Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Canadian Texas to Vica, Oklahoma April 8

April 8.....67 miles in 5:21.....As has been true for the last couple of mornings, I got off to a cold start, in the mid 40's, but at least the sun was shining. The wind blew out of the northwest all day, but it wasn't much of a factor, except to keep things cool. I rode US60 for the entirety of the trip, and for the first 27 miles, to the Oklahoma state line, everything was fine. I crossed the Canadian River, just outside of town, and checked out the Canadian River Wagon Bridge, which is about a half mile long, and it was very historical around here when built in 1915, because there was finally a way across the river for increasing automobile traffic. Only problem was, after it was built , a flood caused the river to cut a new course, and the new course did not go under the bridge. They had to extend the bridge to its current distance, to cross a river that's only about 50 ft wide. After crossing the river, of course, I had to climb out of the Canadian River Valley, about 500 ft of total elevation. The rolling hills never stopped for the next 67 miles. I ended up climbing over 2000 ft, and descending the same in a roller coaster of a day.
Oil, gas, and farm traffic was pretty heavy all day long. I've never been passed by so many oversized loads in one day.  Everything from overloaded hay trucks, to oil rig parts, but especially tanker trucks. There was no shortage of trains either, until US60 and the train tracks parted ways on the second half of the trip. When I was in Texas, the trucks weren't a problem because of the wide shoulder, but Oklahoma brought a little more danger, because the shoulder shrunk to about two ft. That's not enough when there are wide loads traveling in both directions. The road was at least smooth, until about five miles from the end, where I went into a different county, Dewey County, and the shoulder totally disappeared, and the chip seal was the worst I've seen it. Big stones, loose stones that bounced my posterior over the covered cracks in the road. That really slows a biker down, but I get the impression that there aren't too many bicycle riders out here in cowboy country, so I've just got to get through it.
 As I said, the topography was very rolling, with a mixture of oil fields, cattle grazing grass lands, with some farming, mostly grass now, but it looked like corn and wheat are also grown in season. There were also many areas of pine tree growth, but I get the feeling that they weren't native. They seemed to be growing on property lines and along the road. I passed through a couple of small towns that each looked the same. One Main Street with some mom and pop shops, and a lot of equipment dealers and repair shops. The red brick roads stopped as soon as I left Texas. 
Pam found a place to park the RV with hookups, but you can't really call it a campground or RV park, it was just a place with 10 spots to park, with one other fifth wheel, and a shed where you put your money in an envelop and put it in a mailbox. The most notable thing here is a skid loader that is very similar to my old one. I thought mine was the only one left of its kind on earth, but I guess not. Pretty cool. My skid loader is haunting me at the beginning of mulch season, but it's not going to work.

The Canadian River wagon bridge


There is always a train photo bombing my pictures!!!

The train is not going over the wagon bridge


Will Rogers is from this area

That arrow almost got Bike!

Our 23rd state on this trip!

Train tracks on the plain

Cattle graze on top of the oil fields

This was the biggest business in Arnett, OK

Downtown Arnett

Another cattle drive monument

The Great Western Trail - 11 million cattle passed by here before 1899

The town of Vici's tallest buildings are a grain elevator and a water tower!

Downtown Vici

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