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Day 159 – 16th May 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on May 16, 2009

Saturday – Lawton, Oklahoma

I saw my first Bison today and Racoon and Prairie Dogs as well for the first time, cool eh 🙂

Well, the forecast was not wrong, this is what greeted me when I woke up and it was cold to boot!

But, they reckoned it may clear up in the arvo, depends on which direction I travelled. Well, I had pretty much worked out the first part. There is a section of scenic route I had missed yesterday, which meant a small bit of backtrack to the west, but no worries.

The section was between Claude and Silverton, so off I go west where I see double decked freight trains.

Well, even with the wet liners in I was still cold, it was only around the early teens C, the first bit from Claude south was not very inspiring, even the cows were huddled together to keep out the cold, the wind was very strong which did not help at all.

But, soon after I came down into Palo Duro canyon, there were a few twisties, but the scenery was a lot better. 🙂

I met some drovers, well, cowboys I guess up here, I am not sure they need the long paddock though as it was so green, maybe just moving them to a different paddock. Not very nice weather for it, I nearly stopped to tell them about Drizabone wet weather gear from home, sure would have been more comfortable for them, that is what our cockies use!

I go past McKenzie river before getting to Silverton and heading back east. I saw my first Racoon on the side of the road, but he was off before I could slow down. I recognised the black strip across the snout, which also now I had seen one, was probably what a lot of the road kill are. I had seen a lot recently, all about the same size. Anyway this is where I realised what the signs meant; it means this is a plain trail, either real plain, or a trail through the plain old plain 🙂

I guess when they put ‘scenic’ next to the road on the atlas, it depends on interpretation. An hour later and the rain has stopped but it is still very cold and the headwind is not helping at all, it always finds a chink in the armour and sends a chill somewhere.

I stopped in Memphis for some lunch at a servo type place, I slipped into my thermal top, now I did not expect to be wearing thermal underwear in Texas, but there you go eh! After the very hot, hot chocolate I was warmed up enough to go on and the sun was nearly ready to break through, the flowers were nice and happy though, very bright and all over the shop.

I reached the state line about 1.30pm and I could not even raise a smile, I was making sure the bike (camera support) did not blow over in the 30 knot wind, as if I could do anything about it from over there anyway!

Another hour or so east and after fuelling up in Altos, off north towards the Wichita hills. This is where the scenic route for the day is supposed to be, in Oklahoma, so maybe it will be better than Texas. The hills over there I guess are what I am here to see.

But, the road stayed a fair way away from the hills, so no bends, just straight roads. This mural on a wall in Hobart showed me what I was in for eventually, but I had no idea at the time 🙂

Here was an exciting bit of corner 🙂

Just before I turned back south, I spotted this little old farmhouse that is in dire need of a shave and a haircut! The whole countryside has been littered with abandoned farm houses like this one

Another 15 minutes of this not very scenic road, the sun was out in parts but still very cold.

Ahh, now we are getting somewhere, I eventually end up turning east, this was after going straight on until I hit the next highway, then had to backtrack to the turn off to the park. Oooops!

You better not go too fast through here; them Bison are big suckers and can move quite quick as well!

That is if they are active, unlike these two who were just cud chewers 🙂 They seem to be about the size of a big Brahman, but with all that head, shoulders and the beard, they look quite menacing, I would hate to attack one with a bow and arrow!

Next up was a small area which is set up as a Prairie Dog reserve, very cute little critters, always buzzing around between burrows, bobbing up and down etc and not all that concerned about humans or cars.

By now it was getting late in the arvo and by the time I got to Lawton it was after 5pm. Here, once again I battled for a room, when you ask for non smoking, apparently you can smoke in the room, I checked a few of them but they stunk. I nearly left town, but eventually I found one, a smoker had still been in this non smoking room, but I got a discount and some smelly stuff to put under the aircon vent, which made it bearable.

I went for a wander and just behind the motel was a 2nd hand book store, great, I managed to pick up something to read. Mind you, she would not buy my books that I had read, ‘we do not buy books’ she said? Well, who am I to ask how she makes any money! There seemed to be secret sections to the shop, over there is porn, and over there I hope they are new sex toys and not 2nd hand!!!!

Just next to this place was a cowboy bar, hmm, OK I went in for a few beers and found a nice beer called Shiner Bock, it was a pale lager type and quite tasty.

I ended up staying for a little while. I had to put up with smokers in the bar, also country music! Now, this was not all that bad as it was not slow dreary stuff, but then the DJ turned up as it was sort of like a night club and they had 4 parties happening. Now, this DJ was black and about 400lb, I cannot believe he got into that booth. Anyway, he did and started to play rap crap and believe it or not, a whole stack of people came up onto the dance floor and started to line dance!!!!!! WTF, at this point I left, just in case he played Dire Straights, I would hate to see that happen to them, it was a very weird experience 🙂

Anyway, an early night after a long days travel and it was good to be warm for a change and reading a novel 🙂

Day – 326 miles and 525 km
Trip – 8,689 miles and 13,984 km


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