Monday, March 2, 2009

Remember those maps with pictures?

Remember those maps they used to hand you at the amusement park? The picture or sketch of the rides were out sized, and yet the map was kid friendly and fun to use. Years and years ago, the phone books came with cutsey maps on the cover of major area attractions. I wish someone would make a map of 287 that had these highlighted:

Traveling from Fort Worth to Lawton, Oklahoma:

Just north of the loop, 820, in north Fort Worth, off I-35 is this tantalizing row of restaurants and a movie theater on the east side of the freeway. Saltgrass, for example, would be a good start for a trip. But, since you would not want to eat there until noon, your trip may get a late start. We usually breeze by before they are open so that the sun is at our backs.

Keep a keen eye out for the Decatur exit---just a few miles north of 820 and the intersection of I-35 and 820 in North Fort Worth. You are now on 287 headed north west. You will pass the tiny Haslet, and see a water tower with Rhome on it.

Decatur is a speed trap. BEWARE. But, it also has a new McDonald's, with clean bathrooms, and a flat screen TV. Braum's, I-Hop, Walmart are your other clean bathroom choices.

Alvord is next with a Valero for gas. (NE side)

Bowie: wonderful Walmart right next to the freeway, and this is your opportunity to take 81 north through Duncan if you want to avoid Wichita Falls completely. Bowie has a McDonalds in town about 2 miles.

Bellevue says the sign next to the RR tracks. And there is no room in Bellevue to widen 287 someday. No room at all. There is a picnic area right after Belleveue, but no bathroom. A picnic area without facilities makes NO sense to me at all.

Henrietta has a Subway, DQ, and Hwy 82 to lure you to Gainesville. And a Cowboy church.

Jolly has a Valero.

Ah, Wichita Falls----the overpass capital of the world. The whole city feels like an overpass. Treacherous during ice weather, and while you may fear getting off accidentally---I have done it, and let me tell you that you CAN get back on the freeway pretty easily. Fear not. One exit close to the southern end of town has a Valero, McBride Land and Cattle restaurant, and Luby's--left on Broad street, left on 9th. We have spied an El Chico from high atop the overpasses. Looks like it would be easier to get to from the north.

As you go north on I-44 out of Wichita Falls, you will pass by Shepherd AFB, and at exit 3C there is a Cracker Barrel which has clean bathrooms. Or, if you miss 3C, the next town is Burkburnett and it has a Subway at exit 13, or a Braum's at exit 12.

After you cross the Red River, you are in Oklahoma. Right after the toll road begins ($1.25) there is an island of a Phillips gas station, a super big McDonald's---who have not yet been hit by the coffee craze, and a wonderful welcome center with friendly ladies inside---fantastic bathrooms, and a few gift shops, and map heaven.

Does anyone know what the round, orange barns are next exit 28??

You are almost to Lawton---four main exits with more shops than you can shake a stick at.

You made it. Fort Sill is on the north side. Airport on the south side. Exits Lee, Gore, Cache---and nicely numbered the other direction.


JAMIE'S CREW said...

Fun little road trip! I got all excited when I read the part about taking 287 North from I35W because that is a stones throw from my neighborhood! I was excited because there is a Dairy Queen there and I thought we could take a little run there for a Blizzard. Turns out to be 86 miles from my house.

Darn the bad luck!

joyce said...

Surely there is a closer DQ...let's google it!

joyce said... huge list!!!

Anonymous said...

is Valero a gas station? We are a little out of it since we left in 06. Clarissa

joyce said...

Yes, Clarissa, Valero is the new name for the old Diamond Shamrock stations. It makes me sing the song whenever I see it---I will have to ask Uncle Bob the song from the fifties or sixties that it reminds me of.

Bag Blog said...

I have made many of those stops - the Wal-Marts and McDonalds in Decatur and in Bowie. There is a gas station of some sort that we normally stop at in Decatur that is near the Wal-Mart. On my last trip to Ft Worth, I took the scenic tour of downtown Decatur to show off the wonderful courthouse there.

Wichita Falls does have lots of overpasses, but now you can just blow through WF without stopping. It used to be the capital of stoplights.

JAMIE'S CREW said...

From my house - the next closest place is in Euless or something. Impossible to negotiate the traffice just for a Blizzard. LOL.