On the Road Again After a Fun Day Off in Albuquerque, NM

Day 35    July 7th    Albuquerque, NM  to Albuquerque, NM        o miles –           Total Miles.  1,939

Weather:  Beautiful, sunny, 95 degrees

Today was our day off the bicycle and we spent the day exploring ABQ.  It is a great city with lots to do, of which we were able to do some of it.  All to soon we needed to focus on getting back on the bicycle again.

Day 36 . July 8th       Albuquerque, NM  to Grants, NM     80 miles –        Total Miles.  2,019

Weather:  Sunny, tail wind in morning to head and cross in afternoon, 87 degrees

We started our morning with a view of an amazing sunrise out our hotel room window at the Albuquerque Hotel at Old Town.  We were up early to get on the road by sunrise – 6:30am.  The beginning of the ride was on the Paseo del Bosque Trail which dropped us off on Route 66 and the bridge to cross the Rio Grande.  Once we started our climb after crossing the river we were in for a climb up what the locals call “9 mile hill.”

The hill truly was a nine mile climb with a very steady but not extremely steep climb.  We just kept pedaling and before we knew it we were at the top and able to have a great view of the valley below.

Once again are route took us on I 40 for 20 plus miles.  The ride was going great and the down hills were fun on the nice wide shoulder.  But about half way thru our 20 miles we had a rear tire flat.  When riding the shoulder you must be aware of all the blown out tires laying there and steer around them.  Unfortunately when the tires blow they leave pieces everywhere and this includes small pieces of metal.  Well one of the metal pieces got in the back tire and popped the inner tube.  So we had to fix the tire on the shoulder of I – 40, but twenty minutes later we were back on the road again.

After we got off the interstate we were traveling thru several  pueblos – including Laguna and Acoma.  We did not stop to tour the pueblos but were able to see some from the road- amazing.  Some day we will have to come back and tour them.

The end of our day was spent traveling on Hwy 124/Historic Route 66.  The road was in great shape and provided amazing views of the adjacent land.  Once we got closer to Grants the rock became black in color as we were entering the lava fields from the eruption of Mount Taylor over 10,000 years ago.  It was very strange to see this type of rock in New Mexico, but just like Hawaii it is beautiful in its simplicity.

 

Made it to Las Vegas, New Mexico That Is!! Then Santa Fe – Then Albuquerque

Tracy and her new dog friend, Dillia, NM

Tracy and her new dog friend, Dillia, NM

Tracy and Warm Shower Hosts from Santa Fe- Dennis and Patty

Tracy and Warm Shower Hosts from Santa Fe- Dennis and Patty

Hotel we stayed in

Hotel we stayed in

Near Santa Fe, NM

Near Santa Fe, NM

Day 32  July 4th       Santa Rosa, NM   to Las Vegas, NM   64 miles       Total Miles 1,791

Weather:  Warm 87 degrees,  sunny and 13 mph head wind

Day 33     July 5th       Las Vegas, NM to Santa Fe, NM       74 miles        Total Miles   1, 865

Weather:  Hot 90 degrees, sunny and 15 mph headwind

Day 34      July 6th       Santa Fe, NM  to Albuquerque, NM     74 miles    Total Miles  1, 939

Weather:  Warm 89 degrees, sunny, light cross/headwind

Since we have not had the time to post for three days, due to a combination of long hard rides, interesting people to visit with and the author being lazy, here are the summaries of the last three days.

Day 32 – July 4th

Today was a day of climbing and isolation.  Our route took us north towards Las Vegas, NM.  Sometimes we struggle with the Adventure Cycling maps because they seem to take you off route sometimes and you are not sure why.  We were traveling on I -40 this morning and our ending point a few days from now is Albuquerque which was just over 100  miles away.  But Adventure Cycling has us going an extra 150 miles out of the way so we go thru Santa Fe.  Evidently when setting the route a group of business men from Santa Fe pushed hard to have the route come thru their town and there you go. So we are pedaling north to Las Vegas.

The ride was tough because there were very limited services between Santa Rosa and Las Vegas – about 60 miles away.  So we had to make sure we had enough food and water to get us through.  For liquids we had our six water bottles, our  collapsible water bottle( which holds enough water to fill four water bottles), four – 32 ounce Power Ade and a bottle of Sprite.  We used all the liquids except one Power Ade.

