Airstream Adventure Week #1
Trip Start Jun 25, 2006
10Trip End Nov 01, 2006
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We planned on staying for only one night here in Vernal, but tonight is the start of the famous Dinosaur Rodeo, so--surprise!--we decided to check it out
As you can see, we are pretty flexible these days.
We have been on the road now about two and a half weeks. We have had a series of adventures and rookie mistakes, and we are just now getting into the swing of the trip.
We left Searcy, Arkansas, Marshall's hometown, on June 24, driving a brand new 2006 Chevy Avalanche and a brand new 2006 23-foot Airstream Safari, thanks to our sponsors at Airstream of Arkansas (son-in-law Mike and super salesman Gene Morris). I have never pulled a trailer and was a little trepidatious, but for the most part it has been smooth. The weather was so sweat-dripping hot that it was hard to plan ahead for a trip that requires layers and fleece.
Our first night was in an Arkansas state park, where the first crisis was finding a local liquor store, because many of the counties on the west side of the state are dry, but we crossed a county line and spotted a beer stand
This area is near Anadarko, OK, which is apparently the epicenter of many American Indian tribes. There are headquarters for the Kiowa, Apache and other tribes and a few casinos, including one in a mobile trailer. The Kiowa museum tells the story of how the Indians lost their land and buffalo to the white settlers, but today Indians, full American citizens since 1924, have sent soldiers to the American wars. There was a memorial for one Kiowa soldier recently killed in Iraq. Apparently, this area did not get the politically correct memo about renaming their facilities. The local high school teams are "Braves" and the local movie theater is the "Redskin" theater.
The local Department of Interior Indian museum describes the transfer of Indians to the reservations in Oklahoma as a "migration," which is a euphemism if I have ever heard one. The Indians relocated here include the Cherokees from the Southeast (North Carolina), the Delaware (Pennsylvania and Ohio), and the Plains Indians (Apache, Kiowa)
We stayed at another Oklahoma state park on a high mesa, also empty, and we were feeling our oats about this trailer thing. We left along a local road, well-graded but gravel, for about 40 miles. As we pulled into a one intersection town of Folsom, NM we realized we had a flat tire on the Airstream. Rookie panic! First we couldn't find the jack. A phone call back to Arkansas determined that it was under the back seat of the Avalanche. Then we couldn't get enough pressure on the single-handled lug wrench. Stuck in Folsom!
Marshall went into the post office to find a phone book
I don't think the post office guys in Washington, D.C. would have done that, do you?
Next entry: Colorado and more kindness of strangers.