Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Enid, OK to Stillwater, OK April 10

61.78 miles in 4:33.....If I could have spent the day in Enid, we would have enjoyed the $10 a night rate, and we would have had some things to explore, but the wind gods weren't going to cooperate. Today had ideal wind direction and speed for the southeast trip to Stillwater. Tomorrow, the wind is forecast to switch to a headwind, so with my tired legs, I decided a tail wind on no rest would be better than a headwind on one days rest. So off we went.
So far, it was a good decision, the day was beautiful, and the winds helped me along. However, by the end of the day, I could feel that the legs were just out if gas, especially on the little rollers when I had to find another gear to go up. The next gear just wasn't there. The few times I stopped for picture taking or to get a new water bottle out of the gear bag, my legs tightened up real fast, and I had to loosen them up each time. Time for a break.....tomorrow. 
I started out of Enid, headed due south on US 81. The shoulder was intermittent, appearing and disappearing at random intervals. The landscape was just a sea of green grasses and other grazing crops, and there were historical markers describing the land rush of 1889, when miles and miles were made available for homesteading. It was mildly rolling, and I could see a grain elevator off in the distance, that turned out to be twelve miles away. I rolled about 20 miles to the town of Hennessey, where I turned east on OK 51. Before I took off from that town, I cruised around the town of Hennessey, because it looked interesting. No red brick roads like the north Texas towns, but there was country music playing from speakers for a few blocks of the downtown mom and pop shops, and there were some more historical plaques and statues in the town park, near the huge grain elevator that seems to accompany every little town. 
OK 51 turned out to be a death defying ride from Hennessey to the Interstate 35 interchange, where it improved for the last ten miles into Stillwater. For thirty miles out of Hennessey, the was absolutely no shoulder, significant truck traffic, and loose dirt and recycled asphalt, on the shoulder. If I would have had to leave the road, I would have had a hell of a time sliding through the loose crap. There were plenty of extra wide loads going by, and I was nearly decapitated by a huge oil rig going by on one truck. Oklahoma is not a bicycle friendly state, and a big percentage of drivers didn't know exactly how to play it when having to pass a cyclist. There were no idiots, however, and everyone eventually got by me, and I lived to tell about it.  OK 51 was exciting driving a large motorhome too!  The lanes are skinny, no shoulders and it seemed like every second truck coming at me was a wide load - many were hay rolls hanging about two feet past the center line!!!  OK 51 rolled through cattle grazing land mostly, with lots of oil and gas wells mixed in and occasional ponds, all with the red dirt that I would expect to find in Georgia.  There were many small streams that the road crossed, and as I went over them, I noticed that not one single stream had a current at all. They all looked stagnant, and that's when it occurred to me that the next town was called Stillwater for a reason. 
Pam had found a campground five miles west of town, that was all oil and gas workers, but we got a nice sight off to ourselves. We Jeeped into town in the afternoon, and checked out the Oklahoma State University campus. We walked around the main square, and spent a lot of time figuring how to get into the football and basketball facilities. We were successful of course, and wandered through the OSU Hall of Fame. This school has won 51 national NCAA championships, 34 of them in wrestling, and the Hall was impressive. The national wrestling hall of fame is located here also, but we didn't go there. We visited the Oklahoma State football practice at the practice facility, where practice was going on. You could walk right in, and we did, with me wearing my West Virginia t shirt. We were noticed right away, and spoke with someone associated with the team, and he pointed out that my shirt might not be appreciated here, especially considering that OSU was 11-1 last year, and the only loss was to WVU, which might have cost them an appearance in the national championship. I mentioned that fact, but he hadn't forgotten.  He was a nice guy, and I got some insight on how the Big12 teams feel about traveling to Morgantown. It turns out that they stay in Clarksburg, and ride the bus for an hour before the game, because they have heard 'horror stories' about the WVU fans, and don't really want to stay in Morgantown! That reputation has always been there. I don't know why. Let's go Mountaineers!

Mystery crop that is everywhere - any ideas Tirzah?????

The history of settlement around here

More history of local settlement

Hennessey, OK grain elevator

Monument to the Pioneers

Nicer homes are becoming more common

The universal Oklahoma cowboy sign

More history - Indian Meridian

Don't want to know what they do here!!!

Oklahoma State practice field

Indoor practice field

And the Mountaineers kicked your butt!!!

Staying warmed up

The football stadium

Training center

Views of the OSU campus

Tribute to 10 deaths in 2001 when the basketball team plane crashed

Basketball arena

Hall of Fame

Inside the football stadium

Pistol Pete - OSU mascot

Another view of the basketball arena

OSU track

April 11 - Not a very exciting day, but a day to get somethings done and to let Mike's legs recover.  Mike went looking for the Pike house (his fraternity at WVU) and I got to do some work on the motorhome.  Exciting things like cleaning the solar panels!!
Pike House at Oklahoma State

A little fancier that the house at WVU!!!

More views on OSU campus

Eskimo Joe's is rated as one of the top three collage bars!

Sign in Eskimo Joe's window - it is the riding cowboys picture

Pam on the roof at our campground east of Stillwater, OK

What every campground needs!  We had two storm shelters at ours.  Made me feel safe....

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