Wagoner (pronounced wag-ner) Oklahoma

Hank – We stopped at Hurts Donuts to fuel up for today’s ride. We were going 35 miles to Coweta, Oklahoma where we would eat and then decide if we were staying or continuing to Wagoner. The unknown factor in this was the wind. We have strong winds from the north for two days.

The donuts were slathered in icing, which I don’t care for. I got a chocolate cake donut with Rocky Road topping and a red velvet cake donut that had a bunch of icing. I scraped the icing off both. The donut shop has a clever decor. There are several old and famous photos on the wall. They added Hurts Donuts in one or more places on each photo. I got a kick out of the labels on the restrooms. The men’s room has a maple bar on the door. The women’s room has a donut on the door.

We left downtown and headed for the River Parks East Trail, which follows the Arkansas River south of Tulsa and darned if we didn’t find Cry Baby Hill. It was slightly disappointing. I was surprised to see how short it was. Doomsday Hill in Spokane is way more daunting. The River Parks Trail has bicycle and pedestrian paths either physically separate or marked separate so the two things of traffic are kept apart. Several roadies passed us by and a few commuters and roadies were coming into town. Kathy, ever the Goodwill ambassador, greeted every runner and cyclist.

We followed the trail to where it intersects with the Creek Turnpike Trail, which turns east. We followed that trail to where it connects to the Liberty Trail, which took us south and east. All in all we had about 23 miles of paved bike trail. How awesome is that? The downside was that all the climbs were steep even though they were mostly short. On the plus side, we were either riding with the wind or protected from it.

After exiting the trail we followed county roads south and east to Coweta. There was no shoulder but traffic was light and accommodating.

We were pretty hungry and had our sights set on Dixie’s Cafe. We were very happy with our choice. Dixie’s is a family-owned restaurant. Dixie emphasizes faith, food, and family. They have unusual serving dishes and glasses. My iced tea and Kathy’s lemonade came in one quart measuring cups. Kathy’s hamburger and fries came on a round metal plate. My omelette and home fries were served on a rectangular metal tray. The salt and pepper shakers were large enough to require filling maybe once a year. All the food is from scratch, so my toast was home-baked bread. My meal was delicious. All of the staff were the nicest people.

From Coweta we only had 15 miles left to the hotel in Wagoner. We were now back on OK Hwy 51. We had plenty of shoulder most of the way but we were also more exposed to the wind. The climbs were more gradual, which was nice but we did a lot of leaning against the sidewind. It was a lot of work. Along the way we found a Cherokee Nation license plate in great condition. Sweet! I was hoping I could get a tribal nation plate to make a guitar with.

After checking in and cleaning up we walked all our dirty clothes to the laundromat. Then we hit the Walmart to resupply and get something for a light dinner.

Kathy – Today’s 50-mile ride was easy at times and challenging at others. The temps were in the low 50’s to low 60’s throughout the day but it felt much cooler with the winds and partly cloudy skies. Yes, the winds continued to show us their presence in this part of the U.S. We had sustained winds at 20 mph and gusts at 35 mph. Those winds were whipping today!

There were a few times today where I thought for sure the wind gusts were going to knock me and my bike over. Lucky my strong grip on the handle bars and quick pedaling while maneuvering the bike’s steering helped to avoid any falls. I did not like the miles and miles of steep inclines with the heavy bike. I did them but I had to really work for them. Not my favorite part of the day. I was happy we chose to go the longer distance today…and I’m happy it’s over too. 😅

We got a cheap hotel and walked in the crazy winds to the laundromat a little over a half mile away. Once we were done with laundry and took it back to the hotel we then walked to Walmart to pick up a few dehydrated meals, bananas and things for the road. We also picked up some salad stuff and veggies for dinner. I think we got our exercise in for the day…a 50 mile windy and hilly bike ride and about four miles of walking. I’m calling it good for the day. Looking forward to relaxing now. 😊

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