Thursday, October 13, 2016

174: The Texas Two-step

The Texas brand for Route 66
Welcome back!
My home state is so big (HOW BIG IS IT?!) that we are crossing it twice. Not just going in and out of it several times, while we cross a river or something - like we did at the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. No, this is for real: after riding about 540 miles through the eastern half of Texas, and then going another 100 miles north into Oklahoma, and turning west and going another 225 miles through Oklahoma - here we are at Texas again! We've got three more days of Texas to cross. Which is okay by me. I enjoy seeing how many ways the good folk of Texas can incorporate their flag into their art, advertising, signage, decor - what have you. I may have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating:  Texans are NUTS about that Lone Star flag.
Here's a particularly fine example of Texas flag art

Notice how the flag design has been incorporated into the motel motif
It was gloomy this morning when we started out. Roger is pleased that at least we have an east wind for a change. That will help us out, as it be blowing from behind, and won't be as cold as if we had the wind in our face. This matters because the
forecast for this morning was for 47 degrees at 8:00 am. Actually, Roger's Garmin is reading 44 degrees right now. That might be a bit low, but it feels pretty close to me. Of course, Roger - ever the optimist - said he wasn't worried so much about the cold, as the rain. It's scheduled to begin around 11 or so. That will definitely increase the stakes for today's ride!

We passed one little town where the old inns were quite sad - mostly abandoned and falling apart. What opportunity lies here!  A cup of coffee in the convenience store was 50 cents. 50 cents! When was the last time you had a cup of coffee for 50 cents? And it wasn't half bad. On the wall was a real estate ad - 1700 square feet, 3/2 with new appliances, a historic brick home for $44,000.  For real. Of course, you would have to live here in Erick, and what would you do to earn a living? 
Not holding up so well

We rode for a time adjacent to the old road, on an asphalt frontage road not far from the freeway.  We can see the old road bed just pass the grasses - it's not been maintained here and is slowly being reclaimed by the trees and grasses.

The Mother Road

It is clear the storm is coming
At mile 20, we start to hear some thunder rumbling.  I do not like this at all. There's a flash of lightning over on the horizon, and for some reason, Roger chuckles. Here it comes! In another mile, the sprinkles come. Not a lot, but persistent.  Gonna be a wet ride!  We continue riding because - really - there is no where to go, nothing else to do. I don't like it, but while the thunder seems to be staying high in the clouds, I agree with Roger that the odds of our being stuck by lightning are very low. Still, as we finish our ride through Texola (a collection of mostly abandoned buildings that still claims 36 hardy souls as residents) we see a little cafe and decide to take a break. 
So glad to see this place!

We have found a moment of shelter at the Tumbleweed.  Great chicken and rice soup!  What a great stop it was!  I enjoyed hearing Masel's story about how she came to be in Texola:  About 9 years ago, she and her husband were headed to Memphis in their brand-new RV when it broke down nearby. Stranded while they waited for a part, they were befriended by the guy at the truck stop, and got to know some of the people in town. And - they were here, not in Memphis - the night that 19 tornadoes struck that town. Once their RV was repaired, and they were ready to leave, they thought, "maybe Branson." But there were terrible floods there. So they thought maybe they should just stay where they were. They bought the boarded-up little cafe, and have made it a wonderful oasis. 
Masel with some of her artwork
All bundled up

Well, stories are fun, but the storm is due to continue for some hours, so are going to have to get back out there. We can't wait it out here. 

It's a cold and wet day for us. We probably rode a good 20 miles in the rain. It did finally stop, so we were all but dried out by the time we made it to McLean. We are staying in the Cactus Inn - one of the little places that is still operating as a motel. It's cute, the rooms are clean and comfortable, and the price is right:  $45! Thank goodness there was a restaurant near the motel. En route, we had tried to stop for a bite at the U-Drop Inn, but after we parked the bike and tried the door, we realized it was just set up as a museum!  It certainly looked inviting!

This cafe had us fooled

Looks so inviting!

Oops! It's a museum now

The day's report:  Sayre to McLean, 60 miles/8165 to date

Our route:  wet and rainy day

Our inn tonight
I have never had a "welcome bone" before


  1. Replies
    1. We made it here by evening, after headwinds all day. We even at at the Big Texas Steak Ranch, although we did not attempt the 72 ounce challenge. We split an 8 ounce filet, which was excellent!


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