2012

2012
Wandering Girl Ryder

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Where's my road?

So it was lovely day. A day where one just had to pull out the motorcycle and go for a ride. Yup, the sun was shining, the birds were tweeting, and Blueberry was rolled out. Gear was put on and I was ready to rock and roll.

It wasn't until I got to the end of my driveway when I realized that there would be no adventure to be had for there was no road to drive on. It done gone and left. I gazed at the rubble that was once my road with a broken heart. My driveway, and those of my neighbors, was blocked by busted pieces of road. 


Isn't the county supposed to notify you when they decide to tear up your perfectly fine road? Like a letter stating: 

"Dead Resident of the perfectly-fine road, 

Please don't have an emergency requiring hospitalization (or a life) on such and such day because you won't be able to leave until the cows come home.

Sincerely, 
Those who love to waste tax-payers' money on tearing up perfectly fine roads."

I mean, would that be too much to ask for? I now understand the incentive of a lifted pick-up truck with off-roading tires. Ah, I guess it's the world's way of telling me to get on those repairs.


Happy adventures, and send me a picture!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The closest call of them all

Okay, so that's not entirely true, but I haven't experienced something like it yet. It was a lovely, windy, dusty evening in Oklahoma. And, I took my theoretically garaged Blueberry to school. As luck would have it, my class was canceled due to our classroom having been commandeered by some pay-to-be-in-it society. All those Phi Kappa Phi's and what not. So it was a sign in and split class. Just what I love to drive 25 miles to find out. As I was leaving, someone had started some little conversation that for some odd reason I felt the need to quip in. My two cents were given and not 20 seconds later I was out the door. It was kind of nice, the wind hadn't picked up to the 45 mph wind gusts and it was still light outside. 

I made my way back to the interstate and took my spot on the inside turning lane where people, theoretically, are least likely to turn into your lane. Theoretically. I've had that happen a couple of times before. Not as often as when they're on the inside lane. Some people really need to learn how to drive. All of a sudden those hours and hours of driving school in Germany make sense, but I digress. 

I sorted in behind a little Nissan and off to the interstate we go. And, off the winds were, too. Boy, I haven't ridden in such a gusty gale in a long time. A couple miles down, the car behind me starts to pass just where the speed limit increases. I was about to pass as well. But, as he passed me and the little Nissan, I noticed the deer in my peripheral vision coming from the right.

It all happened so fast, and I have no idea how it all ended so well. I couldn't tell you all that happened other than that my focus was on reaction. That poor deer skipped in front of the Nissan and right into the car that had just passed us. 

Car parts flew everywhere thanks to the wind gusts. And the deer, poor thing!, was airborne. I just remember thinking that it felt like I was in some redneck movie where some rednecks in lifted trucks zip through a yard taking out all the lawn decorations which are rashly ejected from their location. Years of close calls have prepared me well for what happened on Thursday. I was able to monitor debris, the car that hit the deer, the Nissan. It also dawned upon me that other deer might be on their way to the road. Sometimes my multitasking skills surprise me. 

The deer (poor, poor thing) flew up at least 10 feet in the air in the left lane, and flew into my lane, over the Nissan, and into the ditch which would have been right next to me if I hadn't been paying attention.  The Nissan and I pulled over, while cars that had been just slightly behind us all passed. We ran over to the the little black car to make sure the people in there were all right. Their car looked awful, but they were all well and that's all that mattered. The passenger received a major shock; Neither of them had seen what happened since the hood of their car popped up and was basically glued to the windshield. It could have been so much worse for all of us.

Yup, it was a close call. Both the Nissan and the hit car were shocked that I was still alive and well.  Always being observant and swerving really are life savers. Luck sure was a lady. Having all your gear on really adds a little extra sense of security. I didn't have to include a worry session about skin grafting into my multitasking. And, honestly if I had been in a car, I'm not sure I would have been able to avoid everything as well. Being on a bike, when one is paying attention, gives you a whole lot of flexibility.

What shocked me and annoyed me, though, even though I have read about this phenomenon in many psychology textbooks, was that no one else pulled over to check if things were okay. And, we were passed by a whole lot of people. A whole lot. There was day light, so they saw how bad that car looked and not one iota of care was given. Sad.

I'm on the interstate at night on a regular basis, and I tend to see a lot of deer. Judging by how other drivers usually just whiz by, I'd say most people don't pay that much attention. On a similar note:

A little less cell phone and a little more driving, people.

Ah, my biggest pet peeve. Anywho...

