Tahlequah, OK to Bartlesville, OK – 142.5 miles
The campsite last night was amazing. The sky was clear with stars shining, the temperature was cool, and the fire was perfect. The only problem was the sleeping part. Maybe I’ve become a bit too prissy, but these old lady bones creak like floorboards during an after curfew return to the parents’ house.
We loosened up our bodies with a couple cups of coffee and were ready to go in no time. Leaving with temps in the 70s and cloudless blue skies, the trail started off the same way it would eventually end…straight gravel roads with nothing but 90 degree turns. The roads went on for as far as the eye could see, extending to the horizon and beyond. Cattle ranches dominated the landscape and cow paths wound through the tall prairie grass. At one point we crossed metal cattle guards and found ourselves on the same side of the fence as the cows. We considered trying to pet them, but know what happens when you mess with the bull. Instead, we stayed on the marked route and avoided the cow patties as they were slicker than…well you know.
As the day got longer, the heat became oppressive. A temperature check showed 89 degrees, but felt like it was pushing 100. The cloudless sky and lack of trees for shading really did a number on us. We were happy to see the next town for a refill on gas and water. Back on the road we found our first oil rig of the trip. Neither of us knew there was oil in Oklahoma, so the miniature version of a rig was a surprise. So cute.
We followed the road further west headed towards Dewey, OK. At one point we found ourselves blocked by a stopped train on the tracks and had to detour a couple miles around it. As we passed by, I took notice of graffiti painted on the cars. Much of it was run of the mill lettering, but there were several tags that had some decent talent to them. All of the Picassos were too far away to get a good shot of. However look for this emerging artist at your next gallery showing.
Bartlesville was a great find just a few minutes south of our scheduled gas stop in Dewey. The clerk had a great recommendation for an Italian restaurant within walking distance. I’ll now happily smell like garlic for the next week.
Today’s lesson: Contrary to popular belief, staring directly into the setting sun will not cause permanent blindness.