Texas panhandle and Oklahoma ride

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Texas panhandle and Oklahoma ride

Post  Thunderchild on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:43 pm

This was also posted on a local MC forum. We did this ride just a few weeks ago.


Day one: Monday. 178 Miles

I wanted to get an early start and get out of town before the traffic started getting busy, but of course, Charlie being a teenager was hard to get up and going. So much for beating the traffic, let's wait until it's rush hour to hit the road!

Our next delay was Charlie's rigging job on his kit. We had to stop at a auto parts store a few blocks from the house to buy some different tie downs and bungees to get everything squared away. He then relized that he had forgotten his camelback at the house, so it was back to the house for that.

We got out of town around a little later than we both wanted, but we were riding now!

We topped off the gas in the next town that had gas and continued west. Our first rest stop was near Medicine Mounds. The Comanches believed these natural hills were sacred and held magical powers. From left to right, they are named little mound, Cedar Mound, Third Mound, then Big Mound.





We rode on, passing through several small towns when we had to take on gas. I felt like I was in an old Clint Eastwood western riding into town, with all eyes watching me and trying to figure out my story.

We pressed on to the small town of Tell, Texas.

-from texasscapes.com
"Tell was founded in 1887 on what had been called "Tell-Tale Flat." A post office was granted under that name in 1888 and opened in the dugout home of postmistress Belle Garrison. But by 1905 postal authorities nixed the hyphenated name and shortened it to Tell. A store was opened in 1906, followed by a gin, grocery and drugstore. By 1916 the primary businesses were joined by others and the town had four churches. A bank was in operation from 1916 until its merger with a Childress bank in the Great Depression. Postwar prosperity drew population away from Tell and into Childress and other distant cities."




After exploring many dead end roads that ended in locked gates, we gave up and hit the slab to take us in to Turkey, Texas. Home of Bob Wills, of Texas Swing music fame.




While on the road to Turkey, we kept getting glimpses of something that looked like a large mirror, or some kind of strange grain silos. We could see this thing for miles out, but we couldn't figure out what it was until we got a lot closer. It was some kind of experimental wind turbine site. This thing was a whirring, creaking monstrosity of a wind generator.






Old drive in outside of Turkey.



Just a few more miles down the road and we were in Quitaque. The town closest to Caprock SP.,our destination for the day. Quitaque has the debatable title of the most mispronounced town name in the country. It's pronounced "kitty quay", or some say "kit-ta-kway". It's a small town of about 400 or so.

The view from the Quick-Stop store looking out to Main Street.



After a stop at the only grocery store in town, ran by a very nice man and his very nice looking daughter, we headed the few miles out of town to the State Park. We got there after hours and the visitor center and offices were already closed. There was one guy in the parking lot getting ready to leave, and it turned out he was the Ranger in Charge. After some small talk and getting told that we were crazy (wouldn't be the first or last time on this trip!) for riding 'dirt bikes' all the way out here, Ranger Bobby said the park was almost empty. Take your pick of campsites and we'll settle up in the morning for the camp fee. Good deal! Thank you, Sir.

The road through the park would be a Motard bikers dream. We tried our best not to go too fast on it, but it was hard not to.

We picked a tent site way down in the canyon that didn't have the best ground necessarily, but the view was fantastic!





We had some freeze dried Chile Mac cooked on the hissing flame of the camp stove and I had a swig of snake bite medicine, and we both settled in for a nice night under the stars. Or so we thought...


Day two coming...
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Thunderchild
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Re: Texas panhandle and Oklahoma ride

Post  Thunderchild on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:45 pm

Day Two: 213 miles


Sometime after we went to sleep, the clouds moved in and the rain started. It didn't rain that hard, but we had set up the tarp for nice weather and we had to get up and re stake the tarp to close it up some on the sides. We made another dash out into the rain to grab the GPS's off the bikes and gather up any loose gear that was getting wet.

