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The Quest for Caffeine (and food)

For those reading this who are also subscribers to one of my Silver or higher payment plans, you may recall reading about the crazy times I had over the weekend of the Claremore Comic Con. This post is going to be a snippet of my continuing adventures from that weekend.

Due to horrible weather on Saturday, there was no power anywhere in the area. Normally on day 2 or 3 of a convention, on the way to the venue, I will stop in a convenience store to get some bottles of water, caffeine, and sometimes a little munchie treat for during the day. Since there was no power anywhere, nobody could sell anything, either.

I packed up and headed home early Sunday, and I figured that I would stop somewhere a little further away in Tulsa that should have power. Since Tulsa is a much bigger town, there shouldn't be as many power issues, you would think.

Once I has gotten past the middle of town, I pulled off the freeway, intending to find something to eat and drink. Immediately after I pulled off, I knew I had made a mistake. There were stop signs at the intersections, which was leading to heavy traffic. There were leaves and branches littering the streets and curbs. As I was turning toward a Braum's, I noticed that it was dark inside, and the glass seemed to have some condensation on the inside. I knew right away that they had no power, as the A/C would have taken care of that, if it was working. Luckily, I was able to get turned around easily, and avoided most of the traffic to get right back on the highway.

I figured I would drive a few more miles down the road, then try again to stop somewhere for food and drinks. I eventually came across a good exit that had several fast food options along with a big gas station. As I exited, I noticed that the on-ramp back to the highway was closed (under construction). I didn't let this bother me at first, since my main goal was food. I passed a McDonald's, and had a bad feeling about this exit, as well. The McDonald's sign had gotten nearly destroyed, most likely by all the high winds from the previous night. I pulled into an Arby's a little further on, and pulled into the drive-thru. From where I was, I could already see that the gas station across the street didn't have power, yet, either. I didn't spend too much time in that Arby's drive thru, luckily, as I figured out it wasn't going to happen.

Then came the fun part, I had to figure out how to continue on my journey. It was now time to confront the issue of the closed on-ramp. I didn't know the area, so I had no idea how to get around this or what shortcuts to take. My (normally) trusty Google maps kept trying to direct me back to the closed on-ramp, though. I drove along a street that looked like it was going the same general direction as the highway, in hopes that Google maps would reroute me to the next entrance.

Yeah, that didn't happen. I ended up right back where I started at the Arby's and McDonald's. There wasn't a way to continue the way I had gone. So, I had to try something else. I followed the navigation up until the on-ramp, and then passed it. I took the next street over and tried to make my way to another entrance myself. Let me tell you, this was a bit creepy. I was going through some run-down areas with streets that are practically more pothole than asphalt, and I had no idea where I was or where I was going.

Thankfully, the stars aligned, and I came across what looked like some sort of janky on-ramp that probably rarely gets used, even if people remember it's there. Then, since the signs were very pitiful, I actually missed the onramp the first time, and had to loop around to get to it a second time.

Immediately after taking the onramp, there was a fork. Of course the signs indicating which is which is very low, dirty, and hard to see on a good day. I ended up taking the wrong fork. THANKFULLY, Google kicked in and managed to get me routed properly to a new entrance further up. The fork I had taken was right along-side the highway I needed, so I was going the right direction, anyway.

The road I was on was nearly a service road to the highway, so I was hoping to maybe find some kind of place to get some food or drinks. And I did! There was a very small gas station that had a truck at one of the pumps, and there looked to be some lights on the windows, so they had power! I pulled over right away. As soon as I was off the road, though, I got apprehensive again. The truck at the pump was backed toward it, perpendicularly. As I pulled in, I noticed that the pump itself was at a 45 degree angle, and this truck appeared to possibly be working to right it back up. There also didn't appear to be a normal looking shop for the gas station, and since there were not many people around and the area is sketchy, I didn't want to chance anything. I just noped right the heck out of there and continued on my way.

I was FINALLY able to get back on the highway I needed, and I just gave up on food and caffeine. It wasn't until I was about halfway down the turnpike that I pulled over for the gas station and McDonald's stop they have in the middle, and I was able to go through the drive through. Let me tell you, they were BUSY. It being a Sunday afternoon and on Father's Day, I figured it would be busy anyway. It didn't bother me, though, I was just happy to get food.

When I got to the payment window finally, the woman there was apologizing for the wait, and explained that they are slammed since so many places are still without power. I agreed with her, giving her a very brief rundown of my experiences so far. I told her that I don't mind the wait, I just needed some food. I was able to finally get my meal and on my way.

That was a very amazing McDonald's meal, simply because I was hungry and it was the only thing I could find.

After all this, I was finally able to get home OK with no further incidents.

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