Headway in a Headwind
Originally posted 10/18/2012
Greetings from Greater Metropolitan Texola, Ooooooklahoma! Texola is Exit 1, mile 1 from the Texas border. I started out the day getting 9.4 MPG against a sidewind and accidentally underpaid an unmanned Oklahoma tollboth. I’m sure they’ll send me a nice “Welcome to Oklahoma!” letter in the mail. Boy, just west of Tulsa, they have themselves a stretch of crappy concrete. You know, the kind that makes for a choppy, rhythmic bounce. It also irked me that Oklahoma has commandeered I-44 as a tollway. With booths at every exit, it makes one feel confined in a way that the tollways in Illinois don’t. Each town along the string has signs inviting a visit and listing the unique things they offer, but the atmosphere to get there is unpleasant. Is it just me?
At any rate, the road and/or the wind shifted to almost a direct headwind, and if it was the predicted 20 MPH, I’ll eat my beret. Mileage dropped to 8.8 at 60 MPH, traumatizing my fine Scottish qualities as I had a spontaneous vision that I had a plaid coin purse, and silver dollars were spilling out of it onto the bumpy Oklahoma patched pavement. Hoot mon! Baby spent a lot of time on high turbo and whatever gear is underneath high, climbing those grades. Even on level ground, boost was higher than normal, indicating what I estimated to be a 30+ MPH wind. Towing a trailer at an equivalent of 90 MPH? Good way to go broke. I was glad to quit for the day, as it should be better tomorrow.
I was impressed by two things: the number of travel trailers and motor homes going both ways on I-44, and the fact that most of them going in my direction passed me at 70+ MPH. Is no one here of Scottish heritage? Mon, are ye not frugal?
I wound up at a basic RV park called Double D by late afternoon. My Passport America membership got me hooked up to 30A power and fresh water, and it will be high time for a leisurely hot shower because I’m 30 feet from their dump station. The first thing I did on hooking up to the electrical power was to vacuum the interior of all the sawdust from the conversion, plus some glass dust from when my drinking glass tumbled out of the kitchen cabinet yesterday and broke. No harm – I have a better spare, anyway. With the gizmos I have, I can empty my tanks tomorrow without even moving the rig! At $12 a night on the P.A. rate, I may just stay here an extra day to research my final destination and maybe goof around with improving the solar panels and their stowage a bit. That’s the great thing about traveling off-schedule. Since no one is waiting impatiently at the other end, I can go as the Spirit Of The Lazy Butt moves me. I’ll decide tomorrow morning.
By the way, it can get chilly down here, too. It will hit about 40 tonight and just 53 tomorrow after an overnight rain. But I’ll just plug in my electric heater and let ‘er go. Now, this is livin’!