After our stay at the Balloon Fiesta we had a long ride to Fort Smith, Arkansas and the Arkansas Samboree.
We went to the launch field one more time before we left, but were able to get on the road by 9:30 central time. The drive to Amarillo was a long 300 miles. The trip was pretty unremarkable except for the strong cross winds. Tom and Jim were exhausted by the time we arrived.
We stayed at the same place on the way west. The guys used the whirlpool to soothe their aching muscles after fighting the wind for hours.
The next day we bounced and rumbled along the Interstate through Oklahoma. By far, Oklahoma has the worst Interstate. There were fissures in the road that had never seen any patching material. The gaps, I would estimate, varied from one to three inches wide. There was also quite a bit of construction on the stretch from the Oklahoma/Texas line to Tinker AFB where we spent the night. This leg of the trip was 261 miles.
Tinker AFB FamCamp was small but very nice. It was in a park-like setting with a fishing pond across from our campsites. We were lucky to get a space. We took advantage of the $.50/load laundry. (We paid as high as $1.75 per load elsewhere.) Taps was played over the loud speaker at 10 p.m. and woke Jim from a sound sleep.
The final leg from Tinker AFB to Fort Smith was 176 miles. This stretch of I-40, while it was still rough, had beautiful scenery. The eastern portion of Oklahoma has undulating hills with forests and large reservoirs.