In other Wanderings of a Girl Ryder news, as some of you know, I've started a small video series on Youtube all about Oklahoma. Working title is "Oklahoma: It's not as bad as you think it is." As, I said, it's a working title. Maybe I'll change it to something more up-beat like "Oklahoma is awesome because..." Technicalities. Pictures for this video series can be found on Facebook.

As I was stumbling through yet another small cemetery, I met yet another unhappy dog. I seem to be the common factor in dogs' unhappiness. He was big and beautiful. And, not pleased.Of course, it wasn't a big deal until he was guarding my car and I wasn't allowed to touch it.
So I resorted to low threats; I threatened to sick my cats on him.
Looking forward to some wind free days (hahaha, I know) so Project (Color) Madness can continue. Speaking of which, even Medicine Park has gotten some color! I love being inspiring ;)

For you riders, stay safe and continue to pay attention to the millions of things going on around you.

And, for you drivers, do something considerate for your fellow drivers and put down the [I won't get explicit] phone. Thanks! Have an adventurous weekend!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Just a day in March

Know thyself. I'm pretty sure that's a quote somewhere. Well, I do know myself. Knowing myself lets me know that my bike will probably be in the garage for a bit. With this bit of knowledge, I've decided that if I wait for me to get my bike fixed, it'll be a long couple of weeks. Although I have considered it, I will not be sitting in the lounge chair of my office browsing Google Earth while wearing my helmet. When life hands you motorcycle mechanical problems, take a car. Not the ideal situation, but a Plan B is better than no plan. Gotta love Plan B's. 

Figures that I would trade one mechanical problem for another. My little adventure mobile, formerly known as the geek mobile, is making the oddest noises. It wouldn't be an adventure without a little suspense, right? Will the car blow up or won't it? 

Some times life gets a little busy. Getting in an adventure of any sort these days has been a scheduling challenge. I hate having to schedule spontaneity. But, there I was scheduling my spontaneity for a Monday. There would be no work...except that it was a business trip. But, that was it. Who says business trips can't have detours? If you don't take detours, you don't see the occasional eagle chilling on a road post. Sure, some may argue it was a hawk. Who is to say that eagles can't chill on road markers? Were they there? No. So until someone hunts down that immature golden eagle and proves me wrong, it was an eagle. And, I'll swear it on someone's grave until that day. And, after that day because who is to say they found the same bird I saw. Ah, I do love a good debate - when the truth gets blurred and a poker face can get you far. Or maybe that's just when someone debates with me.

I know that probably goes without saying, but dirt roads are so much easier in a car. My dirt road freedom has invoked the pact that all adventure destinations will be found using dirt roads only. Unless there are no dirt roads and I can't convince my car to turn into Wonder Woman mobile and dart me through the sky. Some days my negotiating skills with inanimate objects are worse than others. Pessimists might point out that dirt roads will kill my tires with nails that fall out of farm trucks. But, I just tell 'em that the glass is half full and life is so much more fun when one wears pink sunglasses. Nails in tires...like that's going to happen. And, I'm not even going to let the nail that was stuck in my tire this week prove their point. I'm pretty sure I picked that up on a paved road anyhow. Until someone shows me a GPS marker of where that nail was picked up, it's joining the eagle.

I found myself coasting on the back roads around a lake. No, not the one where bodies allegedly kept popping up. I think I found something more annoying. So there I was on a road that was supposed to lead to an equestrian club and a concession stand. Classy combo, right? Neither were found, but I was tailed by a dog who had his bit down damn well. A stretch of road that would take mere seconds to travel even with the 10 mph speed limit cost me a good half an hour. He'd start at the right corner of the car and circle to the rear. Clear time to hit the gas pedal. Before the thought could be processed and the foot could respond, he'd made his round and sped in front to the right corner again. I thought it was amusing. My business partner found it less amusing. So we progressed down the road one foot at a time one frustrated person, one annoyed dog, and one hysterically laughing person. It didn't help when I thought of the idea to honk the horn. Turned out the dog didn't like that at all. It actually gave him a dose of refreshed energy. After 30 minutes, thirty foot of road, and a gazillion rounds around the car, he lost interest. Just like that. I was slightly disappointed to be dropped like a hot potato for a stupid tree. This would have never happened had he been a cat.

Another plus of taking the car, I can listen to belly dancer/swing dancing singer Sparrow and pieces by Vivaldi and Haydn.Yeah, it didn't really make the whole car thing sound better in my head either.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Small Trip Down Memory Lane

As I was scrolling through the few files saved from my hard drive...the one with seven years worth of pictures that are now all gone...I came across this picture of me on my 1st bike. Ah, the old FZR. The frustrating times we had. I do, however, fondly remember learning to ride. Zipping through my yard, dust flying. Occasionally taking a grassy turn a tad to fast and skidding through the dust and grass on my back (sometime stomach) shortly followed by my bike, dust and grass also flying. *sigh* Those were the days...before power outages while traveling on the interstate and lights constantly drooping to the ground underneath the bike. That reserve tank was pretty handy, too.
Throwback Thursday...two days late. WeverTF Throwback Thursday is...
Blueberry finally got an oil change! As I lay on the ground one foot clenched to the seat the other pushing against the rear tire while I tried prying off the baked on oil filter I realized that consistency isn't one of my mechanical strong points. Either I'm getting weaker or my bike is getting stronger.  After much pleading, begging, apologizing, and a few explicit terms, the oil filter was finally in my oily hands. When it comes to mechanical and painting hobbies, I've learned that oil and paint are magnetically drawn to me. There is no staying clean. It goes against gravity. Nice to know the universe thought of me while planning out universal laws. Somewhere in between the begging and pleading, probably during the sobbing, I noticed just how much TLC Blue needs. After a couple of rides throughout the week, Blue has been retired to the garage until things get done. *blubbering* On the bright side, I now have an excuse to buy a couple of tools I've been wanting for a while.

So after the five stages of grieving were done, Blueberry and I went to check out an old cemetery on the other side of the Wichita Mountains. I think only a few people know my fascination with old country cemeteries. Well, until now. So anywho, there I was cruising down a dirt road with bumps (those were consistent) the size of surfable waves going somewhere under 10 mph being passed by ratty old farm trucks. Okay, so it was only one ratty old farm truck, but one was enough. I probably could have pushed Blueberry faster. Hm, there's that hindsight again. I was surprised by the cobblestone gate some community members had taken the time to construct. Wind chimes were hanging in the cemetery. Next to the cemetery in Cement which houses a car cemetery right next door, this was the best country cemetery. How nice to have a resting place in such a peaceful setting with such an amazing view of the Wichitas. Speaking of cemeteries, there's one in OK somewhere that states the woman was killed by werewolves or something creepy like that. I think that one and the grave of the horse which played Mister Ed are going to be worth the trip. Moving on to less creepy things...


Lately my rides have been limited to the Wichita Mountains and to school. I'm at the point, schedule wise, that 50 miles is 50 mile no matter if there's a pesky class in between. But, when you're riding around at 10 PM and you tend to freeze to death when temps drop below 65 degrees, 50 miles feels like 50 miles. You don't realize just how airy summer gloves are until you're wearing summer gloves at 10 PM in 30 something degrees because you couldn't find your winter ones. At that point, 50 miles sure does seem like 50 miles. Thankful all my fingers and toes are still functioning. It did make me wonder just how I survived without proper riding gear all those years. Mind over matter, I'm assuming.

In other nonrelated news, I've been working on my other blog Beauty in Oklahoma. If you're interested in local type stuff and all that jazz, check that out. I'll probably be focusing on it a little more while Blueberry is grounded. You'll probably read about my DIY mechanical adventures. Not sure I'm ready for those. Wish me luck and no extra parts.
Fasching is here once again! It's already been another year! I've been offered another short belly dancing spot in the Fasching schedule. Super excited to be part of the 2nd annual Fasching event hosted at Mutti's German Restaurant. Well, I probably ought to go practice my routine considering the Fasching party is tonight.

Until next time,  keep calm and ride on!


WGR








Saturday, February 15, 2014

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Summer Lovin', 'cause winter blues just sounds sad

An ode to summer:

O, summer! How fair thee were,
Thy nights so fine
Sky starry lined.
Thy days so toasty warm
That sweat rolling in my eye
Did lest dull my love for thee.

Nor sweat drenched hair 
Which clung to my lid. 

