False are those ancient distortions;
The gentle are beginning by the gossip of the cruel.

Leaving the next morning wasn't nearly as emotional as when we left Papa. After a wonderful breakfast of waffles and strawberries, we went to Western Auto for a new tire. We didn't leave until 12:00 noon. I felt myself become invisible when a tall woman with big hair, lots of make-up, hot pants, and a tank top came in expecting everyone to quite what they were doing to do her bidding. And they did! That might have been what took the mechanics so long. Bob was with the mechanics most of the time and confirmed that this was probably true. The man who was working on the van stopped to talk to her for a very long time. I always hate being in those auto places. I think they must be required by law to put up cheese cake posters of girls in bikinis. There I was in my long skirt with streaked hair and nose rings.

The drive was pleasant and rather uneventful at first. We tried to stay on the back roads as much as possible intuiting our way through Texas and most of Oklahoma. I was the navigator and tried to keep us out of the hills and staying in Oklahoma as long as possible by making a diagonal across the state. We wanted to camp out at Boiling Springs State Park that night. That would put us as far west as we could be in Oklahoma so that we could go due north once we got into Kansas the next day. I was hoping that Boiling Springs was a hot spring, but Bob said that when he called the park office, they said that the name came from how the spring seemed to bubble as it ran. "It doesn't really bubble anymore," they said. This became a running joke for us during the rest of the drive. We kept driving over rivers and creeks that didn't seem anything like their names; like this dingy barren brown creek called, Green Creek must have used to have been greener.

Although we tried very hard to stay out of the hills for the sake of the van, we drove straight into the Arbuckles during the hottest part of the day. The landscape was gorgeous but I could see Bob's knuckles turning white again. When we went through a town located near the top of our climb, a bank sign said that the temperature was 109. We rested the van for quite a while and then continued on our way. The landscape then got easier for the van but less interesting for me until we got into a wooded area just as the sun was starting to go down. The towns were each about 20 miles apart and not all of them had places to eat.

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