Friday, November 14, 2008

Back in the world...

Well, it was a fun trip. We are now back and I have tons of pictures. First, a little bit about our tour. I didn't get to post on the road as I had anticipated because the wireless service was pretty terrible up there.

We left home on Friday and made it to the little town of Forestburg, Tx on day one. It was right at 75 miles. A hilly 75 miles with just enough headwind to make it uncomfortable. Forestburg has about 250 people in town. There's a small store that closes at 7 pm, 3 churches, and little else. We found a nice little place to camp out behind one of the churches.

The next day we headed into Oklahoma. Our plan was to make it to Lake Waurika. After battling a viscious headwind for 75 miles (this will be a recurring theme) and going up and down hills constantly we finally made it to the Chisolm Trail Campground. It was at that moment we found out the campground was closed. Thanks Oklahoma, it wasn't listed on your website as closed.

Fortunately, we found a really cool guy named Eddie that had some property by the lake that let us set up camp there. Not only was it a nice place, but it was next to a really cool little bar. We headed over to the bar after setting up camp. While the beer in Oklahoma is only 3.2% alcohol, it balances out by being incredibly cheap.

Sunrise the next day showed us headed to our destination, Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. This is a really neat place. Wide open prairies, Mountains (close enough), Bison, Deer, and more. Very beautiful, who would have thought Southwest Oklahoma could be so awesome?

Of course, to get there we had to pass through Lawton. While Lawton was the biggest town we had to pass through, it also had the rudest drivers I've yet to encounter. When looking at the map, we noticed that there were basically two roads that passed from one end of town to the other. Apparently we chose poorly. However, if you're driving a car and you see two fully loaded touring bicycles with racks, panniers, sleeping bags, and one of the cyclist consulting his map every other block you might come to the conclusion that these guys aren't local. Apparently in Lawton this means you honk, swerve, and yell out at the cyclist as you pass them. We finally figured out that the highway was probably our safest choice. I probably won't ever go to Lawton again. I lost a new pair of Keens in that town, but there's no way you could get me to go back for them.

At the base of Mount Scott.

The next two pics are after we ascended Mount Scott. While it apparently isn't a true mountain, it sure felt like it. Almost two miles of climbing really takes it out of a person.

After Wichita Mountains we headed into Medicine Park. A pretty cool place in its own right. We did just enough riding to keep the bodies limber and in the riding mode.

Next, it was back to Waurika Lake. By now we were considered regulars at the bar by the lake. We hung out there for a few hours. Actually, we closed the bar down! (Not too hard really since they close at 8 pm...) Then it was off to bed to get enough rest for the next destination, Forestburg.

When we left Forestburg I was ready to go home. It was a fun tour, but being gone for a week was almost a bit much for me. We battled viscious headwinds, hills, more dogs than I can count and we finally made it home. 7 days on the road, 2 states, who knows how many counties, and 469 miles. An exhausting trip, but fun.

There are a few stories, some probably pretty good while others are just so-so. I'll try to post them up later this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Looks like phone service has improved a little. Hope to be back home this evening sometime. Today I expect lots of hills for the first 30 or so miles and a headwind of 10-20 mph. Will make for another tough day. Good news is, we have gotten really strong on the bikes. I noticed this as we cruised through Oklahoma and the Big Dummy was clipping along at 25mph.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back in Texas!
Back in Texas!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

We are averaging about 75 miles per day. Better than I expected. We have come a long way since our trip last February. We will be starting our loop back today. Pray for tailwinds... As a side note, we rode our bikes up a mountain(ish) fully loaded. Climbing was painful, but the descent was fast and cold.
Early tuesday morning. Writing this in the hopes that it will be sent soon. Yes we are still alive, just trapped in an area with absolutely no phone service.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Breakfast of the wayfarer. Somewhere in the wilds of Oklahoma. So cold I can't feel my fingers. Hope to make the reserve today. Bonus if showers exist...