12th May 2016 Shawnee, Ok to Lake Eufaula, Ok 123.6 kms - 76.8 miles Up = 812m - Down = 949m
12th May 2016 - Shawnee, Oklahoma to Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma.
Up earlier than normal as the immediate priority was to get Pat and the Van to Joe Cooper Ford, Shawnee to get a new rear vision mirror and the service done. We had decided to all leave at about 6:40 am. We would bike on our way and Pat would catch us up when the van was finished.
It is only getting light in the morning at 6:30 – so lights were needed on our bikes. It does stay daylight until 9:00 pm at night to compensate! There had been heavy rain and a bit of wind in the night – but definitely no tornado, and not as bad a storm as predicted (thank goodness).
We had a great ride out of Shawnee and enjoyed spotting the horse statues dotted around various businesses. It seemed appropriate that biking buddy, JOan-Wilson-JOnes, an avid horse person was our supporter for the day - through her book - "Who Cares". We were delighted to find a wonderful smooth, wide shoulder on the I-40 and considerably less traffic than anticipated – so it was very pleasant riding!! The countryside is also beautiful – very lush paddocks with big herds of beef cattle.
After 30 kms we turned into a “Love’s” fuel station stop – our first coffee of the morning – most welcome!! A check in with Pat – and not such good news – the mirror ordered was the wrong one!! The parts department were now making the 45 min each way journey to Oklahoma City to get the right one.
We continued on – enjoying immensely the countryside, smooth road, lack of traffic and gently rolling terrain. 65 kms done – and time for another break – and guess what – another “Love’” freeway stop. Just as we were heading off from here a call from Pat that she was on her way – all work had been completed on the van!!
She joined us not too long before we got to Henryetta – a very nice little town where we stopped at a local diner for lunch. We dined beside 2 Texan Police Officers from the livestock division – their main task is in apprehending cattle rustlers!! I think we must be honorary rangers as they gave us all badges!!
Back on the road and Annie spotted a Turtle heading on to the I-40. We stopped and Annie and Don turned it to head back into the luxurious vegetation beside the road. Hope it stayed heading the way they left it or it wouldn't have a very long life on the freeway.
I know on most of my trips, I mention "road-kill" - when you are cycling, you see, and smell, plenty of it!! Generally, I don't think there has been as much roadkill as in other countries. It wasn't until Grants (I think) when we saw an Armadillo that had met his/her demise. I shouldn't say we were excited about seeing a dead animal - but it was the first actual one I had seen. I think we saw 4 or 5 more that day - but the further east we have come - the more and more prevalent they are - so no longer a novelty!! We also see skunks, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, snakes (of various types), deer, antelope, coyote, wolves, foxes and prairie dogs!!
The profile showed a couple of climbs at the end of the day – it didn’t lie – and on tired legs a bit of hurt was starting to happen. We were rewarded with a long downhill as we neared our turn-off and while we were descending 3 “State Troopers” vehicles sped past us, presumably to capture some baddie!!
We rolled in to Lake Eufaula KOA camp right on 3:00 pm. Patted ourselves on the back – all here safely, over 120 kms ridden, van fixed and no punctures!!
These KOA chain of camps really are lovely. We have a great site, walking distance to the Lake (the largest man-made lake in Oklahoma – for flood control). There are lots of cute little things around this pretty site that we enjoyed on our walk before dinner.
The camp has a “diner” that does breakfast and dinner, so we dined there, although the service was really slow and I almost fell asleep before my meal arrived.