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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our ride to Medicine Park and beyond :)

The day is beautiful and it is time to get on the bikes and go somewhere.  We get on the road about 11:15, and make a stop for gas, and then on to  Mustang, OK for some Mexican food.  Our thinking is to eat some lunch and then head to Medicine Park, OK.

We actually pull up to Los Vaqueros at noon...How do I know...well, the tornado sirens always do a test at noon on Saturday.  We no more get parked and our helmets off, and the sirens go off.  They aren't really busy yet, so we get our food pretty quick.  Was good as usual, and now it is time to get on the bikes and make some miles.

I was sure amazed at all the wind turbines that are dotting the landscape as we make our way down Hwy. 152. I guess we really are a windy state!!!

Our trip to Medicine Park took us down some of the usual roads we have ridden many times.  One big thing that was really different is that we are now at the end of July, and because of all the wonderful rains we have had, the countryside is so green.  There is none of the dead grass we usually see.  Today is in the 80's and there is just a wonderful coolness in the air as long as you are moving.

We make our way to Anadarko, and as we slow down at a light, we get a quick reminder of the heat and humidity that is really out there.  Nice to pick up the pace again, and get the breeze going again.

We make our way to Medicine Park, and we pull into the local motorcycle shop, Chaps My Ass, and found it strange that we got such good parking.  As we walk to the door, we know why.  They are closed for vacation!!!!  Their sign on the door, says "don't be a hater".....because they are on vacation.  Heck no, totally understand, as I seem to do that quite a bit myself at my store...LOL

The little town is bustling with bikes and autos..   Glad we ate earlier as I think the wait would have been a long one.  It is really hot down here which is pretty normal.  Medicine Park is down in a hole, and the wind just doesn't make it down here that good.  Guess that is why the swimmin hole is such a hit with everyone. Inexpensive place to swim, don't you think.  

We sit and drink a slush puppy outside one of the little stores, and watch the people and bikes go by.

As we are sitting there, we see Chuck & Debbie Norfleet, and Joe & Dorenda walk by.  They stop and say hello, and as we are talking to them, someone stops a car in front of us, and says something...It is Kim & Scott Clark and their family.  Goodness, anyone else decide to go to this town today??!! As we make our way back to the bike, I have to get a picture of Chuck next to the "rubber ducky"!!!! 

The Slush Puppy cooled us off, and we make our trek to the top of Mount Scott.  Rising to almost 2500 feet is a pretty big thing here to us "flat lander"....  It is a must see if you ever come to Oklahoma.

There are lady bugs up at the top.  Seems like they are always here.  There was one year we came up here and they were so thick, and they wanted to be your best friend, and go with you.  Not sure why the mountain has so many, but I bet if I googled it, I could find out!!! 

It is now about 4:30 and I had suggested we ride to Win Star Casino.  It is a couple of hours away, but the weather is perfect, and heck, we have nothing else to we head out towards Thackerville, OK.

The roads were great, and even had a few curves along the way.  We go through the town of Loco, and I had to take a picture because I think we are a bit Loco why not take a pic of the namesake.  Can you imagine telling people you live in Loco!!! 


We stop for gas along the way, and I got a big kick out of the sign that said Freal Milkshakes.  Little did I know that really is a product.  I guess I need to step out of my box every once in a while and check these things out....but hey, I am NOT a convenience store junky!  I really had no idea, and thought they must have made a type o....Hmmm, will have to try one of those Freal!  While I am there amusing myself with the marque, Chuck has decided to clean off the front of the bike.  We have hit so many grasshoppers and there are grasshopper parts all over the bike.  YUCK!!!!  Chris thought we might like them with some Chocolate on them, but I think I will have to pass on that little delicacy.  At least they are small insects, and not birds like Diana & Chris picked up on our last big trip... 

It is close to 8pm by the time we make it to the Casino.  It is quite busy, as usual.  Wonderful thing is they have up front motorcycle parking.  Love it!!!

