Back Road Oklahoma

I seem to have amused people today by talking about dating. I meant dating my husband, but evidently that’s not a done thing? I mean, I enjoy it. None of the pressure, all of the fun! 

Of course, dating as middle-aged married couple isn’t exactly as boring as you might think. We really enjoyed our expedition today. Which is good, because we didn’t reach our destination. We really didn’t need to, it was more about the journey, the uninterrupted time, and a good meal in there somewhere. 

We set out by pointing the nose of the car West. Where we live now, in Texas, we’re on the dry line. If we head east, it’s green and trees. West? it got wide-open, big skies, and to my delight! Sagebrush before we’d gone too far.

Oklahoma, looking north: where the only thing between you and Canada is a cow and a barbed-wire fence. 

Now, that’s flat. Where we actually live, there’s some rise and fall to the land, and trees, so you can’t see that far. Get out west of us, and, well, it was difficult to say if a landmark is three miles off, or five, or more. 

We’d plugged a ford over the Red River into the GPS after a while. Doan’s Crossing is mentioned in several Western novels as a historic ford for cattle drives, and the First Reader was curious to see it. We drove out a ways. Drove some more. Turned off the main road. Drove down that a while… Road got smaller. 

We made a turn, and suddenly, no more pavement. The First Reader expressed doubt. I said cheerfully “oh, this’ll be fun!” Out we went, past cotton fields broken occasionally by the low trees lining currently dry creeks. 

There comes a point, you’re out there far enough, cropland all around for miles, but the houses? Blank windows wink blindly from broken glass, while the wind tears off pieces until it’s whittled mankind down to empty hopes and broken dreams. 

We kept driving, mostly miles in a straight line, dragging a streamer of orange dust behind us. Deep dust, when it’s fine as cake flour, is a bit like driving through water. I steered carefully for the firmer edges, and the First Reader commented ‘feels like hydroplaning’ at one point. Then he said something along the lines of ‘are you sure this is a good idea?’ I made noises about driving in snow, and knowing my limits back at him, and kept enjoying the country driving. 

It got a little greasy under the tires. I asked how much further the GPS said, he reported another mile, and I cautiously halted. “I think this is as far as we go.” 

Dust settled and we peered through the windshield. The road ahead, in a low place, was heaped and rutted through dust, axle-deep on my little car. “I’d better turn around while we can.” 

Turns out, when we got home and I looked up on the map where we’d been, it was a good thing we’d turned around there. Up a little further, the map had the road going through the north fork of the river, sans bridge. 

I can’t recommend you try to reach Doan’s Crossing without a 4×4, probably lifted. On the other hand, if you stop at Lupes II in Vernon, TX you can expect a delicious meal that won’t leave room for sopapillas with ice cream no matter how good they sound. We both had the house special plates, with slightly different things on them, and yum! Enchiladas, chile rellenos, even the beans were delicious. 

Heading home with full bellies and happy hearts, we chatted while we drove down the long roads of Texas. It’s been too long since we’d been able to get out and make the time for the kind of date we love, but we’re already planning the next one. 


4 responses to “Back Road Oklahoma”

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard Avatar
    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    My Dad’s comment upon driving dirt roads (in Illinois/Indiana) was if there was grass in the middle of the road, then you’re on a driveway not a road. 😉

    1. Hah! The grass is actually better than pure mud!

  2. dakorillon Avatar

    We still do that kind of date sometimes. And yes, having lived in Oklahoma, and in Colorado just north of the panhandle of OK (You could get from where we lived in Colorado (Campo) to OK to TX where the closest Walmart was in about an hour and 10 min. Made that trip lots! And yes, red clay dust is the worst! it gets in everything!

  3. Old NFO Avatar
    Old NFO

    That’s a great story!