I-40 Odyssey: A Tunnel through Trees

This web page done at 70 mph
by Wayne Klick
while Lucy drove

Photos by each of us. Click on any photo to get a larger view.

Our first stop Saturday, after leaving only two hours late, was at this Santa Rosa, NM diner. I thought that these chairbacks were just typical Route 66 cheese until I realized that somebody hand-sowed the letters on the plastic. Lucy was so overcome with the moment that she bought three Rt 66 coffee mugs and a refrigerator magnet.

We made it to a KOA campground at Elk City, OK Saturday night. The photo on the left shows Lucy with our tent after we got it set up for the first time. The photo on the right is what it looked like at sunup the next day. During the night one of those suddenly severe midwestern storms hit, with hellacious winds and a downpour. We had to bail out and get everything into the back of the truck, but not before we both got soaked. We survived the night sleeping in the cab of the truck. Our first night camping together proved to be a rough one.

Again Sunday we didn't get away as early as we had planned, since we had to dry everything out. At left is the skyline of Oklahoma City. If I'm not mistaken, that bomb went off just the other side of these buildings. Like with any of the these pictures, click on it to get a closer view.



Whoever put this up claims it to be the biggest cross in the western hemisphere. Somewhere in the Texas panhandle.

These were erected by a Baptist church in Memphis. Sorry, but all three of these are taller than the one in Texas.

Near Nashville.
We were literally driving the Bible Belt, from one beltloop to the next, so Crosses were the order of the day. That set of three in Memphis is quite a magnificent display at night.
We went through Memphis late Sunday night, so we couldn't get any pictures of the skyline there. We had to pass up Graceland too. Maybe we'll catch Elvis on the way back. On this leg, rather than visiting shrines to pop culture icons, we seem to be more into sitting among trees and making our own coffee (road diner coffee can be pretty bad by our coffee-snob standards). We found this really cool and quiet place called Natchez Trace State Park about halfway between Memphis and Nashville, so we made brunch. We had stayed in a motel just east of Memphis. Lucy is reviewing these photos in the photo above. The fat guy came along and tried to bum some coffee but we ran him off. It's amazing how much money you can save on a trip if you buy groceries and take along a cooler and a Coleman stove.
The Nashville skyline is quite remarkable -- especially with that BellSouth building. Sorry I missed getting the Tennessee Titans' stadium in this shot. It's located just to the right of this view.

This view is from a hill overlooking I-40 about 70 miles from Bristol, TN. From here we cruised on in to Roanoke while I put this page together. I'll post another update, probably after we visit the fabled "Farm".