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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Apr 27, 2007.
Thanks for the long distance well wishes Shaggie!
EXCELLENT ride report - looking forward to the AR-OK-NM segments next year IF I survive the TN-MS part this year
This is a GREAT report!!!!Thanks for posting it!I cant wait for the rest!!!!
Thanks so much for taking the time to document and report on your ride. Looks like an absolute blast. Love these TAT reports!
Today there were a few concerns to deal with. The weather folks were warning that conditions were such that there was "the highest probability of severe weather".
A closer look at the map indicated that if I moved quickly I could slide out from under the hazard area by heading west. I thought things over a little.
-The route was starting to revert to a grid system of roads and intersections and wasn't that exciting for the moment.
-The wind was blowing pretty good which induces a lean that makes it harder to make decent speed while pushing gravel.
-There were ugly storms looming.
-Not all roads on the route are gravel. Some would quickly turn to mud in the storm area.
I decided to hit some pavement that parallels the route to head west out of the storm area.
Better tie this down good.
A little rain.
This in-ground tornado shelter might be handy for some today. (It turned out something like six people were killed by a tornado in Texas that day - very sad.)
Part of an oil refinery.
By the way, I wasn't the only one that did some dumb stuff along the way.
This town was near an old Air Force Base that is now an airstrip and a state park.
There is Air Force pilot training in this region. They use a bunch of auxiliary fields to train pilots on approaches and landings. When I was at Fort Sill, OK they used to use the Army Airfield there as well. At the time they had these very whiney Cessna T-37 trainers. Kind of annoying to listen to over and over again as they did approaches.
This is the auxiliary field. Two runways and not much else.
They do have a nice NEXRAD weather radar though.
This park is just south of the route. It is somewhat obvious that they converted the base to a park.
There are some cabins there that TAT riders might want to rent for an overnight stay.
At the park, there is a huge reservior/flood control project that the Corps of Engineers put in during the late 1930s - about the same time they were building locks and dams on the upper Mississippi River.
Bank full flooding is at something like around 10,000 cfs flow. Shortly after this was complete, they had a flood with 48,000 cfs flow. Must have been something to see that water come through.
Tumbleweeds were stacked up in ditches, culverts, and along fences. I hit one of these. It kind of startles you because they suddenly appear in your peripheral vision (and they are big) and before you can react you smack it.
This was a flowing well that was open for public use. Living in Wisconsin, I sometimes take water for granted. It seems like you can drill almost anywhere and come up with good water. In Oklahoma (and many other areas), this is not the case. Many cities rely a lot on stream water (hence the reserviors) and much of the rural area is covered by rural water districts that pipe drinking water to ranches and farms. There are some interesting maps on the internet regarding water availability in Oklahoma. These folks were filling a big load of jugs they had in their truck.
Must've lost his keys . . .
Pain in the neck to refuel. Have to unzip the heavy tank bag and lean it over. Also, a lot of dust accumulates in the spill tray near the cap. Have to be careful not to overflow.
Since I got clear of the storms (although they looked pretty ugly over my shoulder), I decided to do a little more tourist riding as I worked my way across the state.
Gee . . . all I have is twenties . . .
When I was at Fort Sill, I did the rattlesnake festival at Apache, OK two years in a row. Kind of interesting. It is much like the small town festivals we have in Wisconsin only with a bunch of rattlers.
In its time, this was obviously an elegant station. It must have been a district or regional center as well as there is an office building built in to the station.
They just got this general purpose locomotive to display.
I was surprised to find the cab open.
Nearby was a state park that catered to off-highway vehicles.
For motorcycles, this is paddle tire country. My arms ached just looking at that sand.
Big dunes to climb.
Tucked way in the back of my iPod I had some traditional country and western music. Since I was road riding the range today, I thought I'd dig out the iPod and play some music that fit the occasion.
Met a bus load of convicts coming out if this park. Must have been doing maintenance.
Cool, clear spring water. It looked good right then. It was hot and I had every vent open on my jacket that I could find.
That tire is wearing fast on the hot pavement. It is a l-o-n-g way across Oklahoma.
hahahahah, great shot.
...I feel your pain on the kill swtich, I do it about once a month.
Saw this bike for sale on the side of the road. Stopped to look at it.
This is Charley. He said folks call him "Crash" - a name he picked up while working as a rodeo clown. He was asking $500 for the bike, but said he would take $250. He said he checked on eBay and found similar models for $1,250. He said the lights worked because he hooked it up to his car to check them. He said he had fire in one cylinder but was working to get it in the other. Hope is sells quick Crash!
Nice to see a little wind generation right in the heart of oil country.
I think I mentioned that there are a lot of roads in Oklahoma that you will have to go around if they are wet.
I passed this rig in the oilfields. I'm not sure (and maybe someone from the industry can comment) but it looked like a rig they might use to drill holes for explosives for the seismic shots. I met an explosives truck (on a tight corner) just down the road.
I saw two of these owls that were car kills. Beautiful birds. I saw a few very flattened coyotes as well. As I got closer to Guymon, I started seeing pheasants along the road getting grit. There were so many I thought there must have been a pheasant farm there in that panhandle crop region, but they were so spread out they must have been native birds.
I had to do a double take on this building before I realized it was painted cement block.
Not many pictures for the rest of the day. After lucking out and getting away from the severe storms behind me (and enjoying a beautiful day in the sun), I rode ride back into lousy weather on the western side of the state. It got very cold, cloudy, and even more windy. I opted for a motel in Guymon. There were so many workers in town, I was lucky to get a room.
Day 5 Bartlesville, OK to Guymon, OK About 430 miles on mostly pavement just off route.
We are getting closer to your home state. New Mexico (and some troubles) tomorrow.
Definitely enjoying it. The TN, MS, AR section doesn't look bad at all on a big trailie bike!
Not sure of your schedule so I'll take a moment now to wish you guys good luck on your trip. Hope you really enjoy it! Make sure you take the time to stop and look at things along the way.
Got up this morning and it was bleak, cold, and very windy. The bike was looking a little rough.
No pushing Oklahoma gravel in this wind. Roaded it over to the New Mexico border to pick up the trail there.
I took this picture to try to show the constant lean (into the wind) I was in. It didn't show it well but notice that the power lines and heavy insulators are being blown to the side from their usual hanging position.
That lean for a couple of days might have bought me a few more miles on the center tread of my tires . . .
Kind of neat to think about those settlers coming through here.
The route through NM.
Lets check on that rear tire. I must have 2600-2700 miles on it by now. Damn, I could use some of that tread now.
Oh well, take a deep breath and lets ride.
NM was a cold, lonely place. I don't mean cold as in unappealing, I mean cold as in physically cold.
There is not much around here so ride carefully.