Bibles, Mullets and the Grand Wizard

Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
Trip End Aug 27, 2008

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Where I stayed
Days Inn

Flag of United States  , Arkansas
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So today we started out in Amarillo, TX.  After sleeping in a bit (much needed since we didn't arrive until 1 am)! We awoke and went to breakfast at The Waffle House, which is not really local but regional.  Apparently they are all over the south.  This place was well worth it and only $11! We loaded up with some Texas breakfast standards, Texas Bacon and egg sandwich, an order of Texas Toast and smothered hash browns with our choice of add ons (we opted for the Mushroom and Onion mix).

Next we were off to Super Wal-Mart to purchase some spray paint to leave our mark. Then we were off to see the Cadillac Ranch off of I-40. Cadillac ranch is a place of about 8 Cadillac's, hoods buried in the ground, completely covered in many years of layers of graffiti. They call it a living piece of artwork. We pulled off the highway onto the frontage road "somewhere between exit 60-62" (read the guide book... well which is it?). We found the gate that led the way to Cadillac ranch.  We walked along a path in the middle of a cornfield that led to the landmark. We quickly busted out the "raspberry pink" Krylon and got to work! (see pics)

Next stop, Shamrock, TX.  A town of 2000, one main street one, McDonalds yet several antique shops.  After a quick stop at an antique shop, chatting with a local and taking pictures at the Fighting Irish baseball field in this Irish themed town, we hit the highway.

Along I-40 on the way out of Texas we noticed a HUGE cross in the Sky. We pulled out the guidebook and looked up our approaching city of Groom, TX. Apparently some super serious bible thumpers erected the world's largest cross and Jesus monument right off the highway. We had to stop. This site is actually quite breathtaking (see pics) and has a lovely gift shop with a beautiful restroom and a large monument to the Ten Commandments.

We pretty much just drove right through Oklahoma after realizing there wasn't much we were interested in seeing and we really wanted to get to AR at a decent time this evening. We pulled off to get some gas somewhere near El Reno, OK where we encountered our first two mullets of the day and a new wave of thick southern accents even better than the ones in TX. We cruised through Oklahoma City and right in to AR by 9:30pm.

We checked in to our super cheap ($46) Days Inn right in the heart of Fort Smith. We freshened up a bit and after determining it was a safe neighborhood to walk around in we headed out for a bite to eat. (Downtown closes up shop early) Within a few blocks we stumbled upon Papa's a local bar that serves Pizza till midnight. We grabbed a beer and a sweet tea and started enjoying our dinner and the local crowd. You can smoke in bars here in AR and we are not used to that. We spent most of the time on the cool brick back patio. We ended up chatting with a few local guys that included a Tattoo artist, a mixed martial arts fighter and a chef. Very interesting conversations ensued after that as we discussed such varied topics as hunting season in Louisiana gets you two weeks off of school, more information than we needed about the local KKK and the hometown of the new Grand Wizard...(the fact that these guys knew the name of THE grand wizard and where his home scared us a little), life as a fighter and how supportive his fiancÚ is. By midnight we had had enough of this crowd... leaving slightly appalled and remembering where exactly we were... right smack dab in the middle of the bBiblebelt. It is jarring to hear the N* word brought up in common conversation.

One last stop at Roosters bar on the way back home for the night. We had a quick drink, listened to some REALLY good karaoke and enjoyed the front balcony that looks over the main street. Fun tid bit: Upon entering this bar and flashing our out of state licenses we were asked to "sign in". Apparently if you are a private alcohol serving establishment in AR you must require a membership OR every entrant must sign their name. Not sure what that's all about but we got a picture of our sign in sheet since we found it amusing. And of course you can't drink or buy alcohol on Sunday's in the whole state... it's the Sabbath you know!

At the end of day 3 we are nearly half way through the country and are thrilled and loving every second of this trip and can't wait to see what's coming up at our next stop.
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