Iâ€™m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Greetings from Stillwater, Oklahoma
N 36Â° 07.026â€™Â W 097Â° 20.204â€™Â Elev. 1149 ft.
The distance around the Earth at the equator is approximately 25,000 miles. The average distance from the Earth to the moon is 238,857 miles, nearly ten times as far. Why does this matter? Because over the course of my land-yachting career I have traveled over 750,000 miles.
To put this in perspective, I have traveled enough miles to have gone around the Earth 30 times, and covered enough ground to have gone to the moon and back, and back to the moon again and would now be on my second return trip to Earth. But why does that matter? Because in all those miles Iâ€™d never hit a deer; Iâ€™ve seen many.
Sure, I ran over and flattened a raccoon once; I killed a formerly dimwitted dog that actually ran in front of me in a fateful and fatal attempt to bite my front bumper while it was moving at 65 m.p.h.; Iâ€™ve slammed into three owls; and I once drove through a flock of starlings, which sounded like a burst of industrial popcorn popping. But in all those miles Iâ€™d never hit a deer … until recently.
Iâ€™m not proud of these statistics. If I couldâ€™ve avoided any of them I wouldâ€™ve â€” killing critters is not really my gig â€” but I had no choice in the matter. And while the owls were certainly heartbreaking enough to hit â€” technically they flew into me â€” it was the deer that was really crushing, no pun intended.
I was traveling south on I-35 in Oklahoma shortly after 3 a.m. when a beautiful 6 or 8 point buck, truly a deer hunterâ€™s wet dream, came out of nowhere and crossed the Interstate in front of me, head down, determined to get … somewhere. He was not running, but walking. I suspect he had a date; it was that time of year. Unfortunately for both of us, he never made it to his romantic rendezvous, obviously.
So why does this matter? And what does this have to do with food (other than roadkill venison that I did not stop to collect)? Because Bucky screwed up the yacht and I had to stop at the nearest place I could find, hopefully with a mechanic who could bend the bumper mount off of the left front tire. That led me to the Cowboy Travel Plaza at Exit 174, site of (they claim) the Largest Beer Cave in Oklahoma and The Smokey Pokey Restaurant and Bar.
The Smokey Pokeyâ€™s main claim to fame is barbecue but, as it was early, I had breakfast as soon as they opened while a Road Service was being located.
They have a pretty decent breakfast deal at the Smokey Pokey. For $8 you get ham, hash browns, a waffle (or short stack of pancakes) and two of the biggest eggs Iâ€™ve ever seen in my life. Better yet, they have warm syrup. And itâ€™s pretty dang good, partner.
But even though the ham was great and the humongous over-easy eggs were perfectly cooked, even the warm syrup didnâ€™t assuage my grief and guilt over snuffing Bucky the Stud on Big Deer Date Night. (Sniffle.)
And so we roll.
The Smokey Pokey Restaurant and Bar, I-35 Exit 174, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.