Bicycle Journey Progress

The journey begins on April 5th and ends on June 20, 2012

Ride Progress: COMPLETE!
Daily summaries:

domingo, 6 de maio de 2012

Sleeping early... wake up early!

In order to be on track we'll need to cover 85 miles tomorrow.

For that to happen we will need to get to Elk city (which is 28 miles away) by 12:30 pm, so we need to eat breakfast, close our bags and leave the hotel room by 8:30 am.

Therefore we need to wake up at 7:00 am. And since we need 9 hours of sleep we're going to bed at 10:00 pm.

I'll see you tomorrow! =)

Stopped early one more time

Due to our late arrival yesterday and the fact I need 9 hours of sleep in order to ride so many hours for this many days in a row we got on the road 11 am today.

Today the strong winds delayed our progress, and my uncle has this rule of not riding at night. So, now that the sun is setting, we'll stay where we are, Clinton, OK after having progressed just 40 miles.

I'm getting concerned that, in this rhythm, we won't have enough time to complete this crossing together.

Tomorrow we're planning on waking up early and trying to make up for today's low milage. But who knows what surprises might get in our way again.

Route 66 museum

Nice attraction, it's a shame it's closed!

Pause for chocolate milk

If you know me you know how much I like this! Haha

Wind turbines

They have so many of these for a reason!

Very strong winds

We're moving slowly towards Weatherford! Almosr there!!

Nice marker

Of Route 66 in Weatherford, OK.

Burger challenge

Not for us though...

Route 66 historic point

Close to Weatherford, OK.

Route 66 historic point

Close to Weatherford, OK.

On the road!

The winds are against us, but its not too hot today. No traffic on this road!

Summary of day 28

Day 28 – 04/30/2012 – Talihina, OK

This day we had as our goal to reach a city called Clayton, in Oklahoma. The first 20 miles were pretty much a straight ride on good roads without much elevation. We then crossed the state line and entered Oklahoma.

A little further down the road we decided to stop and rest a little and rest before moving forward. We then started hearing thunders and saw a heavy rain on a nearby mountain. We had Subway sandwiches with us, so we decided to have lunch there too to be ready in case we get the rain on the road. We also packed the backpack and other bags with plastic bags to make sure they’d stay dry.

As soon as we finished eating the first droplets started falling. We pulled our rain coats and a strong rain started falling. We rode in the rain for about an hour. The water was not too cold and the road was easy to ride with very little traffic. This part of the road was very pleasant to ride on. We then reached an intersection where we saw a small shelter and decided to stop for a few minutes. The rain stopped, and we could see a thick vapor coming out of the warm asphalt right away.

A few miles down the road we reached a place called Whitesboro. We stopped in a county place called Kuntry Kitchen and asked for two cups of coffee. Daniel, the place’s cook, was very nice and came to talk to us. We set down on one of the tables and he talked about his interest in different languages, and how much he liked to meet travelers like us. We spent almost an hour talking to him and his wife, Dorothy.

Then we returned to the road, but decided to change our destination. We noticed that going south towards Clayton city would cause us to miss the passage through Oklahoma City. Besides, there were no roads going straight towards West and we would have to go in zigzag for a long time. Instead, we went to Talihina which was just 12 miles away from that bar.

Arriving there, the hotel we wanted to stay was full so we searched for another one. The owner of that hotel called someone she knew had cabins for rent, and we reserved one. The place was really nice, more like a fully furnished house than a cabin. We cooked, showered and spent a lot of time drying some of our things that had gotten wet because of the rain. This was a nice day!

Summary of days 26 and 27

Day 26 – 04/28/2012 – Mount Ida, AR

This day we were very tired. Our bodies were broken from the previous day’s long and hard course. So we decided to ride just about 40 miles. The next city on the distance was a place called Mount Ida, which we knew nothing about.

Before leaving we had to cross the city we were in, Hot Springs, AR. In the previous day we couldn’t see it well due to the fact we got there late at night and stopped right on the entrance, but now during the day things were clear. Right when we went off the hotel we started seeing closed businesses and old buildings. There were many closed hotels. The main one, called Majestic, encompassed three full blocks and had about eight stories. Closed for a long time it looked like coming out straight from a horror movie.

But the bad impressions ended there. As we approached the main avenue we started seeing many small shops and coffee houses. We stopped our bicycles on a cupcake store and had a nice coffee while we watched the people walking in the streets. Everyone was friendly and polite and the streets were very clean.

After drinking our coffees we moved on and cross the downtown area, which was very busy. Many small shops and bathing houses were lined up on both sides of the Central Avenue. Later we read that the city was initially formed by people seeking the medicinal properties of the many springs located in that region. The springs pour water in temperatures up to 143 F. Before the colonial period, even Native Americans used to come searching for these springs. The history of the place had many chapters, including being a strategic point during in the Civil War. Now its golden age seems to have passed and the city seemed to be decreasing in its size. But still, that was an amazing place to visit.

The path to Mount Ida was full of long hills, which made the way hard to go through, but we had time and that helped. We covered the distance in about 7 hours going very slowly and watching the nature of the Ouachita National Forest.

The hotel was also a pleasant surprise. We found a very nice place that was very affordable too. We then went out to get food on a nearby supermarket and came back to have dinner and prepare to sleep.

Day 27 – 04/29/2012 – Mena, AR

Mount Ida was a small city, just a few houses and gas stations. Once we left the hotel we stopped to get some water, and then started the ride. However, we had a disagreement on the final destination for that day. Since both of us felt strongly about what we were proposing that caused some conflict.

I can say that, at least for me, that pretty much ruined the day. My uncle was riding very slowly and, although we’ve been most of the day on the road, we ended up covering just about 42 miles that day.

The path was still crossing the Ouachita National Forest and there was very little population along the way. We were surrounded by the forest and by farms until we reached the city we were going to spend the night, Mena, still in Arkansas. There we found a small hotel that had vacancy and did everything we could to go sleep as early as possible.