Our first possible stop was about 30 miles out at the small town of Dilla – they had a lounge/bar there – it was closed.  So we stopped anyway to take a break.  While we were checking it out Tracy found a new friend – a German Shepard  wandered over to check us out – he/she was a really sweet dog and sat by Tracy and followed her around. He/she even followed us down the street a bit when we head off on the bicycle, until Tracy told the dog to go home.

We made it to Romeoville/Las Vegas around 3:00pm after a long, hard day on the bicycle.  We had several hard climbs today to get from 4,700 Ft elevation in Santa Rosa to 6,400 Ft in Las Vegas.  We camped at the KOA in Las Vegas – it is the first time we have had to set up the tent – it was fun to camp again and the night was nice and cool dropping to 60 degrees.  The night sky was amazing – with many stars to see.  We could hear the fireworks from town but unfortunately could not see them.

Before hitting the hay we wandered around the campground and met a very nice couple from Albuquerque, who we stopped and talk to for quite a while.  They had a really nice RV and just take off in it and see where they end – sounded like fun to us.

Day 33    July 5th

We got going early because again we knew we had lots of hills to climb, hot temperature and a head wind to deal with.  We ate breakfast at camp, packed up and off we went.  We stated out with some great downhill sections to bring us back down to the Pecos River – which we have now crossed three times.  But of course after a nice down hill the climbing begins again.  We climb from 6,000 Ft back up to 6,800 Ft in about 13 miles, not a really steep climb just a long one!!

Our next climb was after lunch in Pecos – climbed back up from 6,800 Ft to 7,600 Ft in 5 miles to the town of Glorieta.  We then bounced up and down until the ending point in Santa Fe at about 7,000 Ft. We got into town and of course got lost and were tried from a long hard day of riding.  We planned to check out some cool things suggested by our Warm Showers host but were too tired to do that so settled for a beer at a local micro brewery. – 2nd Street Brewery and then biked the last five miles to our Warm Shower hosts (Dennis and Patty) for the night. Luckily the ride was on a great trail – the Santa Fe Rail Trail,  and downhill!!

Dennis and Patty were great hosts we had a nice meal and great conversation. All to soon it was 10:00pm and we needed to get to bed for our early morning start.

Santa Fe is a really nice city and had some cool things we wanted to see – I guess we will just have to come back someday.

Day 34 July 6th

Got up at 5:15 to hit the road at sunrise.  Patty and Dennis set out a nice breakfast for us to start the day.  So with full stomachs we were on the road by 6: 15am.  Dennis provided us with directions to get out of town and miss all the road construction on Hwy 14 – Turquoise Trail, it worked great and even provided us with a up close and personal view of three full size dinosaurs on Dinosaur Trail – too funny.

The beginning part of the ride – about 20 miles was downhill to Madrid.  It was a nice way to start the day.  Dennis suggested we checkout Madrid which we did and stopped for our second breakfast at the Java Junction for a latte and snack – YUM!! As Dennis described to us Madrid is a hippy enclave with lots of cool shops and restaurants – very cute.  Although when we went thru the only thing open was the coffee shop – that was alright with us that was all we needed.  But it certainly would be a fun town to spend some time in.

All too soon we were back on the bike again for the monster climb out of Madrid.  Boy was it a tough one – 1,200 Ft in less than five mile and then another  500 – 800 Ft climb right after that.  Tracy was singing in her head the elephant song – one elephant went out to play, out on a spiders web one day, he had such enormous fun he asked another elephant to come – etc.  She got up to 40 elephants during the climb!! But we made it and had some great down hill to finish our day.  In fact we had one more climb about 23 miles out from our big climb and then it was downhill the rest of the way to Albuquerque.

The ride thru Albuquerque was nice although to cross the whole city – (population of 545,000) it was a good 25 miles from edge to edge.  Of course we were staying on the far west side near Old Town.  We even rode right thru the University of New Mexico, which our daughter, Alex, daughter Melissa and us visited on a recruit visit for  Alex. They were interested in Alex pole vaulting for them. As we bicycled thru campus we saw some things we remembered from our visit – it is a really nice looking campus.

We are staying at the Albuquerque Hotel for the next two days – tomorrow is our day off the bike.  We plan to check out Old Town and maybe take the Sky Tram up the mountains. Here is the blog,  pictures and videos will be coming.