Inside and we get signed up and get our Playercard.  We get $25 free play on them.  Not bad, but food is on our mind right now.  They have a buffet that is supposed to be good, so we head towards it.  Think we weren't the only ones with food on our mind, as the line was pretty long.  It actually went pretty fast, but it was still close to 9pm before we get to eat!  The food was really good.  They had surf & turf, but we passed on the surf (crab legs) because the people that we stood in line to get in are now in line to get them.  You have never seen so many crab legs on peoples plates.  We get our food fix and we are off to win some money...LOL

Win Star is big...and it is full of people.   Amazing how busy they are tonight.  We find some machines, and you have to spend some money to get to use the $25 money they give you.  Mine went pretty quick, but I also got my 5 points, so I was able to play on their money.  Chuck was on fire.  His machine was being nice to him.  By the time all was said and done, we had 3 losers, and one winner.  Chuck was the lucky one tonight.  It wasn't a big win, but it was a win!!!!

By the time we cash out, it is 10:30 and we have a couple of hour drive to get back to home.  We get on the bikes and head north to Oklahoma City.  The traffic was really nice tonight.  Chris said how calm it is to ride at night.  We only worry about things in the road, like truck tires etc...and of course deer.  But tonight we had no problems.  We had a couple drive by and Diana said they were taking pictures of the back of our bike.

Chuck had added some lights to the back, the Kuryakyn Vertical LED's.  I am guessing they are really bright!!!!!!  Then we got to laughing, as Chris & Diana said the back of the bike looks like a "Evil clown"....Oh my, no wonder the couple was taking pictures.  Oh well, at least we are noticed.

We get home around 1:30 and I for one was glad to be here.  It had been a really good and fun day, but it is time to get some sleep.  We ended up riding about 423 fun miles today....and we didn't even get out of Oklahoma.  Great day!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Saturday July 6th)

Everyone that know us, is aware my husband Chuck goes to a lot of trouble to plan these great escapes.  I for one, love it, cause it is planned...I don't have to do a lot of decision making.  I like that...When people ask where we are going...heck, I really have an idea of where, but as far as how to get here...nope, don't ask me.  You also know that plans can change.  Most of the time, our plans stay pretty much on target.  This trip is one of the excepts to the rules.

We had plans to go to Myrtle Beach...well, that was a wash out!  We planned on staying on the east coast a little longer, but due to the rain, we didn't.  We are actually home a day earlier...what!!!!

It was a nice ride home.  We got started early, as the rain has stopped and someone turned on the blast furnace.  We are riding back into the heat.  It is supposed to be almost 100 today in Oklahoma City.  Oh well, we got drenched yesterday...why not!!!  Guess that is the fun part of riding a just never know what you will experience.

We stopped in Shawnee at the Honda dealership, and did a little shopping.  We also went to the Cracker Barrel down the street and had lunch.  We have make really good time, and we are home by around 1:30.

I was glad to be home and unpacked and sitting in my chair by 4:00.  WOW, we had a great trip.  Lots of miles, but a little shorter than what we planned.

I have to say, it is so nice to be able to ride with 2 people that we really enjoy every day.  It is amazing that we can go on these remarkable trips and have a couple that enjoys going with us.  Diana & Chris are really great friends...(or crazy) !!!!  We do have some fun that is for sure.  Thanks for making this trip one for the memory book, or should I say Blog!!!

Mileage for Snow our Goldwing.... 2505 glorious stress less miles :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Friday July 5)

Day 10 Memphis

Overcast and in  the 70's, as we pull out this morning.  We hope the rain has been left behind.  Heading to Memphis today, and continue our trek westward bound.

We make our way to Elvis Presley Blvd. and stop in the parking area across the street from his home.  No plans to tour today.  The lines are already very long, and it isn't even noon yet.  We walk around some of the souvenir shops, and guess none of us needed anything Elvis, as we walked out empty handed.

I had been on my phone app earlier looking at Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives, and found this restaurant and we are pretty close to it, so we decide to try it for lunch.

It is 11:35 when we pull into the parking lot.  The large sign on the front of the restaurant says it opens at 12.  It is already pretty warm, so Chuck parks under a tree.  Notice that people have pulled up and gotten pictures in front of the place, but aren't waiting for them to open.

The waiters motion for us to come on in around 11:50, so Chuck pulls his bike over by Chris's and we go in to eat.  Can you imagine that this place is decorated with all Elvis stuff...Imagine that!!!  Elvis music and videos playing on all the TVs in the place.

