9th May 2016 Shamrock, Tx to Weatherford, Ok 158.9 kms - 98.8 miles Up = 828m - Down = 924m
9th May 2016 - Shamrock, Texas to Weatherford, Oklahoma
A pretty big day ahead on the bike - but only undulating and more downhill than uphill!! Today we rode from Shamrock, Texas to Weatherford, Oklahoma - and 25 kms in to our ride we crossed another border!!
Texas has been most enjoyable, and quite a contrast to Arizona and New Mexico - with plenty happening in the landscape - farmingise a lot more productive!! We were well aware of the need to remain vigilant about tornados - as news reports on the radio relayed that one had occurred close to Oklahoma City the previous day. It does appear that these usually spring up late in the day - so we would watch what was now a clear blue sunny sky to monitor any changes.
A few hills to go up (and down) - and we took the same decision as the previous day about the route to take - it will be a mixture of I-40, frontage roads and Route 66. The weather forecast will have a bearing on the decisions as well!!
Shamrock was a quaint place - we drove around it the previous evening looking for a lucky stone - but we were out of luck- we could only see a fire hydrant and a "dumpster" on the corner it was supposed to be. We then looked for a restaurant for dinner - (Mothers Day evening) and saw one with several cars outside (including the State Trooper). This appeared to be the most popular place in town to dine at - we later discovered, after a pretty ordinary meal - that it was the only place open! Our stay at the Route 66 Inn was very good - and the artwork around the neat and tidy buildings very in keeping with Route 66!!
Anyway we headed off early, quite excited that we would be crossing into Oklahoma - not that we had disliked Texas!!
We were very disappointed that near Texola which appeared to be on the border, there was no sign saying we had left Texas and arrived in Oklahoma. The only clue was that the next off-ramp number was "1" so we were obviously 1 mile into a new state!!
About 10 miles along there was a large rest area with a Welcome to Oklahoma sign and a great tourist information centre.
We had a side, slight tail wind as we continued along the I-40 which seemed to have a lot less traffic on than previous days. Needing a break and some food we stopped at Elk City - and wouldn't you know it - as we headed off after the break Don's front tyre was flat. We had missed a rendezvous with Pat. We had gone off at Exit 38 - she had gone off at 32 and driven through the town - but a detour in place saw her back on the I40 at exit 47.
Unfortunately Annie had another mishap leaving here while crossing the overbridge with some sticky sort of soft, tar-like rock getting caught in her wheel, causing her to fall - and it wasn't as softly as the last one with her crashing rather heavily into the handlebars as she fell. But she's tough - picked herself up - and hopped right back on!!
Pat had waited up the road for us so we could use the floor pump, and believe it or not - by the time we got there to use it the tyre went flat again. So I had had a "quinella" earlier in the trip - Don got the "double" today. Believe it or not - back on our bikes and just a few hundred metres down the road - Annie got another flat!!
The rest of the journey was through beautiful cropping land, things looking particularly lush. Lots and lots more wind turbines (I think farmers do better out of these than their agricultural pursuits). Took a couple of "van stops" for water and oranges - and by just after 4:00 pm we had pulled into the Walmart carpark at Weatherford. At the same time - our warmshowers host Warren phoned to see how we were getting on. He gave directions to his and Jan's home - and we arrived to a warm welcome by them and their dogs!!
Warren and Jan were most informative about their area, having both been in either the research or educational field so we learned a lot. Warren had worked on NASA projects earlier in his career and said if we could fit a tour to the General Stafford museum in, it would be well worthwhile.
That evening, they took us for a drive around the area so we would know where to go to the museum in the morning and we ended up at "Lucille's" for dinner - lovely food and lovely company!! An overnight stay with these wonderful warmshowers hosts is never long enough!!