Total miles today: 202
It’s been raining most of the night. I think it’s almost stopped, but I might have to pack out wet.
We waited for it to quit raining, but every time is started to let up, it started raining harder. We finally gave up, packed up wet, and left camp at 8:30. Then it started to rain harder. I went between very poor visibility with my visor down, and getting the needle sting of rain drops with the visor up. We drove back down to Lincoln for gas, then took the main road west to try to punch through the storm.
Shortly after crossing into Oklahoma, we got back on the trail. It was still raining and the gravel/mud roads were challenging, but I was smiling the whole time.
Over the course of the day we went through two distinct thunderstorms, two distinct sections with bright sun and dry roads, and several sections with a crosswind hard enough to blow my bike around.
The transition from the Arkansas mountains to the Oklahoma plains was amazing. They are so close, but so different. Both are beautiful.
This piece of “road” is very common in Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma Ozarks. Jagged bedrock is just part of the road. This is on a steep incline, maybe 10 or 15 degrees.
I haven’t taken any photos of the hard sections yet because when I get to them, all of my focus is on picking the right line, being in the right gear, clutch, brake, and throttle control, body position, momentum, and not falling down.
While stopped for a break, we chatted with an old guy tending to his sheep (which were free-ranging in the road)
Some OK scenes:
We decided to get a cheap motel for tonight to get showers, wash clothes, and dry our boots. This looks like a sketchy part of town. If the prostitutes we spotted aren’t enough of an indicator, the 24 hour second hand shop seems to be. I unwrapped all of my cargo bags and carried it up to my room.
I had dinner at a hole-in-the wall taco joint and couldn’t have been happier with the place. Hot, delicious, fast, and cheap.
I’m finishing the day with a tall Miller beer and some solitude.
4:25 PM: Bartlesville, OK.
5:00 PM: Checked in to hotel.