Road to Nowhere

Cutting across America’s heartland, US‑83 remains a must-do long-distance byway—transnavigating this broad, odd nation without once grazing a conventional tourist destination.

Oklahoma

The Sooner State

On its beeline to Texas, US‑83 doesn’t just cross Oklahoma, it forsakes it, merely nipping the panhandle for a 37-mile dash. When crossing the border three miles south of Liberal, among the first things you see are a trailer park, a couple of bars, and a bingo hot spot. They’re inauspicious sights at best. And that’s not even mentioning the slate-flat, wicked badlands, with temperatures high enough in summer to occlude your vision of the blistering pavement and preclude a drive at top speeds.

After a while, you’re unable to conjure up synonyms for “endless,” though there’s plenty of time for it. Even the historical marker you think you eventually see winds up being in Texas.