Checking out the menu, we decide to have the plate of ribs for 2.  Glad we did, because when it came, it was a rack of ribs.  Plenty for us....and cole slaw and beans too!  The food was really good.  Glad we were able to stop and check it out.   We even got to see Elvis...and get our picture taken with him.  Who knew he was still alive!

As we walk back to the bikes, Diana show us their little friend they caught along the way.  Seems a bird has gotten caught up in their chain that is on their trailer.  YUCK!!!! Road Kill!!!

Next on the plans is to drive to Beale Street.  We do a drive by, and find no parking, so we opt for a parking garage.  At least the bikes will be in the shade.  Since it's early in the day, and the day after the 4th, it's not that busy...but there are some guys playing some blues in the park area.  We walked into a few stores, and I found a great shirt for myself.  Found one for Chuck as him a "You don't know Schitt" funny!

The Peabody Hotel is only a couple of blocks away, so we head there.  I want to see The Peabody Ducks . Reading about the duck online, we find out that they only are in service for 3 months, and then they retire and go to live at the farm they were born at.  The flowers on the top of the fountain the swim in, are changed every 2 days...It was really beautiful..would have been fun to see them march out at 5pm, but we had to get on the move and make some miles.

Back at the bikes we are on the road by around 4pm.  We notice a lot of fields that we finally decide are rice fields.  They are growing a lot of rice here!!!

The skies are looking really dark as we go over the bridge out of Memphis towards West Memphis.  I have on the weather radar, and it looks like we might be able to skirt the storm.  Or so I thought.  If the road wouldn't have curved to the north, we would have...LOL   Rode right into it.

We pull off at the closest exit, and take refuge under the bridge. It is really raining buckets.  The water is really getting deep...and as the cars come off the highway they splash us as they go by.  Chris says he is going to make a break for it and get under a canopy at an old gas station.  We sit awhile longer, and then we about drown from cars as well.  We have had 2 other bikes pull off, and one lady was putting her rain suit on under the bridge.  We make a break as well, to another canopy at a gas station next to where Diana & Chris are at.  Safe and out of the storm for a minute.

The winds are blowing so hard, it is raining sideways, and our bike, although it is under the canopy, is getting soaked.  Our seats aren't covered, and you know what that means....we will have wet bottoms for awhile.  They are mopping water out of the station, as it has blown under the door....terrible storm.  One man stopped when we were under the bridge and said they had spotted a tornado at the beginning of the storm.  Hey now...we  aren't in Oklahoma!

Texting back and forth to Diana,  Chuck and Chris think we need to make a run for it, as it has let up, and we are in between storms.  I make a mad dash to get my rain suit on.  Ready to get out of here, we have to find a place that the water isn't' 2 feet deep just to get out of the parking lot...LOL...I said it rained!!!

Back on the highway, and sure enough that storm we are trying to miss, is only about a mile away from us.  You can see all the rain, and it just looks like a straight parallel line to the highway....we just hope it stays there!  We did hit a few spots of heavy mist, but nothing like what we were in earlier, or what we are seeing to the south of us.  So very glad we left when we did, as it looks like we would have been there for quite a long time.  This storm is big, and it is bad....we want nothing of it.  Go away!

Looks like Memphis got the rain as well.
When it is finally safe for us to pull off, we make a quick exit and I for one am so glad to get out of the rains suit, or should I call it a sweat suit.  Only bad thing about taking off the rain suit, is the seat that is wet!  The leather seat is fine, but those seams....nope, they have water in them.   Another couple pulls up and they are getting their rain suits off as well.  They are heading to Corpus Christi...they were from Pennsylvania.  They too had gotten caught in the storm.  We are off again, and the weather has cleared up and we have sun again!!!

Our next stop was for gas, and the couple that we talked to at the gas station during the rain storm was there getting gas.  They had skirted the storm as well.  I think they left just a few minutes after we did.  He commented about the storm as well....he thought they had gotten in some hail...sure glad we missed that part.

