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November 10, 1998

Driving Across the USA (unedited version)

Well after putzing around, I finally hit the road around 9 A.M. yesterday. After I had been driving for about 30 minutes it was 8:30 A.M, not a bad trick on a long trip. I had entered the Central Time Zone.

It was rainy and foggy throuhout the first part of Alabama. I drove past the Talladegha Motor Speedway which you can now see from the Interstate. I went to a stock car race there about 6 years ago and I don't think you could see it from the road then, but maybe I didn't know where to look.

I also saw the "little" track which is right off of the Interstate.

The sun came out around Birmingham and I started making my way up US 78 toward Tupelo (birthplace of Elvis) and Memphis (Deathplace of two Kings and home of another)-Martin Luther King, Elvis "The King", and B.B. King.

This was a frustrating drive behind slow trucks. It was only two lanes in some places. There were signs proclaiming Jesus' lordship every 100 feet, but then in the middle of the stretch there were several strip joints one of which was named appropriately "The Boobie Trap."

By the time that I crossed the Mississippi border the fog had returned. Actually this was the nicest stretch of road I traveled on yesterday. I made my first stop in a town named Byhalia where I ate at a sandwich shop.

A few miles later and I ventured into Memphis and drove through all the ugly parts of that city. The interstate kind of ends at one point not far from where Martin Luther King was shot. It was the strangest interstate construction I've ever seen anywhere.

From there I traveled into Arkansas, home of you know who. I was very disappointed when I saw that the mile marker was 280, meaning that it would be 280 miles until I got to the other side.

It was foggy and dark most of the way through Arkansas, so I didn't see much other than the skyline of Little Rock and a lot of trailers.

Finally I arrived in Oklahoma (The Indian Nations). I had hoped to stop near the border but ended up driving to Henryetta where I have stayed the night.

Now I'm on my way, still have about three hours of driving through this state and then a short venture through Texas before heading into New Mexico where I'll probably stop for tonight.


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