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Truck stops, rest stops, and a certain solitude are my memories of what had once been called Indian Country. The Oklahoma Territory was the scene of the last land rush, and of the closing of the Old West. The State of Oklahoma was the birthplace of Route 66. It is a bit ironic that many of those who staked out their fortunes in that last land rush, saw themselves, thirty years latter, on Route 66 heading away from the dust bowl, and out to California, another promised land. Now their descendants are leaving California, in large numbers, to settle the Southwest, and return to the Midwest. We are a truly restless people, which might explain why we so glorify our roads.

Welcome to the Oklahoma Turnpike. A ticket gets you on, and you pay to get off. The Turnpike is it's own little world, complete with self contained rest areas, and truck stops. There is no need to exit, until you reach your final destination.

My first visit, to what can only be called a mega rest area. These stops are positioned between the eastbound, and westbound sections of the turnpike, and are accessible to both. There is a restaurant, a convenience store, a gas station, and a picnic area. All are large.

The parking area at this stop, is enormous, as is the case with all of the stops out here. The road is well traveled by trucks.

I hit this stop around 10:00 at night, after having driven for something like 14 hours, and could go no further. Parking in the shadow of a tanker, I crawled in the back, laid down, and read myself to sleep. One very handy thing about many of these stops, is the provision of wireless internet. I was able to check my email, and browse a bit, before going to bed.

I awoke, at the rest stop, around 4:00 AM, and headed west. Around 7:00, I pulled into Elk City. This is the public park in Elk City Oklahoma. It offers free camping, and is a very pleasant spot.

Though this is not generally considered to be a scenic feature, the rest rooms at the camp ground bear special notice. These are pit toilets, and can, literally, be found by nose. This is only for use by the desperate, or the adventurous.

I slept here until noon, getting a well rested, but rather late start on the day. Elk CIty is a wonderful little town. For a better look at the town, click here

An Oklahoma rest stop, the last one, before hitting the state line to Texas.

A line of modern teepees marks the picnic area, while a pet exercise are sits in the foreground. I love rest stops, They are great places to meet fellow travelers, get information, sit for a while, and grab a snack.

A good place for the traveler with children, to tire them out, and diminish that restlessness which long car trips seem to inspire in young children.

Checking the maps, and spending some time in the shade. The sun can get pretty hot, down here in Oklahoma.

The shady rest stop, in Oklahoma. My van is visible in the photo below.

Nearly out of Oklahoma, and into Texas, It can be seen that this is the Korean War Memorial Highway.

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