No Man’s Land
Originally my plan was to make my nightly stop on Day 10 in Enid, Oklahoma, however two days ago the hotel called to tell me they are cancelling my reservation because “the hotel is full”. Clearly, they don’t understand how reservations work. My guess is that since rates had gone up, they were taking new reservations at the higher rate and cancelling older reservations at the lower rate. Unfortunately, because rates had gone up, all the other hotels in Enid were much more expensive than I thought I should be paying for a town in Oklahoma.
I took a look at the map and found a hotel in a city a bit further to the north that actually had a better rate. This would mean taking a slightly more northern route. I had once looked at this route and dismissed it because it’s very remote, with towns about 30-40 miles apart, however it would have to do.
I slept in a bit and started making my way through the cattle grazing fields of the narrow strip of Oklahoma known as the panhandle (as it’s wedged between Texas to the south, Kansas to the north and New Mexico to the west). Fun fact: this strip of land was once “no man’s land” not belonging to any state. The reason is that the southern border of Kansas and Colorado was set by an act of Congress, as was the eastern border of New Mexico. Then came Texas which already had defined borders. Since the northern border of Texas was not as far north as the southern border of Kansas, that left ungoverned land in between. Naturally it became the land of outlaws and fugitives in the wild west. Eventually, when Oklahoma became a state, the land was included as part of the new state.
My lunch stop was the town of Buffalo, which as far as I could tell only had the one restaurant, however it was totally full with all the local farmers so it couldn’t be half bad. After that I made my way to my destination of Alva.
Alva is the location of the Northern Oklahoma State University, so I spent some time on campus sitting in the shade and catching up on some reading. After dinner, I went to see “A Quiet Place Part 2” at a small local movie theater and had some good scares. Tomorrow is the final leg of my journey as I’ll arrive back home!