The lonesome road to Wichita


I really hate the drive to Wichita. It is desolate. The Cimarron Turnpike is so seldom traveled that no one has figured out a way to make money by building a gas station or restaurant at the exits. And once you're done with the Cimarron, it's another 20 miles north on I-35 before you get to a place where you can buy a Coke and use the potty. The road gets monotonous. Every road can be monotonous at night, but this road is even boring by day. Once you leave Sand Springs behind, the next settled area visible from the highway is Wichita.

So on the trip up, I took an extra 40 minutes or so to go by way of Ponca City, Newkirk, Arkansas City, and Winfield, up US 77 and Kansas 15. It was worth it. Although I didn't take my usual detour down Grand Boulevard in Ponca City, and I missed getting to Head Country BBQ before it closed, I did enjoy seeing the restored and interesting downtowns of the other three cities.

On the way home, I took a less extensive detour through Tonkawa, stopping at the local convenience store and hangout for a Coke, then joining the Cimarron south of town. I don't think I'd ever been through Tonkawa before. That stretch US 77 is only a couple of miles east of I-35, so it didn't cost me much time, although it nearly cost a raccoon family its life -- they weren't accustomed to seeing traffic.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 22, 2004 1:49 AM.

Why so quiet? was the previous entry in this blog.

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