Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oklahoma

Sunday evening my work called me to see if I was able to go down to Oklahoma on Monday and drive a bus up with a few other guys, just like I did last week from IL. I was able. So I was at work at 3AM Monday and we piled into a cha
rter van like this one, but ours had an AC unit on the top back-->
A lot of reading and sleeping. Somewhere around Iowa and Missouri we entered triple digit temperatures. The van was our inverted oven. The windows were very hot to the touch from the outside temperatures.
We arrived in Oklahoma at around 4PM. The bus manufacturing facility was huge. It was an old military bomber factory in its history, I guess. Paperwork was processed and we ran down a checklist on our brand new buses. If it was over 100 degrees outside, imagine what it was inside the buses!
We were on the road at about 5pm, but then it took over an hour to fill all 7 buses at the very first diesel station. Eventually we got going. Drove for about an hour and a half to Joplin, MO to a hotel our leader was familiar with. Got in at about 7 and finished paperwork and logbooks at around 8PM.

Comfortable Hotel. I roomed with 3 other guys while another room held 3 more. 7 in total. Mark, Marty, Josh and I in one room. Dave, Steve and Kirk in the other.

We had a very good breakfast at about 6 and headed North just after 7. Somewhere in Iowa three of the fellas kind of took off ahead lead by the grumpy Mark. He wasn't excited about following anyone else's bus- even when I was leading most of the way. Someone passing him lead to him trying to one-up them and they went on ahead.

When the van needed to refuel, Dave just had us remaining three fill up our tanks which made us good for the rest of the trip. He drove off to go find the other jokers so they could have means to refuel- I believe they would be waiting for him in Albert Lea, MN. That left Marty, Josh and I to make our way by ourselves.

We decided to stop at the last rest stop in Iowa- a two level barn which was very nice. Once we had our rest we got back onto 35. As I passed the exit for Albert Lea, Mark fell in right behind my bus. He stayed there all the way back to base. The other two jokers were about 5 minutes ahead of us.

With a few stops for stretching and one for fuel we made it back to the Twin Cites at about 6:30 to 7pm.

It was a good trip. And a good bus.
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