I woke at sunrise Friday, September 9th. New Mexico sunrises have yet to disappoint me. My watch said 5:30. In the distance, I could see a couple of early-risers out fishing on the lake. I put a quart of oil in Satori and I was rolling by 6 AM.
I went through Logan and headed for San Jon. It was almost 6:30 when I got on Interstate 40 eastbound, headed home. Traffic was steady, but not crowded. Fifteen minutes later, I crossed the border into Texas and the Central Time Zone. It was a bright, cool morning.
It was almost a quarter to 8 when I passed Cadillac Ranch, outside of Amarillo. I had been planning on eating lunch at the Big Texan, but it was a little early, so I set that aside for next time. 
An hour down the road, I pulled over for a pit stop at the Donley County Rest Area. Unlike the Gray County Rest Area down the road, which highlights the history of Texas, Donley County highlights the history of Route 66, complete with maps, displays, and vintage signs. The rest area also had vending machines, clean bathrooms, and a tornado shelter. A plaque said that modern superhighways along the original route have ended up 200 miles longer than the original Route 66. An hour later, I was crossing the border into Oklahoma.

I got off the highway at Sayre and got $35 worth of gas on the Discover card. I didnít like using the card, but I was running out of cash. The sky was completely cloudless. When I got to Oklahoma City, I checked my wallet and found I had just enough for the toll, so I got on the Turner Turnpike. Ten minutes down the turnpike, traffic came to a complete stop. Iíd been making pretty good time up until then. I could see traffic was backed up all the way over the next hill. Traffic inched forward, and in 20 minutes Iíd made about a mile. Ahead, traffic was merging into the outside lane, but then cars started merging back to the inside lane. Over the next hill, traffic cleared up for a mile or so, then backed up again. It turned out to be a big accident. I passed a tow truck, and down the road at the Wellston exit, another tow truck was pulling a semi, the whole front end smashed back to the windwhield.

I paid the $4 outside of Stroud and got to Tulsa about 8 hours after leaving Ute Lake. I was bleary-eyed and hungry. I noticed gas prices hadnít changed much. It was almost 5 PM Central Time when I pulled into the driveway. The family was happy to see me.

I drove 4,147 miles in 16 days, snapped two rolls of 35mm film and took 851 digital pictures. Thinking back, it was a good trip. I saw most of what I set out to see, and accomplished most of what I set out to do. I was proud of my part in advancing the Sandman program. Satori performed admirably. I contributed supplies to the bar, and what I lacked in bartending skills I hope I made up in entertainment value. 
Change can be difficult, and everybody responds to it according to their own gifts. 
Going through a rite of passage doesn't mean you have to fundamentally change who you are... but it can give you the opportunity to become the person you'd like to be. 

Things change. 
You learn. 
You move on.  

Repeat as necessary.

Prologue Aug. 24  Aug. 25 Aug. 26 Aug. 27 Aug. 28 
 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
Sept.6 Sept. 7 Sept. 8  Sept. 9 & Epilogue
Original content (c)opyright 2011 by Tim Frayser
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Links: Turner Turnpike