I had to pick up something... (It's a high security delivery so I'm not allowed to say what or which company... but I must say that it's probably not as important as everybody is making it out to be... it's not uranium or anything, and I seriously doubt that Osama Bin Ladin is gunning for me... ) before 4 pm on Tuesday and deliver it to Oklahoma before 7:30 AM on Wednesday. I don't really mind this... these overnight deliveries pay extremely well, but it does make planning your life a little difficult...
So I picked up the box, kept it locked up until 2 am, woke up then took off for Oklahoma.
Now, when planning my route I ran into a glitch. I usually avoid toll roads. The ones in Dallas only save me about 3 minutes on a trip, and aren't worth the money. But if you're going to Oklahoma from Texas, you can take the $1:50 toll road and get where I was going in 3 hours or take another route, across what my GPS insisted were unpaved roads, and get there in 5 1/2 hours, not to mention the waste of gasoline... Very clever of those Oklahomans... got them quite a little money-maker there.
Now, Oklahoma is a beautiful state, full of rural pastures and scenery.
Not so much at 4 AM though... Nice skies full of stars... which my camera won't capture, but not really much else.
and I developed a tire issue... a slow leak.
Stopped a couple of times to fill the air up.
Got to Lawton, made my delivery, then waited around for a used tire store to open up. While I'm waiting for the tire store, I get a call from the person I just made the delivery too... seems that it wasn't supposed to get there until after 10, and he's quite irate as he just got woke up at home when I made the delivery. I explain that the order came through to be delivered before 7:30. Finally, we determine that someone in the main office is a total jack-ass... and we're all good. Then I got my new tire, and back on the road... this time going to Wichita Falls, TX... so back on the toll road I go.
Picked up, and finally, on the way back, I saw something worth taking a pic of... well it's worth photographing if you really stretch your imagination... Opuntia leptocaulis...
They're commonly called "christmas cactus" or 'Christmas cholla" by the more polite locals... and those little red berries are why. They show up bright red during the holidays... of course it's well into spring now, and the local mockingbirds have pretty much cleaned them off...
The plants have viscious little spines, and tiny little pads that break away at the slightest touch, and dig right into you. They're the bane of ranchers.
They're scattered throughout the state, and there seem to be varieties... the ones I see down around Austin are lighter in color and the sections seem longer. I once had one of them in the yard, but it didn't like our slightly tougher winters. Never bloomed and eventually just gave up the ghost after about 5 years.
These are growing north of me, and would most likely handle our winters like a dream. Might even think it was on a tropical vacation. So yes, I used extreme caution and brought a few little sections home to root. If you'd like to know more about them, try this link... or for a more detailed scientific discussion, try this link...
Anyway, I eventually dropped what I picked up in Wichita Falls in Dallas, and then I went home after driving 12 hours straight and collapsed in a small coma. And then, I woke up at midnight. I'd try to get something useful done, but then, come time to go to work in a few hours, I'll be tired out, so I'm using this time for lolling around doing nothing. I haven't had a good loll in a while.