We will hit Arizona within the next three to four days – more adventures to come.

 

 

 

 

Catching Amazing Views in New Mexico

Day 31 July 3 Tucumcari, NM to Santa Rosa, NM 64 miles Total Miles – 1,727
Weather: Sunny, upper 80’s, light tail wind

First of all Tracy wants to thank everyone for their kind words and well wishes for a speedy recovery. Glad to say she is feeling lots better today and todays ride was not as much of a challenge.

After leaving Tucumcari we bicycled the first 12 miles on Interstate 40, we are getting used to being on the interstate and it continues to cheer us with the way the semi truck drivers treat us. They move over to the left lane when passing and give us lots of space. Frequently when we are not traveling on the interstate but bicycling on the adjacent frontage road the semi truck drivers will beep and wave to us – it really makes you feel good, we also have other motor vehicle drivers beep and wave but the majority by far are the truck drivers.

Today we climbed at the beginning of the trip and were over 5,000 feet at the highest point – about a 1,000 foot evaluation change today. The ride was mainly along the frontage roads of I-40 but we also were on some very nice but steep local and state highways from Cuervo to Santa Rosa.

The ride took us thru some isolated places with little or no services. The one stop we had was at Newkirk, about 30 miles in, which had a small convenience store/gas station. We walked in the store to find lunch, restrooms and fill up our water bottles. We found lunch, the restrooms were out of service and there was no water available. Luckily the owner was very nice and took the bottles to his private residence and filled them for us.

Before riding into Santa Rosa we stopped at the Love’s Travel Center for a snack. Boy was it busy there – we thought every church group within a 50 mile radius was at the travel center and boy were they loud!! It probably seemed especially loud after being on the bicycle in such a quiet environment all day.

The last 3 miles to Santa Rosa were downhill and we got checked into our hotel early to clean up and catch the end of the Tour De France.

We had a local news reporter contact us for an interview about our trip today – we got back to him to try to set it up. Hopefully we will hear from him yet today, well he never did get back to us so no interview. Can’t blame him it is a Sunday over the holiday weekend.

Happy 4th of July to everyone- think of us as we are climbing to Las Vegas, NM tomorrow.

 

After climbing Cuervo Road - long steep climb

After climbing Cuervo Road – long steep climb

Burned down gas station near Montoya, NM

Burned down gas station near Montoya, NM

Gas station in Newkirk

Gas station in Newkirk

Tracy feeling better - gas station in Newkirk

Tracy feeling better – gas station in Newkirk

Made it to New Mexico

Day 30    July 2      Adrian TX  to Tucumcari, NM    65 miles    Total Miles 1,663

Weather:  Hot – 92 degrees, windy with 16 mph headwind, partly sunny

We left Adrian early to try to beat the heat and the strong headwinds later in the day.  Tracy was not feeling good this morning and struggled throughout the day, but we made it to Tucumcari where she was able to lie down and recoup a bit, hopefully tomorrow she will be feeling much better.

The ride went pretty good all things considered.  The first part of our ride was on Interstate 40 which as mentioned before really isn’t too bad to bicycle on – it has a nice wide shoulder and traffic was light early in the morning on a Saturday.  After 26 miles we arrived in New Mexico, boy is it beautiful.  We also got off Interstate 40 and one again were traveling on the frontage road adjacent to I – 40, much quieter and just about no traffic.

Our next stop was the small town of San Jon, population 216.  We stopped for lunch at the local gas station, convenience store and grill.  We also lost an hour because we are now on Mountain time, no wonder the waitress looked at us funny when we ordered pizza at 10:00am.  The last 24 miles to Tucumcari were tough, lots of rolling hills to climb, 16 mph headwind and full sun and heat.  But we made it by breaking up the ride into three 8 mile sections and taking short breaks between.

We finally made it to Tucumcari which is a cool little town that has truly taken on the whole Route 66 theme.  We are staying at the Historic Route 66 Hotel.  It is a really nice 1950-60 hotel that has been restored to its original splendor.  The owners are very nice and welcoming people.  We got into town early about 1:30pm and they got us our room and let us get settled in, even though they were dealing with a broken hot water pipe that served the motel complex.  They apologized for the lack of hot water and assured us it would be back on soon.

That was alright with us we just wandered down the road to the local café and ice cream shop for our second lunch of the day. By the time we got back we had hot water again.

No pictures or videos tonight, struggling to get them to load.  Will try again tomorrow.

 

Day off and Last Day in Texas

Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

A Muddy Cadillac Ranch

A Muddy Cadillac Ranch

Day 28   June 30th   Amarillo,  TX to Amarillo, TX      0 miles –    Total Miles – 1,546

Today was a day off the bicycle and we enjoyed the day exploring the city.  We slept in and then took Uber to the Botanical Gardens.  The gardens were beautiful and it was fun to  all the different plants and trees that we do not have in Wisconsin.  Also to be able to put names to some of the vegetation we see when bicycling.

We then did some errands, took a nap and went out to dinner.  The off day went fast as they always do.

 

Day 29        July 1st    Amarillo, TX to Adrian, TX       52 miles –     Total Miles.  –  1,598

Weather:  Stormy in the morning, warm – 93 degrees, partly sunny,  Tailwind after storm went thru then changed to headwind

Today was a shorter day for us, due to what is available along the route. We are getting into some more isolated areas so have to plan a bit more to make sure we can get the things we need – like water, food and a place to stay.

Our day began waiting out the storm at the hotel for about 15 minutes – then it cleared enough so we could take off.  Although about 5 miles into other ride we once again took cover under a shelter until the rain stopped.  It is very strange here storms come in very fast and hard and then 10 minutes later they are gone and the sun comes back out.  Luckily we have not been in any real intense storms just lots of rain and wind.  Hopefully we will not experience a bad one while we are here.

Our first stop this morning was the Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo.  Due to the rain and the location of the cars basically between two crop fields. The path to the cars is basically dirt but now mud due to the rain we received.  But you just had to walk out there to see them up close and personal.  So we did and ended up with lots of mud on our bike shoes – oh well it all came off when it dried. The cars are cool and it was fun to see people standing in the water and painting the cars.  Who would think that such a unique thing could become so famous and draw people from all over the world.  It was nice to see them.  The ranch was created in 1974 by Texas millionaire Stanley Marsch 3 and the San Fransico artist collective Ant Farm.

We then headed to the small town of Vega where we stopped for lunch at the Hickory Café.  We walked in the restaurant at about 11:00am and there was one other person in the place.  The staff and the customer were very nice and asked lots of questions about our trip.  About 11:30am the place started to fill up until all the tables were full.  They served really good healthy food and obviously it was a favorite of the locals. We spent extra time at the restaurant because so many people wanted to know about our trip and were asking lots of questions.  We only had 15 miles to go for the day so it was nice to not have to take off so quick and instead enjoy talking with everyone.  We finally were able to leave and about an hour later were in Adrian.

Adrian is a small town with a population of 166 people, but it is the mid point of Route 66 – it is exactly 1,139 miles from Chicago and 1,139 from Los Angeles.  In town they have the Midpoint Café, Midpoint RV Campground and the Sunflower Station.   We got to the campground first and Bud the manager told us if we wanted to camp in the laundry room, shower and kitchen building we could – we jumped at it – it was air conditioned.  It is a small building but very comfortable and has everything we need.  Bud then told us to head down to the restaurant because it closes soon and to be sure to stop and talk with Fran at the Sunflower Station.  So off we went.  After a snack at the restaurant – they served delicious pie with what they call “Ugly Pie Crust”, we headed over to Sunflower Station to meet Fran.

Fran is a great lady and owned the Midpoint Café for many years.  She gave us the history of the Café and the explained how they discovered  that Adrian was the mid point of Route 66 – very interesting.   We also learned that Fran is famous – she was used as the model for Flo from the movie Cars.  She explained how that occurred and all the fun events she was able to attend because they used her in the film.  She gave us a signed copy of a picture of Flo and Flo’s V 8 Café from the movie and asked us to sign the Car out front. We have not scene the movie yet and plan to try to do that tonight.

Boy, it is amazing who you meet when you are out on the bicycle, you just never know. As we say you never have to look for adventure when on the bicycle, it finds you!!

Tracy Writing message on Car

Tracy Writing message on Car

Tracy with Fran Houser - Flo from Cars Movie

Tracy with Fran Houser – Flo from Cars Movie

Peter and Brody - Fran's shop dog

Peter and Brody – Fran’s shop dog

IMG_20160701_162644057_HDR

Off to Amarillo, Texas

 

Peter with the RAAM riders - Michael and Jeanene

Peter with the RAAM riders – Michael and Jeanene

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RAAM van with tandems on back

RAAM van with tandems on back

IMG_20160629_115439535_HDR

Slug Bug Ranch near Conway, TX

Slug Bug Ranch near Conway, TX

Revolvers at end of driveway in Conway, TX

Revolvers at end of driveway in Conway, TX

Waiting out the storm near Conway, TX

Waiting out the storm near Conway, TX

Day 27 June 29th Groom, TX to Amarillo, TX 52 miles – Total Miles – 1,546
Weather: 67 degrees and stormy in morning, hot afternoon- 94 degrees, tailwind

Once again we got up and on the road early. The weather was marginal and a storm was definitely coming our way but after checking the radar and weather station we thought we would have enough time to get to Conway – 16 miles away.

On our way out of Groom we were able to see the “World’s Largest Cross” It was as large as the neighboring wind turbines and stood 190 feet into the air.

As we were heading to Conway, about 10 miles into our ride it became apparent we were not going to reach Conway before the storm came thru. So we looked for a place to shelter and were lucky to find a grain elevator, pole barn, office and other miscellaneous building to take shelter in. We stopped by the pole barn to check the radar and decide if we could continue or needed to hang for a bit. Luckily we decided to stay put – about five minutes later the wind picked up and it started to pour. We hauled the bicycle and us into the pole barn and stayed put for about a half hour.

When we first stopped by the pole barn, Tracy needed to go to the bathroom and when done bumped the map out of her pocket and in the wind. It started to blow across the driveway and towards a field that was acres and acres wide. Tracy panicked thinking the map was gone and would end up somewhere in New Mexico. Luckily the field was surrounded by barbed wire and the map in the plastic bag got caught on the barbed wire – thank goodness!! Tracy said someone was looking out for her!!

After the storm we continued our ride to Conway. We found two unique things in Conway. The first one is the Slug Bug Ranch – which is a take off of the Cadillac Ranch but with VW Bugs. The second was two large revolvers located at the end of a private driveway. The revolvers were actually grills that some one had placed on either side of their driveway facing out to the street- strange but then we are in Texas!!

We finally got to Amarillo and our first stop was the Big Texan Steak Ranch and Brewery. You just had to stop after seeing their billboards for miles and miles. There draw is a free meal if a customer can consume a 72 ounce steak in one hour or less. When we were there two gentleman were trying to do it. They actually have a raised table with spot lights that they eat at. They also have a large count down timer you can watch. It is funny and actually gross!

When we were parking our bicycle and getting ready to head into the restaurant – we noticed some really cool tandems hanging on the back of a van – we walked over to check them out. They were hanging on a RAAM- Race Across America van. Very cool – if you have not familiar with RAAM it is basically is a bicycle race across the country – it starts in California and ends on the east coast.

When we walked into the restaurant a man came up to us probably because we were in bicycling clothes. We then asked him if he was one of the RAAM riders. He introduced himself – Michael and his girlfriend Jeanene, they were the tandem riders.  It was the first time they had competed in the race and completed it in 7 days – amazing.  They also took first place in their category.  We asked what their average speed was and it was 20mph – again amazing. (fastest speed was 71 mph)   Remember it will take us about 2 months to bicycle across the country and they just did it in 7 days. They were heading back home near Santa Monica CA and invited us to stay at their place if we needed somewhere to stay – very nice.

After lunch we had about 8 miles to go to get to our hotel.  We are looking forward to a day off tomorrow and Tracy said she plans to sleep until noon.

Texas on Tuesday

 

 

 

Day 26. June 28th. Erick, OK to Groom TX 77 miles – Total Miles – 1,494
Weather: Warm, 87 – 94 degrees, sunny, slight cross and tail wind

Well we got up in Oklahoma and ended the day in Texas. Actually about ten miles into our ride we crossed into the Lone Star state – yea!!

It is really beautiful here, although we are climbing again. The views are amazing thru the open grassland. We had about 1,000 feet of elevation gain today. The ride started out flat and then started to climb.

The first town we came to in Texas was Shamrock which has one of the most iconic symbols of Route 66 – U – Drop Inn. It is a beautifully restored art deco building that now is the home of the Chamber of Commerce and tourist information center. We of course were there early before it opened. The building originally held the Tower Station – gas station and U-Drop Inn café. Check out the attached pictures to see if you recognize this iconic building – we did.

Our next stop was the Town of McLean which claims to have the “first Route 66 Museum ever”. Lots of communities have Route 66 Museums but this is the first one to claim to be the first!! We skipped the museum and had a great lunch at a small café/market in town. McLean has a population of about 800 people and offers quite a bit for such a small town. They even have the Devils Rope Museum where evidently you can learn everything you ever wanted to about barbed wire – we skipped that museum also.

Our ride today was filled with lots of climbing and wide open spaces intermixed with a few small towns. The populations of the towns was between 36 and about 2,000, so we really had to plan ahead to make sure we had enough water and food for the long stretches of open space – we did just fine.

Today for the first time we had to ride for about 6 miles on Interstate 40, it sounds scarier than it is!! The road has a nice wide shoulder- 14ft for us to ride on and the motor vehicle drivers are great and typically pull over to the left lane anyway. We especially like the professional truck drivers – they just get it and when at all possible move over a lane for us. They also are very friendly and it is not uncommon for us to receive a friendly beep, beep and a wave when they go by.

There was a rest stop on the interstate which we stopped at for a short break – people were so funny and were asking us why we were there on our bicycle. We explained that the route had us on the interstate because there was no other roads available for us to get thru this area. The rest area sat on a high hill and had amazing views. It also had some interpretative information inside about all the wind turbines which are abundant in this area.

After getting off the interstate we had another 20 miles to Groom, TX our ending point for the day. Groom is a very small town – about 600 people, they don’t offer much here but enough to get you thru. Groom is known for The Leaning Tower of Texas. Which is a water tower which was never a working water tower bought in as a marketing ploy. The owner Roger Britten bought the tower from an adjacent town and purposefully installed it with and 80 degree angle with two legs in the ground and two dangling in midair. His truck stop and restaurant were very popular with this attraction. Unfortunately there no longer is a restaurant or truck stop here but the Leaning Tower remains and got us to stop and take a look.

Tomorrow we have a short ride to Amarillo and will take the next day off – YEA we need a break.

Tracy in Texas

Tracy in Texas

Peter in Texas

Peter in Texas

Shamrock, TX

Shamrock, TX

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View from I - 40 Rest Stop

View from I – 40 Rest Stop

Interpretative Center about Wind Power - Texas Rest Stop

Interpretative Center about Wind Power – Texas Rest Stop

Last Day in Oklahoma

Day 25 June 27th Weatherford, OK to Erick, OK 86 miles – Total Miles. 1,417
Weather: Partly Sunny, 85 degrees, Tail wind in morning, cross wind in afternoon

When we left Weatherford this morning it looked like it was going to storm but luckily it stayed north and east of us. But it also helped keep the temperature down and gave us a nice tail wind all morning. We were happy with the weather and wind today – we can’t remember the last day we had a tail wind and it has been extremely hot for quite a while.

The National Route 66 Museum is located in Elk River.  We stopped to take a picture but did not take the time to tour it, although it did look cool and probably would be fun to explore.  We just had too long of a day on the bicycle to make a stop.  That is one of the hard things about bicycle touring sometimes you just don’t have the time to check out something or it is off route a bit and you don’t have the time or the energy.  Oh well I guess we will have to come back someday.

At one of our many gas station/convenience store stops, when returning to the bicycle to put the full water bottles back a young man was admiring the bike.  He asked me about our trip and how it was going.  He said he would love to bicycle across the country someday and then went on the explain that he had walked Route 66 last year.  He told me it took him 5 months and he really enjoyed the adventure – impressive.  Upon heading back inside I noticed he had a big backpack and his tennis shoes and planned to ask him where he was off to this time but when I came back out he was gone.

