City: Grenada, Mississippi
Miles ridden: 227
We had a late start and tried to send something away using the US postal service. Wombat set his GPS to the address of the post office and off we went. When we arrived, we found out that the post office closed around, well, 2 Month ago. So we tried to send the package of using FedEx, but they couldn’t send our mail (you remember those E-Zpay tags we had to return?) to a PO box. By the end of that it was nearly 12:00 so we decided to leave it until Monday and start traveling. It was really hot (at a guess it was around 35C).
The night before we decided to change the GPS settings to avoid any highways. Turns out that was a big mistake! The GPS pretty much sent us through the middle of the town to exit it on the other side. And we got to stop at nearly every traffic light. We were melting. It got better as soon we came out of the city. After some time we stopped on a small bit of gravel on the side of the road. When I stopped I saw a turtle crossing the road. Before I got of the bike a car came and when I looked again the turtle was gone.
So I got of my bike to find the turtle lying on its back behind my back wheel, completely retracted. So we put it to on a safe place on the side and after a while the turtle head came out of the shell.
Failed suicide turtle.
When we arrived in Grenade, we swapped our room from a smoker to a non-smoker room. Since the new room was at the back of the hotel, we were allowed to park our bikes in front of our room.
City: Hot Springs, Arkansas
Miles ridden: 288
We planned a long day of riding today. Nearly 300 miles. Parts of this trip were rather windy roads and the landscape was boring and flat. Lots of corn, rice or wheat fields. When we arrived at the Mississippi, we tried to take a picture before, after or on the bridge, but there was no way to stop. So we made a small detour to the township of Helena and road to a park. The Diddles and us saw the bridge from further away ~ Sigrid meanwhile was keen to put at least her finger into the Mississippi, even the temperature suggested having a swim in it (90F or 32C).
When we arrived at the accommodation, we were looking forward to washing our clothes. (I guess you have to be traveling to really understand that 😉 ) To our dismay, the laundry was removed when they updated the motel, but the web site wasn’t update (or removed!). We also found out the hard way that you can’t purchase beer to take home in Arkansas on a Sunday…
City: McAlester, Oklahoma
Miles ridden: 213
This was a relatively short day; we had a nice ride through the Ouachita National Forest with great views. It is sometimes hard to keep the eye on the road and have a look at the scenery at the same time.
In McAlester we found a nice hotel on a corner of a shopping complex, it looked very luxurious, but the price was ok.
At night we planned the route for the next day, mapped our route and looked for hotels. Finding a hotel seemed to be difficult, most of them were booked, and those that were not booked had very high prices. We couldn’t figure out why, since it was the middle of the week. So we decided to go to Elk City and have a look for a hotel when we are there.
City: Elk City, Oklahoma
Miles ridden: 262
Cumulative miles: 2834
We had a short rest on a small petrol station south of Oklahoma. When we stood outside sipping on our coffee, a guy passed and mentioned that Wombats tyre looked flat. Looking closer, the guy was right; Wombats rear tyre was nearly flat. We tried to pump it up to see if the air would hold, but the air was gashing out. So Wombat starts to look for his plugs, but after searching for a while he realised that he must have left them at home. A lady from the shop came out and mentioned that a tyre place was just 100m down the road. We couldn’t believe it, the environment looked like farmland, not even many houses around. So Wombat started the engine and we pumped the tyre up, just to try to avoid riding on a flat tyre. And off he went, racing to the tyre shop. We jumped on our bikes and followed. By the time we arrived, the hole in the tyre was almost fixed. It turned out that the culprate was a bit of glass that probably came from a car accident last night when a young boy mixed up the gas with the brake pedal in front of the shop and smashed into the wall. They guys at the shop fixed the tyre within 5 minutes of us arriving, and we measured all our tyre pressures just in case. We were all fine.
Our heroes, they fixed the tyre in no time.
The rest if the trip was uneventful. When we arrived in Elk City, we faced the small problem of accommodation. Stopping at the first hotel, we ask for a room and they were booked out. We found out that the hotels are all booked because of the workers on the oil field. The oil companies book the hotel rooms for their workers, so there was not much available. Nevertheless after some telephone calls, we found some nice accommodation
With a Mexican restaurant just across the carpark, who also had great cold beer!
When we checked in, the receptionist asked if we traveling route 66 and if we have been in the museum across the road. We were a little stunnded. We’re on Route 66??? Are you sure?
Cool! So we adjusted our plans accordingly and added a visit to the Museum in the morning!