US Road Trip Epilog: 13th July 2005

Highways 77, 60 & 11 the 200 miles or so south to Tulsa. Once in Oklahoma, after a fair bit of cheering from having got through Kansas, we encounter something we haven't seen for a while - tree-lined roads with corners. Suddenly the driving is more interesting.

The Holiday Inn Express we'd pre-booked isn't actually as 'downtown' as they'd like to think it is, but there is a footpath nearby that will take us into the city. After checking-out the rooms - mine even includes a balcony (albeit overlooking the Interstate) - we head off for a walk into Tulsa.

Walking into Tulsa
Walking into Tulsa. The building on the right is the prison. Not pictured are two Englishmen trying to walk quickly but unobtrusively the hell away from it as soon as possible.

It's really too hot to be out walking, even if it is for only an hour or so. By the time we find Arnie's Bar we're both looking like drowned rats. Arnie's Bar, which is an Irish place not redecorated in about 50 years, has aircon and cheap pitchers of beer. It probably goes without saying that we like it a lot.

Alex outside the 1974 Bar and Grill
Alex outside the 1974 Bar and Grill.

Just over the road is the 1974 Bar and Grill. In here we have an interesting chat with the guy who's the owner's father, later joined in conversation by his wife.

The thing that needs saying at this point is just how friendly Americans are. There are exceptions, of course, but overall it's a truism that this is the most welcoming country I've ever visited. Just in the past few weeks we've had long and good-spirited conversations on a variety of topics, including those you're not supposed to discuss (religion and politics), with a whole host of people with opinions who may or may not have been different. All this without a hint of any trouble.

After another such conversation, and as we're thinking about where we can find a cab back to our motel, we're offered a lift back to our motel by the couple we were talking to. This is typical of the friendliness we've encountered recently.

Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn Express means free pizza and beer. I'm completely knackered but Alex, being younger and obviously with a much healthier constitution, gets a cab back into town to explore the nightlife. After I'd fallen asleep he returns, somewhat the worse for wear it must be said, to tell me just how great the bar scene is on the outskirts of town.

US Road Trip Epilog: 14th July 2005 >