We started the trip with some pre-planning. Read that as buying road trip junk food. That was a very important step. You cannot go on a proper road trip without the proper junk food.
The next step was dinner. A stomach full of Mediterranean food sounded like good idea. Then coffee and tea and we were on the road. We were about an hour later than I originally intended, but we were on our way.
The map say we are just over an hour away. It is a nice night, the weather is overcast, but the storm is not supposed to get to us for several hours, and the temperature has been very cool for August. Perfect.
I also had a second experiment planned for after the spook light road. It was going to be fun.
First Weird Incident
As we drove, the sun set. The first part of the trip was easy, it was all highway and roads I already knew, but now it was dark, cloudy, and we were off the main road. I take a left, a little fast since it came up faster than expected, and start down a much smaller road. Odd, the very large jacked up diesel truck that had been behind me for several miles takes the turn behind me. OK.
The next turn comes up, and this is a very poorly maintained road with no shoulder now. Once again, I did not give much notice that I was turning since I didn’t know either. The big diesel. You guessed it. It turned too. The odds of this were a little low, but OK. No worries. But I do mention it to the others. No one else had noticed yet since I was the one with the rear view mirror.
He turned a couple more times with us on increasingly smaller and smaller roads. I was just about to call the whole thing off, or start making random turns, and possibly starting The Experiment early when he turns off. Turns out there is a bar out here in the absolute middle of nowhere. Seriously middle of nowhere.
Now we can keep on looking for the light.
The Joplin Spook Light
We did not have as much trouble finding the road as I thought we would. We we turned off, there was no doubt that we were in the right place. There were at least half a dozen cars pulled off to the side of the road with their lights off less than a quarter mile off the “main” road.
We coasted along for a bit, stopped to ask a few folks if we had not accidentally stumbled on some weird Oklahoma ritual instead of the spook light, and parked.
The storm was coming in now. We could see a lot of cloud to cloud lightning, but we got out of the car anyway. Turns out the people we talked to at the start of the road were a group of paranormal investigators out of Oklahoma. Red Dirt Paranormal.
We talked to them for a bit, and the leader showed us some pictures of an attack during an investigation, Still no spook light though. The team moved down the road a bit, and soon we followed them. We got out again, but this time we stopped too close to a driveway and a dog was barking non-stop at us. It wasn’t long until the owners came out and asked us to move on, so we did. Obviously, we were not there to bother anyone.
LOTS of lightning now, but we drive less than half a mile and get out again. There are a couple strange things. A couple of us see something that looks like a shooting star, and the Perseid shower was due to peak in a couple days, but there were so man clouds, we didn’t see a shooting star, but we do not know what we DID. No dice.
But the night was not over. Red Dirt Paranormal had another stop, and they offered to let us tag along.
We pile back into the car and follow the pros.
Peace Church Cemetery
We ended up at Peace Church Cemetery in Joplin. If you are not familiar with it, it is where the local serial killer, Billy Cook is buried. Unfortunately, not only had the storm caught up with us in earnest, the cemetery was off limits this late at night. Part of the team decided to stay in Joplin for the night, but the leader was heading home to Tulsa. We were ready for The Experiment.
It was time for The Experiment. I still could not tell them what it was, that would ruin it. I told them to pick a direction when we got back out to the main road. None of us are very familiar with Joplin so it would be perfect. We take a road that is on the outskirts of town. I set a time limit of 10 minutes since it was late and raining hard. (The Red Dirt folks almost got caught in a tornado that hit Tulsa)
We take the road and I have someone else pick the next turn. The Experiment had begun. We drove until another intersection and I had someone choose a direction. We kept going straight.
Same thing at the next intersection. And this is where I think I made a mistake. We should not have turned. Well, we had too, but now is the time to explain it.
I found the theory on Reddit that if the world were really just a complex computer simulation then if you were to go somewhere you were unfamiliar with and drive in a random direction you would start to run into road blocks. If you pushed past those, then supposedly the world would start to look pixelated or even just end since you were past the boundaries of the simulation.
The trick was not knowing where you are headed.
How did I mess up? When I told one of the others to pick a direction I saw that the road we were on was a dead end. When we turned, we almost immediately started to see signs telling us a detour was coming up.