing the red earth that is seen in so many old cowboy movies. I described this landscape to Moe, my stepdad as comparable to Africa. This was really due to the buffalo, or bison or cattle, (still haven’t found out what they are) standing in these pools of water that look like watering holes. With that and the red earth it doesn’t feel like America and just goes to show how varied this land can be.
As I finished the day the sky was darkening. The weather looked set to change. As I was getting ready to go for a shower as man by the name of Tom or ‘crazy Tom’ was pointing at me through the window and when he got my attention signaled for me to come and see him. I went out expecting to talk about the parking of the RV but it turns out he wanted to show us the cloud systems and the starting of a twister. Oh Joy, turns out Tom had been chasing twisters for nearly 50 years. After discussing in great depth what to do, and a apparently you just head for daylight… which is fantastic advice as the sun is setting, we all sat amongst a 360 degree thunderstorm, the most incredible sight I have ever witnessed first hand. Clouds illuminating with internal lightening and the same cloud being wrapped in forks of lightening like a wire mesh. Ali went on the roof of the RV to film and with in minutes the weather got worse. All the power went out in Stroud and the wind picked up. Ali was in danger of getting blown off the top of the RV so he hastily came down and we headed for Stroud. After being told by the gas station attendant that things would be fine, just ‘golf ball sized hail stones’ we headed back to our original position and went to bed, all hoping that if a twister formed it wouldn’t come anywhere near us. The picture is from just moments before the weather turned.