Saturday, November 11, 2006

80th Anniversary of US Highway System

November 11, 2006 marks the 80th Anniversary of the US Highway system. The US Highway system was created by the American Association of State Highway Officials to provide a uniform numbering system between states and replacing a hodgepodge of naming & numbering systems between states,  such as The Jefferson Trail (also known as Missouri Route 1 and Arkansas Route A-4 in before eventually becoming US 71). The uniform numbering made it easier to travel from state to state and not get lost. One of the most famous US Highways is Route 66 which once ran from Chicago to Los Angeles before being decommissioned in 1985.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Feeling Better

I got the splint off and am now wearing a bandage around my ankle. I'm supposed to get me something called a 3D Walking Boot, but they are hard to find. I had a couple questions, so I called the doc today, but he never returned my call. So I guess I'll try again tomorrow. This doesn't make me very happy that he won't return my calls, but maybe he never got the message.

Although the splint is off, but the ankle is still swollen so I have some more nifty pain pills. For now, I don't need surgery on the ankle and as long as I'm careful, I won't. For now, I'm grateful to be rid of the itchy splint and that I (probably) won't need surgery. Maybe after I get the boot, I can attempt to get back to something resembling a "normal" life.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

So much for that

It's been 3 days since I hurt my ankle. It's doing much much better now. The swelling is down and it doesn't hurt much. Maybe I'll get this stupid splint off tomorrow. One way or another, I'll have to as the elastic bandage is falling off. I guess the guy at the hospital was in too big of a hurry. I'm hoping I won't need a cast, but maybe just an "ace bandage"... this things is itching something fierce that I can barely stand it. I don't think I'd be able to handle a full cast without going nuts over the itching. I elevate my ankle, take a pain pill AND ibuprofen and it helps, but not by a lot. So I'm nervous about seeing the doctor tomorrow. I don't want another cast or splint or anything like that.

Friday, November 03, 2006

I'll Take Stupid Roadgeek Stunts for $200

I spent much of Thursday afternoon toodling around the highways & byways of West Central Arkansas & East Central Oklahoma. Being in a new town gives me new roadgeeking opportunities.

I headed out of Ft Smith on US 271, which turned into AR 253 and eventually becomes AR 45. Once upon a time, it was ALL Hwy 45, but that's a tale for another day. There is some major construction on AR 45 just south of the Bonanza community: a new alignment is being constructed through the adjoining hillside to eliminate a couple sharp curves and steep grades. Looks like at least one new bridge will be constructed as well.

At AR 252, I turned east and headed for Huntington. At Huntington, there is a new bridge being constructed over a creek on 252 just west of US 71. The new bridge is about 1/4 south of the old bridge which has a 5 ton Weight Limit.

From Huntington, I drove through Mansfield on AR 96 to AR 378. 378 ended at back at 71 near Elm Park, so I drove 71 to Waldron then west on AR 80. 80 ended at AR 28 near Hon so I went west on 28 into Oklahoma where the road becomes OK 128. There is about a 4 mile stretch of construction on 128 just east of Heavener. Several old bridges are being replaced and a couple curves are being smoothed out. I stopped for a pic of one of the old bridges, but there was too much construction traffic for me to get a good shot.

At Heavener, I pointed myself north on US 59 towards Poteau. Between Poteau & Howe, is an old truss bridge over the Poteau River on "Old Hwy 59". I missed the turn-off so I turned around and went back. I got a couple decent pics of the bridge approaches from road level, then climbed down the embankment to get some side views. Mind you, I've been doing this for several years and had even done it at Huntington a couple hours previous. Unfortunately, I lost my footing this time and got my right ankle caught in a tree root... *crack*. I now have a fractured ankle and torn ligament. Total ER bill: $200. I did manage to crawl up the embankment then hobble back to the van and drive to the hospital back in Ft Smith (a distance of approx 40 miles). . I didn't really feel a lot of pain until after I took my shoe off and the swelling took over. Now I have some nice pain pills to keep me company. :(

I suppose I'm fortunate in that I was able to make it back to civilization under my own power without having to call 911. Still, even with the pain pills, my ankle still hurts though not as much.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Promises, Promises

Yes, I know I've been promsing more updates but I haven't found the time. Now that I've finally moved and settled into my new apartment, maybe I can start updating on a more regular basis.

For those who missed the memo, I have finally moved to Ft Smith. I've spent the last 25+ years in Fayetteville and I decided I needed a change. Shhhh... don't tell anyone, though. Everyone in the SCA thinks I've been living in Winslow (long story). It's a lot different down here... more relaxed in a way. I'm still learning my way around town... sort of. I know where almost everything is since I've visited a lot over the years (many of my SCA friends are down here), but it's a matter of finding the best way around. I-540 is probably the fastest way from south to north, but I have to drive either a mile south or 2 miles east to catch it. Yet, going through town takes forever.

But now that I'm here, I can explore areas I've not been through before such as east central Oklahoma or AR Highway 45 south of Ft Smith. So watch for assorted new travelogues &/or commentary coming soon (I hope). I also hope to start posting my motel reviews as well, if I can figure out which box my notes are in.