We take a slight detour, and drive towards Lake Dardanelle.  It was a beautiful ride.  Was hoping that the town of Dardanelle would have a motel, but we only saw one, and it didn't look that nice.  Got to see the only nuclear power plant in Arkansas.  Arkansas Nuclear One...It is on the northeast shore of Lake Dardanelle.  The lake is HUGE!!!!  and so is the power plant.  Think there are any three eyed fish in that lake!!!???
Since we can't find any motels we head on into Russellville.

   It is about 8:30pm by now, and it is time to find a place to stop and get some food.  Long crazy day!  We get the last 2 rooms at the Best Western....and walk to a restaurant that is just about a 1/2 block away.  Glad to get some food, we walk back to the motel parking area, and sit outside for a few minutes...I think we are all tired, and it is time to get some shut eye.  Tomorrow is our last day of this vacation.  Good night world.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

All Roads lead to Wing Ding (Thursday July 4)

Day 9   Rain has cancelled Fireworks displays in Greenville!  

There is a quote that goes like this " If you don't ride in the rain, you don't ride"...Well, we've got that covered....Rain and more rain.

We are socked in with Delilah the tropical storm so we decide to head back west.  We went to the front desk at the hotel, and told the girl we were checking out a day early.  Since we had booked with, she told us to call them and tell them that the hotel is ok with us checking out early due to the weather event they are having.  We had convinced ourselves we would be paying for this next night, but said they would cancel it for us.  Wow, we have been very lucky to be able to get the rooms cancelled once again.

We are on the road by 11am. Yes it is raining. Not a hard rain but it is raining.

We really didn't get into the heavy rains until we got to Atlanta. I am always amazed at our wonderful guys and their ability to ride through a torrential rain and keep us moving in the right direction.  The water is deep in the roads, and it is coming down so fast, the drainage can't keep up.  It finally lightens up after we get out of Atlanta.

We stop around 2pm in the town of Oxford, Alabama.  There is a Shonies as we pull off, so we decide we will just stop there. Diana has to change her top as she is soaked.  Chris's hands are turning colors as they are so wet his gloves are staining them.

Chris has spied the Strawberry Pie they are offering for the 4th Of July...Looks so good.  We have a pretty good salad bar, and Diana ask Chris if he wants a piece of that pie.  The waitress tells us if we are all wanting to eat a piece, we would be money ahead to just buy the whole pie....Works for us, so we split the pie 4 ways.  Pretty big pieces but hey, we have been riding in rain all day and we deserve it!!!!

I have decided to take off my shoe covers & as we pull out the rains are trying to catch up with us.  We just can't seem to get ahead of this rain, but we keep trying.

We see the signs for Talladega Superspeedway.  Wow, we are really close to Ricky Bobby!  

We stop for gas in Birmingham. I have convinced myself that the somewhat clear skies are going to stay that way, and I remove the bottoms to my rain suit.   Little did I know what was ahead.
I have to say that was not the best plan I have ever had. We get into waves of rain. Some fairly light. OK that is fine but when it is a driving rain. You guessed it. My jeans are getting soaked.  Well, that was quite refreshing....NOT!!!!!  Diana has gotten two shirts soaked today, and me, I have a soggy pair of jeans.

The mimosa trees are very thick along the roadsides.  They are blooming and it sure does remind me of my childhood.  We always had a mimosa tree.  They are so messy but so pretty!!!

We stop for the night in Tupelo.  The motel we found is right across the street from an Outback Steakhouse.  We walk over and there is a 45 minute wait.  It is fairly hot outside, and Chuck checks out the bar area and finds us some seats at the bar.  We make our way there, and get a drink.  The bartenders are really nice, and ask if we just want to go ahead and eat at the bar.  Heck yes, if we can get our food earlier.  You really can't go wrong at Outbacks.  Food was really good, and the bartenders were interesting to watch as they made all the different drinks.

We have been told by all the locals that we have come in contact with that the fireworks will be coming from the downtown area of Tupelo.  We are on the 4th floor of the motel, and Diana & Chris's room is in the direction of the fireworks.  I would like to tell you that we sat and watched them, but I was worn out, and we ended up hitting the hay before they even started.  Chuck & I watched the TV and saw the presentation of the fireworks in Washington DC.  Good enough for me!!!  Too tired to even care.

Goodnight world.