Crawling out of bed was harder this morning. My back was sore from dropping the bike yesterday. I took a couple pain pills and took a hot shower. I packed my bike up inside the hotel room, which was a new experience. As I roll the bike out the door a couple of other guests were staring. Guessing they haven’t seen something like this before. I finish strapping on my bags then head to a coffee shop to get some work done. Also found out overnight a friend from high school lived in the area and worked at the Air Force Base. He worked the night shift and would be up around noon. I spend some time today to get a hair cut and get caught up on work. Noon rolled around and didn’t hear from my friend. So I went for lunch. Afterwards I got a message he worked later than expected and would have to meet later in the day. I semi had a deadline to meet and decided to visit when I stopped back through on my return when I had more time.
I then headed out on the road again. This time towards Tulsa. As I got closer to the freeway connecting OKC with Tulsa I find out its a toll road. Being cheap I hop my happy ass off the freeway and looked at the map for an alternative. Route 66 ran the same path, hopping back and fourth along the same tollway. In a corny way, I decided to get my kicks and take the 66. The ride was much better than the day before. The heat was lower to a manageable temp.
On one of my gas stops I talked with a guy as we both pumped gas. He was interested in my bike and what I was doing and partially thought I was crazy to ride it out from California. He mentioned he had a wife and kids and couldn’t do something like that. I disagree somewhat. A family means you have responsibility, it doesn’t mean no fun at all. Granted the length of my trip would be a hard thing to do, though with enough planning I’m sure anyone could make it happen. That is depending on the wife’s willingness to let you go or come along. But I chock that up to life choices. Ultimately you chose your significant other.
Down the road I noticed a heavy storm dumping buckets. I was partially excited thinking it would be a good way to cool down and possible to see a tornado as the clouds were rolling through the sky. At the time I wasn’t thinking clearly, obviously, and didn’t think a tornado and a bike wouldn’t mix well. Passing under the storm I got super wet. More so than the rain in New Mexico. But it wasn’t a cold wet, just cooler than 100 degree ambient air. I followed the 66 till I crossed the US 60 again. From there I turned East and headed towards Missouri.
As the sun began to set I considered pushing through the night to get a bit farther through the flat lands. All was well until a loud bang made me jump. A huge grasshopper flew into the beam of my headlight and went strait towards my head. Shaking of the startle I continued on and pulled over to the next camping area I found. Turned out it was 75 a night to camp. Nope. I’d rather pay for a hotel at that point. Pushing on another grasshopper scared the shit out of me as it smashed against my visor. I stopped for gas and pulled out my phone to look for the nearest campground. The sun had now set and was getting dark quickly. I settled on a small campground a few miles North. I couldn’t tell online if they allowed tents, but I figured it was small, out of the way and wouldn’t be full. They’d be fools to not accept money for an empty space.
I hauled ass to the campground racing the last bit of light, then as I got close I tried to keep in a low gear. Mostly to keep the sound low since I didn’t have anymore baffles. I killed the engine right as I turned into the campground and pushed the bike the rest of the way. As I was taking my jacket off the camp host came over and asked me to head to a different spot for tents only. I rolled the bike over to where she asked and I began to unpack. The host came back over and started to chat a bit. I told her where I came from and she was surprised. I was pretty tired and half-ass setup my tent as I continued to talk to the host. I paid her for my night stay, $20, and crawled in the tent to pass out.