Hank – I slept okay until a turkey woke me a little after six. I don’t know if it was a tom keeping his ladies in line or a loner looking for love. I didn’t bother opening the tent to look. It finally continued on its way as the dawn approached and then all the avian choirs starting singing their morning songs. So I put water on to make some tea.
There’s no hurry today. We have about 34 miles to the hotel we’re staying in downtown Tulsa. Not far away is the Woody Guthrie Center. We’re looking forward to visiting that.
We broke camp and pushed our bikes back to the highway. We arrived in Mannford, about eight miles away, and stopped at a local restaurant for breakfast. We were going to eat at Kathy’s Mason Jar Diner because you can’t pass up a place with a name like that. But a woman there said they had just bought the place and were working on some issues. They’ll probably be open on Monday. Well, we can’t stick around that long so we went to Winn’s Sports Cafe and Grill where we had a very nice breakfast. The young lady waiting on us, Briley (sp), was impressed with our adventure. I hope we inspired her to go out on one of her own some day.
We had a few more hills to climb on the way to Tulsa. Fortunately, they were fairly gradual. Just before reaching Sand Springs I found an Oklahoma license plate in perfect condition. I have some ideas for the guitar’s design.
Right after finding the plate we came across two ghost bikes. We’ve seen individual ones a few times on this adventure. This is the first time we’ve seen two together. It’s a sobering experience after spending this much time on the road.
The bikes were memorials for Christa Voss and Matt Edmonds. They were well maintained and photos of them hung from their respective bikes. Later in the day I looked them up and was surprised to find they died almost 10 years ago. A group of cyclists were out for a ride. A woman driving drunk hit three of them, killing Christa and Matt. The woman was later sentenced to 24 years in prison. It’s a sad story for everyone involved.
At Sand Springs we got on the Katy Trail, a paved rail trail that took us all the way to downtown Tulsa.
While riding on the trail, Kathy needed to pee. She stepped behind some bushes and quickly relieved herself. We continued riding and we stopped again just to take a short break. After a minute, Kathy noticed the backs of her upper thighs were kind of itchy. She reached into her shorts and began pulling leaves out. She had pulled her shorts up so quickly that she stripped some leaves off the bush. It’s a good thing it wasn’t poison ivy or something like that. Anyway, she was still feeling itchy and thought she had more leaves to extract. So she stepped behind the bench and bushes where we were resting and dropped her drawers to shake out the remaining bits. The coast was clear up and down the trail and in front of us. But we were directly next to a freeway on ramp and there was a white pickup truck going up the ramp. The driver had a clear view of Kathy. I watched him nearly break his neck as he tried to keep her in view after he passed by. So he has a story to share. We had a good laugh about that.
Once off the trail we just had a few blocks to ride to the hotel. We checked in and got cleaned up.
Feeling refreshed we walked to the Woody Guthrie Center where we were treated to a history of his life, music, and art. I knew he was a prolific song writer, but I wasn’t aware that he was also an artist. On a note related to our current times, I was surprised to find a song called “Trump Made A Tramp Out Of Me” in a display. It turns out that while he was living in New York City, Guthrie considered Fred C. Trump, who was his landlord for two years, to be his worst enemy because of his racist housing policies.
There was a really cool virtual reality system in which you sat on the front porch and watched the great dust storm of 1935 come rolling in. That was my first experience with a VR headset. It was weird to see things but not be able to feel them.
After that we walked to Tavolo, a very nice Italian restaurant, and had a great meal accompanied by a bottle of Merlot made by L’Ecole, a Washington winery we’re very familiar with. After that we called it a night.
Kathy – Our 34-mile ride today was filled with partly sunny skies and warm temps in the high 70’s. The sidewinds were coming from our right at 20 mph with gusts in the 30s. We were careful to avoid getting blown into traffic. We rolled up and down the hills for the first 25 miles. The last nine miles were pretty flat on the trail which was a pretty sweet ending to our day. And yes, while on the trail apparently a guy in a truck got to see my white butt. In the future I will be more observant of my surroundings. I didn’t know the truck could see me. I thought I was being discrete…”butt” obviously not from my backside. It was pretty funny to hear Hank talk about it afterwards. OMG, the crazy things that happen on this bike trip. 😄
A ghost bike is a bicycle painted completely white and normal placed at a site where a cyclist died. It is always sad to see a ghost bike, but seeing two ghost bikes next to each other is very sorrowful. It really reminds us how vulnerable we are out here as well as how lucky we are to have ridden so far and not be injured by a vehicle.
I planted my flower seeds for Oklahoma this morning at our campsite off the road near Silver City. However, I decided to take another flower seed packet and spread them around the two ghost bikes. They have a really nice memorial set up there for these two young people who lost their lives much too soon. I thought it would be a nice touch to also add these perennial multicolored daisies that hopefully will bloom every year at the site in remembrance.
We returned to riding were my thoughts of these two people I’d never met remained with me for quite some time. Thinking of them, the life they had, and their family and friends loss. Even ten years later, I wish peace to all involved.
Overall it was a good ride today. We made it to the hotel, enjoyed the Woody Guthrie Center, and had a fabulous dinner. I am thankful for our safety today and for our relaxing afternoon and evening together. 💗💗💗
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