We ended up sleeping until about 9:30 or so since it was so cloudy and foggy in the morning. We had our Jimmy Dean sausage that we had bought frozen last night and cowboy coffee for breakfast. Yummy!



Some more pictures from our campsite.







It was nice having the whole camp ground to ourselves.



After breakfast we packed up and headed out to settle up with Ranger Bobby.

Charlie said that I might want to check my helmet before I take off. Huh!? Yeah, I'm a goofball.




We headed west to the next town of any size for gas. Once we climbed out of the canyon, we were on the flat plains of west Texas. Very flat and lots of farmland. Mostly cotton.


Somewhere west of Silverton.



On the road to Happy.


We stopped in Happy just for a quick break and rode north to Palo Duro Canyon, which would be where we turn around and start heading back East.

We rode past several large, and I mean BIG feedlots full of stinky cattle. Makes you want to to give up beef, well almost.

The outskirts of Happy.





After a quick lunch and some bike maintenance, we headed out to Palo Duro SP. I have vague memories of camping here as a kid and I remember it being a lot bigger and grander than it seemed to be today. We both decided that we liked Caprock Canyon better. Caprock is a smaller canyon, but it seemed more rugged, with steeper cliffs. We made the loop through the park and took some pictures, but didn't stay as long as we had originally planned. It was getting late in the day and we were both anxious to get some miles in before dark.











We knew pretty quick that we were not going to make the State Park in Oklahoma that we had planned on staying at that night. All along the back roads we keep scouting out places that we could do some covert camping for a few hours.



We keep pressing East until we had a just a few minutes of good light left and we ended up in Clarendon, Texas, where they had a cheap hotel. Yeah, we wussed out and got a room for the night.

A very nice family ran the place and let us park the bikes in their carport for the night. Thanks.



Turns out, it was a good choice getting a room for the night. We watched the local weather report on TV and a front was suppose to blow in with wind gust up to 50MPH and rain with possible hail. It did all the above and we slept like babies.
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Thunderchild
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Re: Texas panhandle and Oklahoma ride

Post  Thunderchild on Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:46 pm

Day Three: 253 miles


We woke up a lot earlier today after having a good nights sleep. After I got the bikes out of the carport, I made smalltalk with the cowboys and oilmen out in the parking lot over a cup of coffee. We were once again called a little nuts for "Riding them dirtbikes that far.".

We wanted to make it home today, so we knew it would be a long ride. The weather was not that hot. Literally. The local weatherman on the tube said it was 45, with sustained winds out of the North at 40 something MPH. It was overcast and a heavy drizzle was coming down sideways when we left the hotel around 9:00.

Since we would be riding mostly east today, it was crosswind city out there on the road.

We made it about 30 miles out of town before our first stop. The rain had slacked off, but the wind was merciless.






We rode for what seemed forever through the Texas panhandle and passed through several small towns for gas and coffee.

We found this old house off the side of the road and decided to get on the downwind side of it to take a break from the wind.






As we got further East, we could see the hills that make up Quartz Mountain SP in Oklahoma. If it wasn't for the relentless wind, it would have been a great day to ride.

We stopped to stand behind this lone oak tree to get out of the wind again.



Closer and closer.












We stopped in Granite for gas and headed for the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, where we would start our final leg south, and in to Texas.


An old quarry on the hillside.







These would be our last stop for gas on the way home.




It was a nice break to ride south for awhile and have the wind at our backs.




Ah, Grandfield, OK. Just about 30 miles to the house.



Another quick break or two, and we were back in Texas and made it to the house before dark.






We had a great ride and both bikes did great. No flats or other problems, although the KLX burned a little more oil than in normally does. We chalked it up to the high speed slab runs.
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Thunderchild
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Re: Texas panhandle and Oklahoma ride

Post  Hodakaguy on Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:57 pm

Looks like a great trip! Can't wait till spring rolls around so we can start doing some of our own. Till then its great to read Ride Reports Very Happy

Thanks for posting it up.

Hodakaguy
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