Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2001 11:31 PM
Subject: Another world, another time, in the age of wonder.....

...On our way we stopped to get pictures at the state line, we both collect them at every new state.
Nothing like the sight of a VW Bus traveling down a back country road.
We had a great drive down, talking on the two-way radios, driving slow up hills, holding up traffic.  Funny thing, Snoopy actually drives the speed limit, and I got the most amazing gas mileage following him, however, I have not amended my ways since, and continue to drive like a maniac (at least as much as you can pulling almost 6000 lbs. with a 95HP engine) and get lousy gas mileage.  We rolled into Mt. Ida kind of late, had a little trouble finding camping, but finally found a Army Corps of Engineers campground for the night.  The next morning we got up and got out of there before the ranger came to collect fees ( I guess I shouldn't make that public, ripping off the Army Corps of Engineers is probably a federal offense, although...maybe I could turn myself in after I run out of money and get a cushy sentence in some minimum security "country club", with a mandatory sentence, probably something like 5 years, but it would give me time to write, they probably have a great gym, I could get another degree or two on the feds, learn a few new job skills like picking locks, hot wiring cars, trading junk bonds....) and headed out to do some mining.  On the way we stopped off at the pet store to get some canaries.  So we stopped at one of the shops, paid our fees, got our helmets and headed to the mine.  Sounds cool, but actually it was just a big hole that they dynamited in the side of a hill.  I grabbed my high-tech mining tools, claw hammer and large screwdriver, and we started looking for crystals.
Turns out a certain amount of patience is required to find the crystals lying around in the dirt, so I spent the first hour or two wandering around whacking on boulders with my hammer and screwdriver.  Snoopy meanwhile was finding stuff everywhere.  After a while he was handing me stuff he didn't want that was better than the best stuff I was finding.  Eventually I got the hang of it and found some decent stuff.  After a few hours we called it a day, Snoopy headed back East, and I took off to hike the Arkansas highpoint.  The weather got a little scary as I headed up the mountain, but I got this great shot....
It was getting late in the day, but the hike was only about half a mile, so no problems.
I checked the map and decided I could make it to Oklahoma City that night.  The weather continued to get worse as I crossed the border into Oklahoma, where I got a call from my Aunt who I had talked to earlier that day, informing me that there were tornados in OK City.  So I hung out in a rest stop for a while to let the weather pass through.  After a while I got back on the road and reached the luxury Wal-Mart parking lot in Eastern OK City around 11pm.  The next day I planned on visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial.