Month: June 2019

Saturday 29th June

Last night was a really hot night. It would of been difficult for us to sleep if it wasn’t for the kindness of a guy living on site. He fitted air conditioning for us red neck style. It worked a treat.

We got up at 5:30am. In this heat it’s best to get a early start. Get the bulk of the miles done before 12.00 noon. That was the plan anyway.

The 1st treat of the day was a long bridge just outside Hinton 3900 ft long. It’s known as pony bridge and made a brief appearance in the 1939 film the grapes of wrath.

It’s still hilly, it’s still hot but we’re making good progress. The winds are lighter today . Lots of water has been drunk but we feel we will soon have to carry more as there’s not much in between towns now.

One of our stops for a drink was in a petrol station just off the interstate. We stopped there for about half a hour and started talking to some locals. Just general chitchat the normal stuff what we doing etc. When they left they gave us $20. Unbelievable. So kind.

We met a fellow cycle tourist today Robert from England and currently on a world tour raising money for cancer research. Good luck safe travels.

Lagging way behind as usual. Mikes taking too many pictures of me suffering. But it’s still empty roads all the traffic is on the interstate. just keep peddling.

We made our campsite just after 3pm a lot later than we hoped. We had a slight diversion due to a bridge being out, that added an extra 7 miles and with that extra hills. And of course Chatting to people at our drinks stop.

It’s really hot I’m suffering a bit. Never happy me!

Thursday 27th June

Not a very nice night spent in the motel. The red carpet in Edmond. I know I’ve moaned about the standard of budget motels before, but this one should be avoided. There wasn’t a door on the bathroom and the position of the toilet was in direct view of the bed, no where else to sit. So not to be crude about it whilst one was doing their business the other had to turn the tv up and lay with their back to the loo.

The room was unclean and the bed had obviously not been changed from the last inhabit. I slept on top in my sleeping bag liner. And the carpet was sticky and stained yuk.

The best thing about the motel was it was directly opposite a laundry that offered a complete cleaning service. We bundled up all off our clothes and sleeping bag liners and dropped it off. We then went off for dinner at a Wendy’s. I still haven’t found a pillow so we also wondered around a store. I can’t find a camping pillow so I’ve got to the point that any thing small and light will do. I found a pink poo.

Our clothes were now ready for collection professionally cleaned and pressed lush. The weather is hot we don’t need the warmer stuff so while it’s clean we are going to send them home. A mile from the motel is a Ups office. They packed everything up for us, we filled in the paper work paid up and sent it on it’s way.

We’re late getting on the road and it’s a hot one up in the 90’s. We’re both tired, Mikes still fighting off his man cold thing so we decided only to cycle 20 miles or so. At least we’re still moving in the right direction.

Not much in the way of road side attractions. A nice refurbished, 1924 still truss bridge lake overholser in Bethany.

And one of the highlights for Mike a sign to inform us that Yukon is the home town of Garth Brooks the legendary country singer. We decided to stay here next to a road called Garth Brooks boulevard.

The new motel. We checked in at reception and was given the key to the room. Opened the door. What a dump it’s worse than last nights. Promptly shut the door, back to reception and demanded our money back. No way can we stay here. I said to the owner that it was filthy and looked like the bed hadn’t been changed. She just shrugged and said that she catered for locals and that’s what they like, if you’re traveling then you should stick to the brand motels. Joke she’s just exploiting the poor that can’t afford anything better. Disgusting.

We didn’t want to go any further and we passed a motel about a mile back so decided to head that way. On the way a car pulled up next to us at the lights and asked us where we were going. We told him LA he laughed and said we were going the wrong way. After explaining why, he told us that there was a motel just next to Arbies.

Cycling into the motel he was in the car park waiting for us. We chatted some more and he invited us out for a meal and drinks that evening. We arranged to meet him at 6 in the green chilli a restaurant next door.

The motel is much better basic and clean I made a point of before paying to look at the room and at the risk of being rude I asked if the bed sheets were clean. They assured me that they were.

We are next to the Yukon flower mill it’s neon sign was restored 1989.

At 6pm we meet Fenton and he’s wife Linda. We had a enjoyable evening, good food and great company. We tried strawberry margaritas on Linda’s recommendations delicious. Fenton is a lawyer and former judge. Mike had to ask did they know Garth Brooks. They did mike is now seriously impressed. It turned out that their daughter went to school with him, they knew him and his parents well. Both parents have died and are buried in the local cemetery but Garth has moved away now.

Fenton and Linda paid for our meal. So nice, we are complete strangers. A chance meeting in the street and they made the effort to come back out to listen to our story and pay for a meal. I’m blown away with people’s kindness.

Friday 28th June

We both slept well, feeling refreshed we checked out at 7am. Problem the young lad at the desk when we handed back the key said that we hadn’t paid. We had the evening before by debit card. He checked his card machine and claimed no such transaction had taken place. Thank goodness for my bank app I showed him my phone clearly showing the transaction, confusing him but he backed down and said he would call us if there was still a problem. I wasn’t going to pay twice.

Stand off over we are free to leave. We’re headed to El Reno old town 14 miles up the road. To a cafe called Johnnies for breakfast. It was recommended by Fenton and Linda yesterday evening over dinner.

Breakfast was good and the service was friendly good recommendation thank you.

We are going to a KOA campsite only 30 miles away. But there’s not a lot in between.

Just open roads and heat why not chuck some hills and wind into the mix. We’re strong, we can take it.

We make camp just before noon. It’s a really hot day I certainly don’t want to be cycling in the afternoon. Tent up time to explore.

We are next to a Cherokee trading post and restaurant. So we have a swim, relax a bit before heading to the restaurant for a early tea.

Buffalo steak anyone?

Wednesday 26th June

We managed to get to sleep fairly early, even though the RV site was noisy until quite late. And a random small child peaking in to our tent after dark scaring the life out of us.

At 5am the noise started again with people running engines, driving fast next to the tent on a gravel road and walking dogs around where we were camped. It was still dark but we decided to get up and go anyway.

We cycled through Chandler at 6:00 am it looked a nice place to visit, but nothing was open. We stopped to look at a old cottage style gas station believed to be 1930.

The landscape is dryer and the soil has changed to a red colour now. The long grasses and meadow flowers are now being replaced with brown straw like grass and cactus is becoming more common. It definitely has the Wild West feel about the place.

Not much between Chandler and Arcadia a couple of small towns Warwick, Wellston, and Luther. We cycled passed them all, no reason to stop.

A old derelict petrol station just outside Arcadia, made famous as it was used as a front for a counterfeit business printing fake $10 bills. After it was discovered the building was left to rack and ruin. Later and not related a murder victims body was discovered there,they were never identified.

The old round barn 1889. In Arcadia built by local farmer William Odor using local bur oak boards. Following the arrival of the interstate it was left to ruins and in 1988 the 60ft diameter roof collapsed. It’s restoration was completed in 1992 by a team of volunteers lead by Luther Robison. It’s America’s only truly round barn.

Just passed the round barn is Pops you can’t miss it. It has a 66ft tall pop bottle outside, it sells over 700 different types of soda.

We are staying in Edmond the night in a motel, conveniently located so we can cycle through Oklahoma City tomorrow. 43 miles done today.

Tuesday 25th June

A restless night for mike, he has come down with a head cold and spent the night too congested to sleep. No worries only a short 36 miles today, we’re just take it easy.

We stopped in the rock cafe in Stroud, made famous for being featured in the Disney film cars the ultimate ride. We already had met the actual pick up truck tow mater back in Kansas. I’ve not seen the film but now there’s a lot of road side attractions stating as seen in cars.

The food was good and they were vegetarian friendly. Even had a vegan burger on offer.

Mike was feeling better after his burger cooked on the oven grill fondly known as Betsy the original oven and surviver off a devastating fire.

Shortly After leaving the cafe we had our first puncture. Not bad in over 2200 miles. Mikes front wheel had picked up some metal banding from a broken tire. A quick inner tube change and we were on our way.

Davenport was next. This had some original brick road left and some historic wall art. A quick look before heading to the RV campsite our home for tonight, just short of Chandler.

Monday 24th June

A second night spent at Becky and Robert’s. This time we awoke to sunshine. A quick breakfast it’s time to say our good byes. They have been brilliant but I’m sure that they need their life back. We had stayed two nights and I know that Erin and Jono had stayed with them the previous night to us. A quick photo outside there beautiful house and off we go.

We have a campsite in mind 35 miles up the road. All the time we can keep the daily mileage down we will.

We stop at the heart of Route 66 auto museum that has a 66 foot tall petrol pump outside. Naturally they boast its the worlds largest. Unfortunately the museum was closed.

We pass over rock creek bridge in Sapulpa constructed in 1921 and become part of Route 66 1926 – 1952.

Leaving the bridge we noticed the tepee old drive in movie theatre, unfortunately abandoned and over grown.

We are spending the night at a RV campsite in Bristow.

Sunday 23rd June

A lovely comfortable night spent at our warm showers hosts house, Becky and Robert’s . We had a delicious home cooked meal in the evening followed by a good nights sleep. All refreshed and ready to go. The weather had other ideas. We lay in bed listening to a big storm outside. We optimistically get our cycle clothes on, all lovely and clean, Becky had washed them for us. Lovely nothing better than nice smelling clothes clean on!

Headed down stairs to the soundtrack of thunder and rain hoping that miraculously during breakfast the storm will pass. A cooked breakfast and a cup of tea later, the storm is still in full swing. Becky and Robert offered for us to stay another night. The storm looks like it is here for a while. Very tempting to take them up on their offer we said we’d give it a hour if that’s ok. A hour later we came to the decision to stay. I don’t mind rain but I really don’t feel comfortable cycling in electrical storms.

We were very well looked after. And in the afternoon we were treated to a car tour of some of the sites that Tulsa had to offer.

Praying hands outside oral Roberts university, Oral Roberts an American charismatic Christian televangelist. One hand is cast from him the other from his son, locked in a prayer.

The golden digger. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring created a better life for mankind.

Buck Atom space cowboy. A brand new muffler man built by Mark Cline for a great little Route 66 gift shop in a former petrol station.

In the evening we all went out for a meal at a Mexican restaurant. It did us good to relax and enjoy a day off.

Saturday 22nd June

Mm motel breakfasts really aren’t worth getting up for. I guess it’s because we stay in the cheapest ones we can find on route. I passed on the coffee mike said that was a good move judging by his face I’d have to agree with him. And took a long life pre-packaged danish looking thing, washing it down with the water I’d brought the night before from the dollar general store.

35 miles to do today. Heading to Tulsa and a warm showers host for tonight. On the way the only attraction listed is a 70ft concrete blue whale built in the 1970s by the side of a large pond. It was originally used as a outdoor swimming area. No swimming aloud anymore not since the mid 1980’s. It’s now a visitor attraction and wild life haven run by volunteers.

We chatted to Linda one of the volunteers. She is from a native America descended and passionate about the wild life and looking after the planet. A truly beautiful soul and spiritual. We wish her well on her recovery from her cancer. She was back at work volunteering today even though she only had a operation less than a week ago.

I would of loved something like this to play on growing up in the 70’s. You can imagine it in its heyday everyone climbing on it jumping and sliding from it. I definitely would of spent all summer long there.

Just another 15 miles to go. Heading into the city. We hate cities! A few wrong turnings it’s hard to follow maps in the city so many roads close to each other. It’s hot and frustrating but we made it to our hosts house in good time.

Friday 21st June

We left the cheapest campsite site yet. Only $10. It was a small pitch behind a motel. With 1 shower and toilet good job no one else was there. Well until at 10pm when another cycle touring couple arrived. Erin and Jono riding Route 66 to raise money for a mental health charity.

Breakfast in the local diner also the cheapest yet let’s hope that this continues. We have 35 miles to do today, but it’s hot and the wind is against us.

Not many sites on Route today. We visit the Pryor Creek Bridge. 123ft steel truss bridge in use 1926-1932 only open for cyclists and pedestrians.

We also took time out to walk under Route 66 using a restored pedestrian underpass. This has postcard like images painted by artist Kenneth Hollingshead depicting the towns history.

Were staying in a motel in claremore. I think today was the hottest yet and there’s no campsite nearby. It’s very rural so could have put a tent up in a field but definitely needed a shower!

Thursday 20th June

Late start to the day. We’re always reluctant to leave a air conditioned room and head into the heat. Finally got our asses in gear and started cycling. Crossing the state line into Oklahoma and ticking over 2000 miles. We’re over half way now

The first stop today was in small town Commerce. This town boasts to be the home town of Mickey Mantle’s boyhood home a famous baseball player. The town has painted the water tower with his number 7.

More impressive for us as we don’t watch baseball was the dairy king a former gas station that sells cookies shaped like the Route 66 shield, we had to try one.

After topping up our energy levels we headed into Miami, The lady in dairy king had told us about a theatre there that was worth a visit. Coleman theatre built 1929 and opened the same year lovingly restored after it was gifted to the town 1989 by the Coleman family. We were given a free private tour by Barbra she was very passionate and knowledgeable about the theatre.

A nice ride into our campsite in Vinita Oklahoma is definitely flatter than Missouri. We have just over 520 miles in Oklahoma a stark contrast to the 20 miles in Kansas.