10th May 2016 Weatherford, Ok to Mustang, Ok 107.6 kms - 66.9 miles Up = 499m - Down = 600m
10th May 2016 - Weatherford, Ok to Mustang, Ok
Yet again - our warmshowers hosts proved to be wonderful, extremely interesting people!! On our way to dinner the previous evening, Jan and Warren showed us where the Stafford Air and Space Museum was - so we made sure we were there at opening time to look through before we continued on our way. During Warren's career he had been heavily involved in NASA projects and had a wealth of knowledge on this and many other subjects!!
We enjoyed our quick visit immensely - probably somewhere we would not have gone if it wasn't for warmshowers!!
The "tornado" weather seems to brew up in the afternoons and while locals said today would be OK - we were keen to get to a motel for the night. Last night, two tornado's went through, one just north of Oklahoma City and one just south of it, and sadly 2 people were killed!! We are less than 100 kms from where they were - and it feels a bit too close for comfort!! This sort of thing sends shock waves through me! We had been watching the weather all day while we were riding and there were no alerts out - and then this happens. Certainly not a safe feeling to be sleeping in a tent or even a campervan under trees.
We had a change in plans for our ride today, which would also change that for tomorrow. The warmshowers host I had organised in Oklahoma City had sold her house and advised us that we wouldn't be able to stay with her. I hadn't organised anywhere else, as by now I had discovered that there were plenty of motels around and none seemed to have "no vacancy" signs up.
It was a short ride to the Stafford Museum and we had a whirl-wind visit to this extremely interesting place. The staff were fantastic and welcomed us warmly, allowing our bikes inside while we toured.
From discussions with Warren we opted to go on a more southerly route through Oklahoma City - hopefully this would help my fear of getting through large cities. He also advised that Route 66 is not in good repair through this stretch, something I had heard from the person who was going to be our host in Oklahoma City as well.
So we left on the I-40 and had the idea to take our lunch break at "Sid's" in El Reno. It was a nice ride and the coolish temperatures of the morning departed leaving quite a warm day. We took the first of three exits into El Reno and could see to our right a good looking dairy farm. There seemed to be a lot of buildings, so I thought maybe they had the cows inside, even though there were quite a few cows and calves outside in nice paddocks. As we got closer the road verge and immediate grounds were nicely mown and there seemed to be quite a few cars parked - so I thought it may have been maybe a "working dairy" type place and called back to Annie that if they do ice-creams - let's stop.
However - as I neared the gateway - I discovered it was in fact a prison!! My taste buds were very disappointed - but I must say - it seems a great property that inmates must work on. I assume not high risk criminals!
On into the town of El Reno - check in by phone with Pat who was at another off-ramp and then we all met up at Sid's. This curse of flat tyres when we stop for a break continued!! Annie punctured in front as we stopped ....................... and Don fixed that before we had lunch.
About 200 metres after the lunch break - my front wheel went flat!!!!! Suddenly the "lunch" break became a lot longer!
From here we altered our course and headed south down the "81" - which unfortunately was straight into a head-wind for 10 miles (hard work!!). Again it was undulating, but with a couple of steeper hills. The countryside was beautiful and very productive and there were lots of horse properties around. The road surface was still great with a wide shoulder despite being a "lesser" road than the Interstate.
Once we had ground out that section (thank-you Don for leading) we "made a left" on to the "152" which we would follow into Mustang (a town in its own right, but joined to Oklahoma City) and would continue out on the following morning.
This road was narrower, without a shoulder, but also without traffic so we continued along this towards Mustang. This was through beautiful farmland and there were several horse studs and good looking farms. Also appearing in some of the paddocks were little oil wells!
We sent Pat on ahead to find accommodation, but she rang back saying people had told her there was only one motel at Mustang and it was pretty seedy. They had advised her to head towards Oklahoma City as that was where they all were. This seemed a shame and defeating the purpose of this more southerly route we had taken. When she hadn't rung back - I rang her and said I would rather carry on eastward to look for somewhere to stay than northward to the city.
She got back to Mustang about the same time we got to Mustang. We decided to go and look at this "seedy" motel and see for ourselves what it was like. While it wasn't that great, it wasn't too bad. Sure on the second floor there seemed to be some permanents - but we were shown rooms on the ground floor that looked OK - so we checked in.
We were all quite tired as we had had 3 long days on the bike in a row, and we could also see the sky clouding up and while no tornado reports around - we felt it better to stop now, have a warm shower. a meal and crash for the night. It was just after 5:00 pm - so a long day on the road!!
The motel turned out to be fine - quiet, a hot shower, comfy bed, free WIFI and bikes allowed in the rooms - what more do you want!!!