Tuesday, 5/1/01 - In and Around Dallas Texas
The drive to Dallas from Austin had two delicious pit stops. On the way there, the Turkey Shoppe thrilled and amazed me with the best roasted turkey dinner, corn bread stuffing, sweet carrots and banana pudding I've ever had. On the way back, the Czech Bakery, famous for its Kolaches or Czech pastries, was a must-see stop.
In between, I went to the Barnes and Noble for my book signing, then a woman I know from Dallas showed up to say hello, so we sat for a while to catch up.
Stayed the night at another State Park right outside of Dallas, Cedar Hill State Park, at a site overlooking the lake. I learned that all of the Texas lakes are man-made.
I awoke to a man dumping his trash in the dumpster which I realized was strategically placed right next to my campsite. Good morning!
Got back on the road to Austin and picked up a variety of Kolaches at the Czech bakery including cream cheese, cottage cheese and poppyseed. Then headed back to Gary's house.
Wednesday, 5/2/01 - Sunday, 5/6/01 - Austin/Boston
A few more days in Austin before I had to fly to Boston for a speaking engagement. By that time, I was comfortable leaving the Berts with Gary and Mojo. Gary's theory was to walk the Berts on long, strenuous jaunts to tire them out so that Chewie would have no energy left to harrass Mojo. It seemed to work.
I flew to Boston to speak at the Simmons College of Management's annual conference for women. I spoke on a panel about women and technology. The moderator was Gina Smith who was the Good Morning America tech expert, Candice Carpenter of iVillage and Holly Atkinson of iVillageHealth.
Also on the program were Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou, who had a "private" conversation in front of an audience of 2000 women, starting with reciting Angelou's poem "Phenomenal Woman." A very powerful way to end the conference.
After the conference, I took advantage of being in a hotel with an indoor heated pool and went for a swim. As I floated on my back, my ears submerged in the water and all sounds muted and body nearly weightless and bouyant, I realized that being near water might be an important element of where I'd like to live.
Returned to Austin to find the Berts doing fine, enjoying Gary's big house and big yards. Unfortunately, we were hitting the road again the following day, so we took one last walk to the lake. The Berts and I need nature. How did we live so long in the city?
Monday, 5/7/01 - drive OK City, OK
Driving to Oklahoma City from Austin took determination as the hot sun beat down on the Apache and the hot engine brought the inside temperature to new heights. I stopped at the Turkey Shoppe one more time between Austin and Dallas before continuing on my way.
After passing a campground right after crossing the State Line on I-35, deciding to continue on a little while longer, I soon found that there weren't any other campgrounds until Oklahoma City, or at least none that I could find.
I did see one sign for a campground, turned off the Interstate, then drove for miles without seeing anything so I finally backtracked and got back onto the highway.
At one point, I pulled off at a Scenic Turnout, hoping to take some photographs of a great expanse of beautiful land, but didn't really see anything very scenic. Where was the scenic? Pretty but no scene.
As the day turned into evening, I entered Oklahoma's city limits and found the exit for the next campground. It was literally right off I-44, right behind the Texaco gas station - Briscoe Campground. About 40 sardine-packed RVs filled the virtually tree-less sites, but all were surely RVers relieved to finally find a campground after a long, non-descript drive through nowhere.
I seemed to be a novelty to most of the RVers, who turned out to be mostly men. Yes, I am a woman, alone, setting up my RV. But watch out for my killer dogs.