Monday, June 9, 2008

A dog's impression of Texas, steaks and shame in Oklahoma

UPDATED: Pictures added after the jump

Just a few minutes after driving over the  New Mexico-Texas border, about two miles away from Stuckey's, our lunch place of choice, Nicole starts freaking out.

"Oh my god," she said, "Annie's peeing!"

Sure enough, she was.  Ann Arbor, our five-month-old cockapoo puppy, had drunk a lot of water since our last stop at a rest stop in New Mexico, and she just couldn't keep it in.  Nicole picked her up, cutting her off, but the damage was done - a puddle had formed on the bench in between me and Nicole, and it was sliding towards my seat. I was driving the big truck - I couldn't do anything about it. So yes, I drove the rest of the day with a pee stain on my ass.

But I thought it was a fitting tribute from Ann Arbor to the state that pronounced 'Proud home of George W. Bush' on the welcome sign.

Oklahoma was an interesting state. Not too far after we crossed the Texas-Oklahoma border, we saw a sign telling us we were entering 'Apache-Navajo Nation' or something along those lines, and a sobering thought struck me: We were driving through ground zero of one of the most atrocious periods in America's history. This is Trail of Tears territory.  Yet today, there is nothing -- at least nothing visible to somebody driving through the state - to commemorate or remember what our government did to the area's original inhabitants.  There were tons of Route 66 museums, tons of kitschy 'Cherokee Trading Post' souvenir shops, but that's about it.

But once we were in Oklahoma City, we had a terrific steak dinner at Cattleman's Cafe. This is the kind of steak place that puts a mural on their back wall of men in suits on horses herding a group of cows - just so everybody knows exactly where their dinner came from.  Fantastic.

It's late, and we're going to sleep. We're off to St. Louis tomorrow. I'm two days behind on photos now, but tomorrow is our shortest day - about 500 miles - and we don't have a time change, so we should get there at a decent hour, and I should have time to catch up.  Nicole may join the blog fun to write about Cattleman's Cafe, because she's the foodie in this marriage. 

The trip:

Cattleman's Cafe:

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