Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vinita Ok to the Missouri state line. April 17

April 17.....37 miles in 2:53....we got a late start because we had an electrical problem in the RV, and we had to wait until 9am Pacific time to call the Monaco tech support hotline. Turns out that we had a reset button on a box that is located in a storage compartment under the rig, that popped for some reason. When we looked, the button was so small we didn't even see it, but it shut down every outlet in the RV. That was great news, because Vinita,  Oklahoma is not exactly teeming with RV repair technicians, and we were sitting in a Walmart parking lot with our satellite dish up in the air, and we couldn't get it down to drive. By the time that was straightened out, I was dragging my feet, and didn't leave until 11:30, when some of the chill was out of the air. The temps got up into the sixties, so it turned out pretty nice. I didn't ride real far because Pam found a casino with a brand new RV park for ten dollars, with a free washer and dryer, and we( Pam) needed to do laundry because we've been dry camping so much. The casino is in Oklahoma, but right on the state line with Missouri.
My ride was once again all on US 60, but much of it was also Historic Rt. 66. I was riding once again through horse and cattle country, pretty flat, with lots of ponds, lakes, streams, creeks, and rivers. There is plenty of water in this area, as we are close to a huge serpentine lake known as Grand Lake of the Cherokees. It has 1300 miles of shoreline, but it is south of us so I didn't see it. I did see two big rivers, the Neosho and the Spring. Which have a confluence very near the twin bridges that I rode across on US60. It's all part of the Arkansas River watershed, which is very big, with rivers I have never heard of that form that inland waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to Tulsa. The Grand Lake of the Cherokees is not part of that navigable waterway, however. Now you know. 
The shoulder on US 60 is once again spotty, disappearing, especially in towns, and over all the narrow bridges that cross all those streams, creeks, rivers and lakes I was speaking of. Traffic was pretty heavy, with lots of truck traffic, and wide load trucks. US 60 was conjoined by US69 and US 59 in places, as well as US 66. Four US highways running on one road probably explains the traffic. The Will Rogers Turnpike, I-44, runs close by but Pam didn't even take that because the toll was pretty expensive. In the areas that had a nice four foot shoulder, in true Oklahoma bike friendly fashion, a foot wide, very deep rumble strip, was running right down the middle of it, leaving me about one foot on each side of the rumbles to ride on. Nice. I'm sure that design has awakened many snoozing drivers and saved their lives, and there are not many bikers, but come on. Put the rumbles on one side of the shoulder or the other, not right down the middle. Just sayin. 
I saw my first ground hog today, after seeing three dead armadillos in the last three days. Ground hogs mean we are getting close to home. As far as road kill goes, skunks have been leading the way in numbers, but I've  had splattered squirrels, and a few O possums (as they call them here ). Just like Ohio and Pennsylvania, except for the armadillos. 
I went through a few small towns left over from the Rt. 66 days, and the most interesting by far was a town called Afton. The whole town looked old but one place in particular attracted my attention. It was called Afton Station, and it was an old gas station, converted into a museum, travel information, and a house for Packard cars. They owners invited me in and we chatted, they took my picture to put on their visitor blog, and I checked the place out. The amazing thing was that they had the neon Packard sign from a Packard garage that is in Canonsburg, PA! I remember the sign which they said they bought 12 years ago, and any of you from Canonsburg back then probably remember it. (See picture.)

Cowboy gear head toy!

These chickens were close to the road, but the didn't cross it!!

Old buggy company in Afton, OK

Route 66 in Afton, OK

Downtown Afton


Afton station Packard collection  - the big one is a 1917 RV!!!





Old Packard sign from Canonsburg, PA - anybody remember it?

This part of route 66 is the Will Rogers Highway

A little history about route 66 in Oklahoma

This is a piece of the original route 66

The Neosho River - also entering the Wyandotte Nation.  This is the beginning of the Ozarks


The twin river - the Spring River

Eastern Shawnee Nation

Our campground!

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear you're moving right along. It was lovely to meet you at Afton Station and hope you will return some day (and bring your wife!). I apologize for my state's rumble strips being in the center of the bike path. Very stupid, and probably nobody even thought of bikers, although long-distance bicycling is getting more and more popular every day. May I use the photo of the chickens and the Milk sign on my blog? I will, of course, give you credit. Stay safe!

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