Over the New Year Holiday, the three of us did the west half of a route dubbed the Oklahoma Adventure Trail. Essentially, it’s a road trip designed to hit some interesting stuff and remain about 70% off road while doing so. It went mostly OK, with a small number of things on the route being closed/ blocked/ collapsed but otherwise was a lot of fun.

Also cold.

Very cold.

Well we somewhat haphazardly decided to go ahead and do the remaining 900 or so miles over Easter Weekend, which means more planning, prep, and oh did I mention I need new head gaskets? I need new head gaskets.

Locations of note

Image shamelessly taken from here.

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The biggest appeal of this trip is going to be the “Kiamichi Trail” or K-Trail. This is a “road” that stretches from Clayton, Oklahoma, to Mena, Arkansas, with essentially no pavement or maintenance. We’ve heard mixed reviews and, sadly, some of the trail is now private property, so we’re activily re-planning this part of the route to avoid what has been describe as “boring, pin-striping hell” and also “shirtless rednecks with shotguns,” to paraphrase. None of us want to scratch our mostly on-road cars and I don’t have any particular need to get shot at.

Another interesting stop along the way is the Oklahoma/ Heavener Runestones. I don’t know much about this, but apparently the whole thing is a big to-do about some Scandinavian runes found in Oklahoma… which doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not sure what to expect there, but whatever.

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Image from Wikipedia

Though we won’t do much of it, and frankly it would be rude to in our heavy SUVs, we’ll also do the western portion of the Talimena Scenic byway. This will actually be my third attempt at this road, the first time I ended up puking my guts out thanks to lunch and the second time I broke down… seven times, but alas will not be the time I finish it. Unless the zippo in the Fiat Renegade runs out of gas and we’re forced to go into Mena anyway.

Other than that, the little I’ve seen of eastern Oklahoma, it is quite pretty. Which is to say western Arkansas is very pretty, so I have high hopes for eastern Oklahoma.

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Land Rover Prep

The Land Rover’s coolant loss has accelerated to the point that I don’t really drive it much anymore. With that, and winter weather becoming a thing of the past, I’ve decided to do the engine work prior to this trip. That means remaned heads, new plugs, coils, wires, throttle body heater, belt, tensioner, and water pump. Other things have been suggested “while I am in there” but I decided to draw the line here, unless I find something else broken, of course.

I’ve also decided to convert from Dexcool to G-05 based on a number of factors. I’m not happy about it, but here we are.

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Oh, and to make things more complicated, I’ve decided I’m going to go ahead and install the locking center differential linkage too. Because I want to have at least as many toys as the 4WD Fiat Renegade haha.

Doggo enjoying a fire even though he has a perfectly good fur coat, for your time.