Sunday, October 27, 2013

US Route66- Day 3, Sept 19, 2013 Thursday. Meramec caverns and Blue whale

I woke up around 7am. I had a good night sleep. I've noticed that my sleep doesn't get bothered by the location or type of bed. I've seen people who do not sleep comfortably when sleeping in their friends place, or motel beds or on the floor. Thankfully, I get a decent continuous 6-8hr sleep no matter where I'm sleeping. The only thing I can think of is the temperature. If its too cold and I'm not properly covered in blankets, I can't sleep. When I stay in hotels, I usually turn up the temperature a bit and keep the room warm and then tuck myself under the blankets. Ah, the peaceful sleep that I get.
Today's first attraction, Meramec caverns, was mere 10miles away from my motel. I left my motel around 9am. The cavern is inside Meramec state park so it was a very pleasant drive when I exited the highway. Flora and fauna on either side of the road and overcast weather. Perfect. The cavern was the hideout of robber Jesse James. I don't know much about him except I saw the movie "The assassination of Jesse James by the coward Robert Ford" and I liked it. Brad Pitt was amazing in it.
I went in there and got my tour ticket. I still had 10mins before the tour would begin. I saw only old people in there. I thought of taking a picture of mine in the cavern and asked an old lady who was also waiting for the tour to begin. Her body was shaking a bit all the time. I've seen this condition in old people. As soon as I saw it I knew I've done a mistake. But kind as she was, she obliged and took the phone from me, and tried to take a picture of mine. I checked the picture and it was hazy. I thanked her nonetheless. She didn't knew that she had butchered the pic.
In we go with the tour guy. The place was beautiful. Typical cavern with water streams here and there. They had done a good job with the lighting and stuff. It was pretty cold too. They say it remains at 65F round the year.

The cavern was alright. Lighting was good. Good location. Enjoyed my visit. There was a musical light show at the end which was good. 
My days attraction included the cavern and Blue whale and 4hr of driving between them. So I headed off to Catoosa, OK, for a visit to the blue whale.

The whale is a whale made out of tins and wood, in a pond. Its nothing special except that it has been there for a while alongside 66 hence became a famous stop for travellers. Something to cheer their kids while they take few minutes off from driving. The pond was dirty with some fish and few tortoises knocking about. The sign said its a catch and release pond. I don't think I'd like to fish in this dirty water. I don't think I'd like to take to dip in it either even though it had sliding boards into the water. The whale is painted blue which I don't know why. I've not seen a blue whale in real life or in tv and I don't know if they are this stark blue. I just had to swing by this place because it's like the Illinois Giants, something symbolic of 66. 

I then drove to Tulsa, OK. I decided to stay in Trade Winds Central Inn which was a bad idea. The room that I got didn't have a working TV so I switched rooms. The next room had the same problem and so I moved to another one. Thankfully this one had the TV working. TV wasn't a big thing for me. Its just for one night and I can definitely manage but I thought if I'm paying money for it, I should have the option. In case if I get bored, I'd like to turn it on and browse. The money included that. It took me an hour before I finally got to undress, and relax. Took a shower, setup my clothes and laptop, put my phone on charge and turned the tv on. It was already 9pm. I thought I should leave if I intend to have some dinner as most of the places would close in this small town. By the time I was out it was 9:30pm and I was driving around looking for a decent place to eat but everything was closed already. Just then Ritesh called me. He was out in Omaha for work that week and on his way return, his flight got cancelled due to bad weather so he took a rental and decided to drive. That was a bad idea because he had already started to feel sleepy. He called me up to chat a bit and get over his sleep. I kept him engaged for 15-20mins. I pulled over for a 'subway' sandwich and kept talking to him while I put my order. I then wanted to get into some bar and have a beer. Pulled into one nearby. I don't remember the name but it wasn't what I had expected. The place was barren with 3-4 dudes chilling out. Pretty depressing. Since I'm here already, I ordered a Guinness. Finished my drink and left and behold. rain and thunderstorm. Drove to another bar but it was even worse. From the outside, I could see, there was nobody in there except bar tender and a couple. Frustrated, I decided to go to a nearby strip club.
In my time in US, I've been to couple of them. Going alone to such places definitely sucks and gives out a signal that your life really sucks. With friends, its a different deal altogether. Plus, in my opinion, small town strip clubs are different than bigger cities in the sense that they are cheap plus the girls don't show attitude. They seem to be humble and understanding. Cities like in Chicago, the girls are kinda rude. If you don't give out enough money, they won't even bother. Anyways, its a nice experience to see strip clubs across the country, big or small town. This was a small one with $10 entry fee. The girls were okay. Not breathtaking or raunchy type as in Chicago. When I'm in Tulsa, I didn't even expect much so I was quite happy. Had a drink and a lap dance. Not a bad climax to a day of mixed experiences.
Came back to the motel. I had a pair of 25lb and 30lb dumbbells loaded in my car and I thought I'll give a break to my car's suspension for the night. I took them out and kept them in the room as the room was on the ground floor and my car parked right in front of it. My car must definitely be happy. 

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