Day 4: Walmart after dark,  cheap diesel, and Route 66

400 miles
17mpg
Red Rock Canyon State Park: $12


I have to say, I had the best rest in that Marshfield, MO Walmart parking lot. No one disturbed me. Soothing light drone of I-44 traffic and birds in the marsh on the garden store side. And I felt like the last man alive as I shopped at 5am in the empty store. 

Also in Marshfield is the cheapest diesel I’ve seen in years. 
Unfortunately, the monsoon resumed in ernest as I was leaving, so I had to drive past Branson without stopping, and all the towns along Route 66 looked like this.


The storm was hugging both sides of I-44 and Route 66 for 150 miles, so there was no escaping it. I just kept it slow and steady, appreciating my four new tires.

The old Route 66 is much better marked than it was 11 years ago (my last trip down here), and I enjoyed snaking through old towns at a moderate pace. The speed limit was often 65mph on the rural stretches. It often criss-crosses I-44, and even has marked options to drive sections from various eras, as the road evolved. On a nicer day, I would have been in heaven.

I stopped for a break at the Bar-None Cowboy Church


I had looked ahead and decided Red Rock Canyon State Park past Oklahoma City might be a good place to spend the night. It’s a very surprising park. In an otherwise fairly flat and non-descript portion of Oklahoma, this canyon was a welcome oasis for travelers in the gold rush.

It’s also a welcome preview of coming attractions in Utah. Post-July 4th, I’m virtually alone in the park, and I choose a tent site up against the cliffs.


One of the great things about the 19′ Airstream Bambi is the capacity to boondock. I have enough power and water onboard for almost a week without hookups, with conservative use. And it saves me a few dollars.


I need to adjust my sense of scale to the larger Western states, but the Texas panhandle doesn’t seem too wide, so I might get to New Mexico tomorrow. Who knows…

2 thoughts on “Day 4: Walmart after dark,  cheap diesel, and Route 66

  1. Is 17mpg the usual average when towing?    What do you get on just the car?   Luv your pics.   LL

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