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.