Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Don't Pick Up Hitch Hikers around Here

Today was spent driving through northwestern Oklahoma. It is not a highly populated place, unless you are a cow or grasshopper. I drove for miles and miles through relatively flat amber waves of pastureland--most dead grass, I think. Then I see a yellow warning sign telling me not to pick up hitch hikers because they may be escaped convicts.

I'm thinking, "Well, what if it's Cool Hand Luke? I'd have to figure a way to make room for him". Then there is the "correctional" facility. Probably a misnomer. I wonder how much actual correction goes on, or how much goes on that is civilly and morally correct. I'm not one who likes the set up, nor am I one who thinks the "soft and cushy" treatment of prisoners is why we have crime on the streets and repeat offenders. Actually, I do not think the people who consider anything more than bread and water, and an 8x8 cell with a roommate is cushy, have the slightest clue what they are talking about.

Anyway, I saw no hitch hikers. But the next sign pointed left to a lonely and long looking little road. It said, "cemetery". I guess that is where the last guy who wanted to hitch hike home from the cushy prison is.

It seemed to fit; the warning, the Big House, the bone yard. I was in hard core blues country.

Oddly enough, I saw the same warning in New Mexico, but their Big House was less big, and if there is a cemetery to go with it, they don't put signs up so you know.

Finally, I see just a hint of mountainous terrain in the distance and made it to New Mexico. I need to look at the map to get the name straight, but I believe the spooky town was called Singer. There were some cars parked here and there, and of course an abundance of pick up trucks. There was a cafe/hotel that had a sign which said "open". A tiny town with sidewalks and such but absolutely no sign of human activity.

I parked and got out to check out the Brown's Hotel and Cafe closer, but everything looked old and unfriendly through the window, and it looked like you had to go through a foyer or something to get to whatever was there; no easy escape. I'm not sure if you can check out, and who knows if they have you for dinner. That is, if real people live there. Maybe zombies.

Not one other person on the sidewalks, any cars just drove past. No one else stopped. A dog in a fenced in yard half a block away barked at me, half heartedly. Probably a zombie dog.

When I was leaving and about a half mile out of the eerie place, I encounter some chubby girls walking hell dogs in the middle of the road, walking toward me. Smack in the middle of my lane. I moved to the left lane since there was no traffic. They had to hold the dogs which were straining as if they wanted to attack my car. Crazy. I was going 50 and the speed limit was 55. The girls and their dogs appeared abnormal, and not in a good way. They were headed toward the zombie town. I guess I could have turned around and followed them but I am a coward. Curious as I am regarding where they would go and if maybe all the vehicles in town are theirs, fear caused me to keep on truckin'.

So, I wound up in Cimarron. I stopped too much along the way. Once I stopped and Glass mountain park--maybe that is the name--and hiked up a mesa like thing. They have a trail cut and even steps cut in and such. I met a rattle snake and called an end to the hike. We both lived and neither of us offered the other any formal or informal greeting.

Cimarron presents itself as an artsy place, and I guess it is in a way. All the people I've met here seem like they may be on LSD. Nice enough, but kind of crazy. Hard to explain, but it would not surprise me to see people here running in circles trying to catch their tails, all the while shouting undecipherable threats at their pals. What I've seen is not too far off from that. But they are fairly nice to strangers. I have the feeling they aren't sure who is a stranger and who isn't. Charming thing in its own way.

I walked up the road and bought some books from a guy who keeps his motorcycle inside the used book store, and has about thirty overpriced used bicycles outside. All priced at $100 each. They aren't terrible but I don't think they run much more than that new. Used cheap bikes, not cheap used bikes.

I needed some reading material. One book by Michener, I know I haven't read. Prince of Tides by whatshisname, I am not sure. I may have read that one.

Once again I am bowing money on an Inn. This is the canyon Inn and it is OK. I think the tenants and owners are all on LSD like the rest of the townspeople I've seen. To her credit, the angry lesbian two rooms down is a looker, when she isn't sneering with a look that says, YOU ARE A MAN, YOU MUST DIE! AND I KNOW YOU WERE LOOKING AT MY ASS. PIG. I don't know, something about the sneer said all that, so I looked at her ass when she turned back around.

Needless to say, I like it here, but doubt I'd want to live here. There are various artsy crafty shops here and there, and that is good. Maybe the candle shop melts down people from Singer, the zombie town, to produce their art. Remind me to consult a map to be sure of that name. It is not a place you'd want to run out of gas or break down in after dark, or even before. Thinking of that place at night gives me the creeps big time. How could there be absolutely no activity, yet vehicles were placed as if someone should exit one of the shops? I so no activity behind the store windows, but you couldn't see much. Zombies never clean their windows.

That's alright because Cimarron's active populace makes up for it. None of the activity here makes sense to me. It seems to please the tail chasers though. I'm going to risk drinking the water so if I seem radically different next time anyone hears from me, you'll know why.

Tomorrow, provided the water does not induce insurmountable obstacles, I will hit the tried and true Taos campground. I look forward to it.


  1. I love reading about your road trip adventures. I need to take a road trip like this sometime in my life...

  2. So you're avoiding the Chupacabra Route, eh?

    Sounds like a good trip otherwise. You are to be commended for not picking up hitchhikers wearing orange jumpsuits. That's never a wise policy....

  3. Sounds like my impressions of Ovid and Nederland, both in Colo.


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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
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