USA Road Trip -last doughnut in Snyder, Texas.
On the last lap back where we started.
On to Fort Worth were according to the weather reports it was snowing. A night with old school friend Ivan Uys and his delightful wife Annie to share stories of times past and identify birds that we had photographed along the way but could not find in the bird guides. They share a passion for birding with us. Then a night in Wichita Falls, to do some last minute shopping, our last before arriving back with Charlie and Joy in Woodward, where the trip started. It is a strange co-incidence that we spent the first night of our epic 6 month trip in Wichita, Kansas and our last in Wichita Falls, Texas.
The secondary road 181 that passes through north Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle goes through many small and some not so small towns. It is lunch time and we are approaching Snyder, just another dot on our Rand McNally road map that has stood us in good stead for the past 5 months. We will buy something at the McDonalds there, right! Wrong! The only place that looks like it could remotely supply something to eat is a café called ‘the Water hole’ and after looking through the dismal lunch leftovers on display at 13.15, a few onion rings and two sad looking black sausages, we settle for the last doughnut and two cups of coffee. It is a pleasant surprise to get to Clinton were we previously visited the excellent Route 66 Museum (now on interstate 45) were the town is thriving, and we stop at Dairy Queen for two Chicken Wraps on special for $3.
Many of the towns in these rural areas are looking like ghost towns with businesses and schools closed down and boarded up, somewhat similar to the depopulation of the ‘platteland’ as we have experienced in South Africa. Rather sad when you drive through a town like Roosevelt, Oklahoma with such a great name and see the almost ghost town appearance. The look on the face of the attractive young lady who served us in Snyder when I commented ‘things are quiet here in Snyder’ said it all. I could not help but wonder what circumstances kept her there.
Then it is on to Woodward and our friends and benefactors who supplied Matilda, finding Charlie putting finishing touches to their glorious Christmas decorations that included a huge blow up snowman! It was good to be “home again” and Matilda did Charlie and us proud. 16 520 miles of practically trouble free motoring. Leaving Woodward on July 2 in a heat wave with temperatures of over 100 and arriving back on Dec 3 with temperatures well below freezing. It was 12 degrees Fahrenheit last night and 37 at midday. We visited almost all the states in a big circle around this beautiful country, 35 in all. Apart from the many odds and ends we collected we also gathered bag load of great experiences that we had never even dreamed we could have!