Oklahoma football: Why one couple is driving from Mexico to Morgantown to watch the Sooners

Johnny and Vickie Clark will drive from southern Mexico to Morgantown, W.Va., to watch the Sooners live for the first time in a long while.
by Stephanie Kuzydym Published: November 15, 2012

Johnny Clark and his wife Vickie are driving to Morgantown, W.Va.

They love to travel to Oklahoma's “obscure” games. The '99 game vs. Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., '02 at Alabama. And now to the home of that lovable Mountaineer.

The thing is, once they get to Waco, Texas, they will still only be halfway there.

The Clarks retired early from the gas station business in Ardmore. Johnny wanted to enjoy retirement by a beach before he “couldn't actually enjoy it.” So, Johnny and Vickie found a way to save some money and retire early.

At the young age of 52, they moved to Mexico — 1,685 miles south of their former doorstep in southern Oklahoma. On Nov. 7, the Clarks began their adventure from Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, up through the east coast of Mexico into Texas then onto Tennessee, where they stopped at Graceland and the Grand Ole Opry before driving to America's east coast. The drive is roughly 2,800 miles or 47 hours straight through.

That probably wins the “I've come the furthest” T-shirt for any Sooners fan this year.

When the Clarks originally bought the game tickets, they thought it would not only be an extensive road-trip but a marquee matchup. With the Mountaineers' four-game slide, the Clarks said they're just excited. They didn't always get to enjoy the college game day atmosphere when they were in the gas station business.

Back in '99, when they drove to the Notre Dame game with “Stoops Troops” written on their car, they closed their gas station at 6 p.m. Friday, drove straight through, picked up a niece in Chicago and arrived in South Bend about noon for the kick.

“I nearly fell asleep during the game,” Johnny said, “And it was an exciting game, but I was just so stinking tired.”

The Clarks are living the good life in Mexico, though there have been adjustments. Puerto Escondido is located along the Pacific Ocean. The sea creates natural air conditioning, and salt covers everything, making skin soft and outdoor water faucets rusted. With an average temperature of 82, the Clarks get by on the sounds of the ocean. When they left Oklahoma, they sold everything. They now own a house on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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by Stephanie Kuzydym
Reporter
Stephanie Kuzydym learned at a young age that life is a game of inches. That's just one reason why she loves football. Kuzydym joined The Oklahoman in July 2012. Before arriving in the state, Kuzydym was an intern for the sports departments at...
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