Up And Down And Up And Down And Up

Hank – We decided to ride halfway to Tulsa, about 34 miles and maybe camp in Silver City. There’s nothing there but a volunteer fire department building, a Baptist Church, and maybe a few houses. We have 15-20 mph side winds today and tomorrow and we’re a little tired from yesterday’s cannonball run to Stillwater.

We had a light breakfast and hit the road. We got on OK Hwy 51 after a couple miles and headed east. We had plenty of shoulder, which meant we had room to maneuver when a strong gust tried to push us towards traffic. I didn’t think the wind hampered me very much. Kathy was a trooper and pressed steadily on.

We saw smoke ahead a couple of miles before arriving in Yale, OK. I thought it was a controlled burn, which would be crazy with this wind. As we got closer I saw there was nobody around so it was a sizeable grass fire spreading from the roadside.

Further down the road I saw a couple of pickup trucks and two men and two more roadside grass fires. So maybe it is a controlled burn? Then I saw the police car and I noticed the men were stomping the fire out. Okay, so it’s not a controlled burn and the authorities know all about it.

We had a sharp descent into the town of Yale, which means we had a corresponding steep climb out the other side. We stopped at the Dairy Hut to have some lunch. Nobody was there but the two old ladies who work there. We ordered hamburgers and fries. Then the lunch crowd showed up, including the Yale Chief of Police and the place got really busy. We rested after eating since we only had another 11-12 miles to Silver City.

The childhood home of Jim Thorpe is in Yale. Unfortunately, it was closed while we were here. Thorpe was the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal for the United States. He also played professional football, basketball, and baseball and is considered to be the greatest athlete of the first 50 years of the 20th century.

We spent the entire ride going up and down. Today was the most elevation gain we’ve had in a long time. So instead of fighting the wind by going into Silver City from the highway, we decided to stealth camp behind some trees. We’re not that noticeable from the highway and I don’t think anyone would care anyway.

Kathy had her road find eyes on alert again. She spotted an iPhone and an Oklahoma license plate. The phone doesn’t power up and doesn’t register that it’s charging when we plug it in so it’s probably toast.

After we set up camp, Kathy fell asleep and took a 30-minute nap. Tonight we eat dehydrated meals. Tomorrow we ride into Tulsa. We’re going to spend two days there because thunderstorms are due to hit in Wednesday.

Here’s a little something we have to share. If you leave the rain fly off to allow for more wind to keep you cool and a bird poops on your tent, the solid parts stay on the outside of the netting and the liquid part splatters through it into the inside of the tent. Don’t ask how we know that.

Kathy – We both awoke with a little aching in our bodies after our 72-miler yesterday. Today we rode 34 miles. Then it was time to stop because I had had enough of the hills. We climbed a ton yesterday, and just added another ton today.

Climbing up and down with rolling hills will be our norm for the next few months as we make our way through Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. I’m up for doing the climbing or long distances, but not yet up for doing climbing AND long distances. Until I stop being a wimp we may reduce our mileage during heavy elevation days.

I keep thinking this would be so much easier with no weight to carry. A few lady friends I know that did some touring with their spouses…carried little or no weight! Their kind, considerate, and amazing spouses carried everything for them. 💡 Haannk? I must say these women are really brilliant! I’m not so smart. 😏. What did I do wrong in planning this trip!?! I’m trying to talk Hank into taking all the community property stuff that I am currently carrying (large bottle of suntan lotion, thank you cards, medical bag, package of baby wipes, laundry soap tablets, flower packets, and a few other items that I can’t think of right now). We carry a lot of stuff–and the weight adds up quickly–when you are on the road for 17 months. Hoping to send the winter gear home in the next few weeks. I’m probably hauling 80-85 pounds and Hank is probably close to 95 pounds (bikes and bags). After almost a year, I think I’m stuck with the extra 5-8 pounds of community property stuff. Oh well, at least Hank waits patiently as I climb the hills. 😊

So today’s temps are warm again. We got up to 78 degrees. Sustained sidewinds were 15-20 mph with gusts near 30 mph. We have much of the same for tomorrow in the way of weather and constant up and down climbing. We got this!

Spring is definitely in the air. We saw new buds on the trees and bushes, cherry blossoms, green grass, tulips and daffodils blooming, grasshoppers, butterflies, rolly-polly’s (millipedes) and even a beautiful bluebird. Thankful for Spring. 🌺🌼🌸

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