Day 24: I may be in the middle of nowhere, but at least my clothes are clean

May 7, 2009


DAY 24: Broken Bow, Oklahoma
Miles traveled: 3,714
States visited: 14 (just added: Oklahoma)
Weather: 83, sunny

Today I write from the Suds N Such in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. I know you’re jealous. Doesn’t everyone aspire to someday visit the Suds N Such in Broken Bow? For what it’s worth, this is the nicest laundromat I’ve ever seen – they have restrooms, televisions, magazines, a kids’ play area, and the whole thing is done in what I would call a Martha Stewart down home kind of décor with fake plants and country style curtains. And they’re playing CNN on the tvs, instead of Fox News, which every other business in the south seems to play. I’ve never felt more at ease while washing my dirty underwear.

At times I’ve been a bit frustrated that this trip feels a little too structured. So yesterday in western Arkansas I did something I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time. I turned off my phone, turned off my GPS, and just drove, with no destination, no direction, no cares. I was totally free.

That lasted for about an hour.

The road I’d been driving on for 20 minutes came to an abrupt and unannounced end at a lake. So I had to turn around and retrace my steps, using up gas and adding unnecessary miles to the trip. After that I turned on the GPS and still tried to be as unstructured as possible, while making sure that the roads I was driving on would lead somewhere.

Did I see anything interesting on the road? Not much. A bunch of deer. Some dogs sitting on the yellow stripe of the road, not moving until I got right on top of them. A kid walking to his mailbox with his three pet goats was probably the highlight.

After entering Oklahoma I came upon this historical marker for Eagletown, the first settlement by the Choctaws… well, you can read it for yourselves.


It’s weird seeing hoards of Native Americans walking out of Walmart, because you just don’t get that in Pennsylvania. But I like it. I’m fascinated by the diversity of all the areas I’ve visited.

I’m headed towards Austin but first I have another day and a half to drive around aimlessly and see what other small towns I can stumble upon.