Rolling Along: Week 2

Beyond the Gallery

Cows grazing through the fields of Oklahoma

Week two of being on the road with
Matt HerzogJack SingerDavid Fort Jr, and Bobby Decker

An Arkansas Fourth of July reassured our search for America. We were free and lost track of time in El Dorado. We got to play with some of Dave’s old toys: some industrial fireworks, four-wheelers and a Remington shotgun. A real helluva time. Most of us never shot a gun before, it was both frightening and exciting to be in control of that much power. At some point it started raining, so we ran in the fields. The rain belt down on us hard like soft bullets, and the overgrown grass whipped at our ankles. It felt right. The grain was flying everywhere as we drove through the fields. By the time we got back, our bare stomachs looked like everything bagels.

John Railey showed us cool spots around the woods of El Dorado, Arkansas

We met so many friendly people in El Dorado who showed us that southern hospitality is still alive and well. Dave’s mom, Tracy, made us meals every day. Amy, Tracy’s wife, performed some songs for us after dinner. John Rawley, a friend of the family, gave us a tour of the backwoods near the family property. We had so much more to do in El Dorado, but we had to continue on our trip. 

A beautiful sunset at the lake in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

From there, we traveled north to take a spin in Dave’s dad’s boat on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs. It’s essentially Long Island with all the pro-Trump signs everywhere and its focus on boat culture, the only difference being the southern accents. We drank all day, practiced our backflips, and miserably failed at wakeboarding. Though we had to keep going, we all secretly wanted to stay in Arkansas.

Walking around and shooting photos during the sunset in Prior, Oklahoma

We continued on to Oklahoma. We were now in the Mid-West, and our first stop was Tahlequah. On the way, we passed by dozens of those empty, small towns of the Mid-West. There, you’ll find bored teens waiting tables and old folks with sad eyes and calloused hands. Many of the storefronts are abandoned. It was sobering. If you ask them what’s the best thing to do in town, they tell you, “Leaving.”

We took their advice and headed for Tahlequah, OK. There’s pockets of hope in Oklahoma, and Tahlequah is one of them. It was a lively town with a vibrant skate community. 

Our day in Tulsa, Oklahoma consisted of amazing views and one of the best skateparks ever!

We continued on the road to Tulsa. We went to an amazing art museum called the Philbrook. Besides its contemporary art, it also detailed the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre. It led us to visit the actual site of the massacre in Greenwood. I don’t know what we expected, maybe the ruined buildings to still be there or a couple historical museums. But what we saw was oblivious white dudes drive by on electric scooters and people selling “Black Wall Street” merchandise. It was a lot more commercial than we expected. There were still a few on those streets trying to keep the history alive.

Ironic sight off of Route 66

Harley’s house and store. Just wait for the documentary to hear what this man had to say….

From Tulsa, we took the I-40 all the way to Amarillo, TX. I-40 stands over the dingy, once-historic, Route 66. We passed by the tourist trap towns, making a stop in Erick right off the highway. We had the pleasure to meet Harley, the hillbilly legend of Route 66. You’ll have to see our doc to see the insane interview with him. 

Cadillac Ranch was really not worth the trip. It was funny to see parents encouraging their kids to do graffiti though

Somewhere in Texas, the Mid-West became the South-West. We stopped to hear an immense quietness, which added to its mystery. You can just barely hear the language of the land spoken by the wind in its canyons. Or you could see it in its longhorn skulls and cacti. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just visit the South-West and you’ll understand. 

Flags at a random gas station stop in Texas. The smell of manure invaded our noses as we exited the van

We spent an entire day driving across Texas and saw a whole bunch of nothing. At some point, we made the delirious decision to stop in Roswell, New Mexico. We took the Clovis Highway, which is the by far the smelliest stretch of road in America. The root of this god-awful smell came from the industrial scale of its cattle killing production. “Inshitious” was the word we came up with for the Clovis Highway.

Roswell, New Mexico: home of alien lovers and ufo sightings

We arrived in Roswell at night and slept in a Walmart parking lot. We did not have any close encounters.

If you wanna mess with the bull you’re gonna get the horns.

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