We are getting out into the prairie/grassland areas in Oklahoma.  It is really pretty with large expanses of grassland and hills.  The towns we pass thru are small and spread out. We have enjoyed Oklahoma and will be sad to leave it tomorrow.  The people here are very kind and welcoming.  For example, we were standing outside a grocery store in Erick and an older woman came up to us and was asking about our trip and wanted to know all the details.  She then welcomed us to her town and said how great it was that we were there.  She then apologized that the museum was closed and we would not be able to see it unless we could tour it on Tuesday, we explained we really needed to continue on.  She was so genuine about everything that we truly felt welcomed to the Town of Erick!!

 

Hills and Heat and Wind – Oh My!!

Day 24 June 26th Oklahoma City, Ok to Weatherford, Ok 76 miles Total Miles 1,331
Weather: Warm – 89 degrees, partly cloudy and strong cross and head wind

Today was another hard day on the bicycle due to the hills, heat and wind. We also had a mechanical problem and got lost!!

So we got going as early as possible and were cruising right along when about 10 miles into our ride we blew the rear tire. When the tire blew it was a really loud bang – which shredded the tire and blew a two inch hole in the inner tube. We had everything we needed to fix the tire and got it taken care of fairly quickly and were back on the road again. We made it to the town of Bethany – just west of Oklahoma City and were to ride around one side of Lake Overholser to continue west. Well Tracy’s navigating was not good and we ended up traveling along the east side of the lake instead of across the north end. By the time we figured it out we had gone two miles off route – oops!!

So we turned around and headed back north to cross where we were suppose to, on a good note the lake is beautiful and it has a nice bicycle trail around it – we got real familiar with the bicycle trail. We finally got back on route and had about 45 miles to go.

The rest of the ride was uneventful and we arrived in Weatherford about 5:oopm – it was a long day on the bicycle. Although one odd thing did happen – we were waiting at a signal to turn left and a truck drove thru the intersection pulling a trailer with an ATV on it. When suddenly the trailer was no longer attached to the truck and was flying down the road on it’s own. We were amazed that it did not flip or run into anything, it finally stopped and the guy went over to it and hooked it back up. Very strange.

For dinner we went to Lucille’s Road House which was right next door to our hotel.  It was originally located further east on Route 66 near the Town of Hydro.  It was built in 1927 and Lucille and her husband bought the restaurant and motor court in 1941,  When the interstate went it – the family had to decide if they wanted to keep the business open which they did for 59 years.  The original site is marked with a sign and was put on the National Register of Historic places in 1998.  We bicycled right past it on our way in.  At some point the business moved west and now is in a new building with lots of cool historic treasures displayed and great food served.

Okalahoma City, OK Here We Come

Day 23. June 25th. Chandler, OK to Oklahoma City, OK. 52 miles – Total Miles – 1,255
Weather: Hot, 94 degrees, Sunny and nasty cross wind – 15mph from the south

Our ride was shorter today so we left a bit later than normal. Was not a great idea due to the fact that the ride was a hot one with nasty cross wind, narrow hilly roads and lots of traffic!! Oh well we made it!!

The first city we hit that had some cool things to see was – Arcadia about 30 miles into our ride. It has a restored 1898 round barn, it is in amazing shape and has lots of historic information displayed in it. Evidently a group of volunteers got together to save the barn many years ago after the owners donated it to the city. It is great to see what volunteers can do when they all pull in the same direction. When we were visiting two gentlemen were touching up the paint on the barn, it looked great. The upper level of the barn is available for community use – weddings, family gatherings etc. It would be a fun place to hold a special event.

All to soon our tour was over and we had to climb back onto the bicycle for the last 20 miles to Oklahoma City. We were told that this part of Oklahoma was pretty much flat – NOT. There are many long gentle hills, the kind that wear out your legs as you climb one, down the next and up again – repeat.

For most of the ride we were on Route 66. Unfortunately the nice wide shoulder we had been enjoying the past couple of days was no where to be found. We made it to Edmond, OK a suburb of Oklahoma City and stopped for a snack and coffee at Starbucks – yea. We then made the last push to the city – hopped up on caffeine and sugar.

Tonight we plan to check out a local brewery and possibly the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial to the victims of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Old Gas Station -Chandler, OK

Old Gas Station -Chandler, OK

Inside of Round Barn - Arcadia, OK

Inside of Round Barn – Arcadia, OK

Round Barn Arcadia, OK

Round Barn Arcadia, OK

Round Barn and Tandem

Round Barn and Tandem