Saturday, April 18, 2020

Hinton, Oklahoma to Joplin, Missouri

Location: Truck Travel Center east of Joplin, Missouri

This morning Yuma and I were awake at 7 o'clock and soon after we were up and fixing breakfast.  Was chilly last night.  Got down to 37 degrees but the wind was gone and the skies were bright blue.  Going to be a great travel day.

About 8:30 I saw Lorne sitting outside drinking a cup of coffee and I went out and joined him.  It was just cool enough to wear a jacket or sweatshirt, but felt nice.  Soon Sue joined us and we got one last coffee happy hour in before we started our final preparations to leave.
Went back inside to finish packing and then headed up to the corner for diesel.  Finally, at 11:30 we were on our way.  They were heading north and we were headed east.  I was thinking of taking state roads to Vinita, Oklahoma, but ended up taking the beautiful I-44 tollway all the way to Vinita.  

The WL traveled flawlessly and before I knew it Oklahoma City was dead ahead.  In years past I have always hated the drive through OKC because of all the construction.  It is now all done and I skirted around the city comfortably.  
After OKC we were on our way to Tulsa.  The day is just beautiful.  No wind!  I'm so glad I waited one day till those winds settled down.  Next came the Arkansas River and as I passed over the bridge I caught Tulsa, Oklahoma to the north. 

Over the interstate rest area.

I stopped in Vinita, Oklahoma at 4:30 as planned at the Walmart and went in and bought supplies. 
Had a late lunch and the day was still so beautiful, after a rest, I decided I wasn't ready to call it quits.  I decided to take the state highways from here and look for a place to settle down that was more remote.  It was 5:45 and off we went looking.  

For some reason, I kept missing places to stay and before I knew it I was in Joplin, Missouri and back on I-44.  Saw a Travel Center that allowed overnight camping mainly for truckers.  Pulled in and filled up with diesel and drove back to the parking area and it was huge.  I found a place way off in a corner and I'm done for the day.  It's now 7 o'clock and we traveled 270 miles today.
My youngest grandson, Keaton turned five today and because of the coronavirus, he couldn't have a normal birthday party.  So, Instead all the family and his friends drove by his house in a parade of cars with balloons and streamers.  They would stop and he would run over and grab his presents from the car window as they handed them out.  What a unique and memorable birthday for Mr. Keats!  

Happy birthday, Keaton!

Miss Fergie wishing Keaton a happy birthday! Jim and Sarah holding Keats.

The parade of cars slowly going by.

The handsome five year old Mr. Keaton!

 Time for dinner and bed.  See you later.


  1. That was a good travel day, you will soon be home. Take care and safe travels.

  2. Made it long ways! Glad it was a great day for traveling! Have you noticed the traffic being much lighter because of the Coronavirus? Safe travels!!

  3. Our first meeting with L & S & C was for a morning Happy Hour. A nice memory although they left the same day.
    That was a long travel day but it is the kind of day to just keep on going. Good job!
    I love the birthday parade so Keaton has a special one to remember instead of a sad memory. :)
    Continued safe travels, Doug!
    Was the Walmart stocked well in Vinita?

  4. There's supposed to be a good restaurant in Vinita that we saw on Diners and Drive Ins. We've never made it there as we always head for Pawhuska instead so we don't go quite that far north. Will have to one day. Keaton is just too cute, Happy Birthday! I can't believe the price of gas in the background! Wish it was that low out here!

  5. How fun for Keaton!!! I loved Missouri, all except for the ticks. Be careful with Mr. Yuma!! Guess I've been lucky ... I never hit much construction or traffic in Oklahoma City. I love all the statues they have around town.

  6. Happy Birthday to Keaton, a fun drive by celebration. A long day on the road for you and Yuma, but it looks like it was an easy drive.
    Continued Safe Travels!

  7. Happy birthday little man!!!!
    How wonderful to meet up with Lorne and Sue. I'll bet you folks had a grand time!!
    Continued safe travels!!!

  8. Sometimes your gut instinct tells you to keep moving. Best to follow your gut. Keaton is an adorable young man. That was sweet of the family to help him celebrate his birthday.

  9. What a special memory for your cute Grandson's 5th Birthday. Morning/coffee hour are pretty nice. As I recall the one time we got together with them, Lorne and Sue was at one of those next to Patsy and Bill's home on wheels. From the pictures it looks like you had another good travel day. I am guessing you and Yuma are getting pretty close to home.Continued safe travels.