Visor up, my steed and I
Would ride
Yonder fields sweet wildflowers bloom
Where buffalo charge
And longhorns chase
On long straight roads
The heat would rise 
And melt my toes
As we ride

The paths of travel
are empty
For
Few souls brave
Thy love
But those knights
in leather armor
Ah, and the pages
In their gear
Of Oakley shades
And flipper-floppers

The water pack
melted to my back 
I sip something weird
Which chemical is that?
Water line gone awry, my steed and I
are freshly bathed

Thy gusty gale dries us out
With a lovely coat
of good ol' red dirt.
Thy scorching heat simmers up
Thy heat waves drift about
Causing my steed
To get all hot and bothered
As it overheats

We arrive a detour later
In thy gracious presence
All disheveled
How you move us so
I touch my skin
It's aglow ten shades darker
Forty degrees warmer
I rip my lid from my head
It's been transformed;
A ten gallon cowboy hat 
Full of salty water
Evaporated before it graces
The sizzling pavement

Upon dismount
my riding boots are locked
in passion with the tar

Yet thee tease
My sweat drenched hair and gear
thee refuse to dry

Alas, then thou leaves!
After all we've had!
The sweet smiles and laughs,
The ten pounds lost in thy sauna
The tan lines no one understands
The kittens in my pack
And sweat stains on my back

You disappear into the night
Not a word nor a gusty hot gale
to kiss my cheek one last time
But, what's this I see?!?

SNOW!



O, summer! How I miss thee so
Please
Come back to me

--Truly Yours,
                                  Wanderings of a Girl Ryder

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Because who laughs these days?

It's been another glorious week filled with adventure, laughter, and paint. The weather has been toying with my emotions, dragging my warm-weather loving heart through the dust of Oklahoma. I guess that's what they made winter gear for, right? I probably should have skipped the holiday chocolates. Since October. Maybe I could fit another layer under my gear if I had. C'est la vie, at least the chocolate was good. So last weekend I had the awesome pleasure of riding out to the refuge to go hiking with a happy group. I love happy people! There aren't too many happy people. Have you noticed? Seriously, participate in my little experiment. When ever you're out and about cruising through town, on the highway, in the store, on the beach, wherever, look around at the people you see. Most people have a frown plastered on their face. Wow, that saying "Your face will freeze like that," seems to be true, or maybe it's just a self-fulfilling prophecy. Get ready, get set, observe. Oh, and remember that observing isn't staring or stalking.

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge always fascinates me. It doesn't matter where I travel to, I always realize just how special my little corner of Oklahoma is (...In my own little corner, in my own little world...). Not saying that the mountains in Cali or the Alps aren't bad-ass, but the Wichitas have their own special flare. The nice, day-long hike brought us into uncharted territory for me. It's funny, the places one comes across without ever expecting it. A person can look upon an area of land for years and the mind estimates what it's probably like. Finally when one wanders through, it's completely different. Who'da (Who'd a) thunk? Vernacular grammar drives me insane. My obsession of climbing things only got me separated from the group once. Half an hour of seeing no one. No big deal...

The best part was that Blueberry was still standing, dirt parking lot, wind and all. Life is good.

The following day consisted of road tripping. I do love road trips! All the wonderful things one sees when one's just randomly driving about. I had the tip of checking out Freedom, OK from one of my readers. So that's where I happened to find myself, by chance, actually. FYI, if you go to Freedom, eat before since the only diner closes at 2 or 3 pm. Barely made it! The tiny downtown is right out of an old western movie. Saloon and all. The diner is also the town's motel. Warning, don't expect a room during a town festival or travel season; they only have two rooms. Beef, wheat, and salt are what the town was built on. Maybe even literally. My favorite part of visiting Freedom? The old jail! A jail in Freedom. Oh, the irony. The people, however, seem festive, though. Saw two cedar trees decorated for Christmas in the middle of nowhere.


On an unrelated note, I'm completely jealous that the college campus in Alva is 10x nicer than the one in Lawton. Okay, maybe 5.5x nicer.


So I'll stop my ramblings and leave you with a social reflection I've been mulling over this past week:
 A little while ago, I was road tripping with some friends. We were strolling down the streets of a ginormous city late one night (a city that actually has a night life) laughing, conversing, and having a good time. We turned down a side street to check out a mural still laughing and talking. A man passes us. Upon reflection, a perfect case study for the happiness level experiment. We're minding our own business, when he turns around in a huff and asks us what's so funny and why we were laughing at him.


Vain. Table for one.

At the time, I just thought how sad it was that people can be so involved in their own lives to think that the world revolves around them. It's a common human trait, but to such an extent to accuse complete strangers in a confrontational manner, was something else. After explaining to this man that it had absolutely nothing to do with him, I dealt with the idea that such confrontation can often go wrong and how vain people can be.

Today, I find it sad that people are so unhappy that they find laughter and smiling to be strange. The world we have created. Yes, I know, the world is full of sad moments, hate, and crazy,shocking happenings. But, the world is also full of beauty, happiness, and good people. I choose to see the beauty in the world. What do you choose to see in the world? What do you choose to be in this world?

Pictures from the Wichitas, Freedom, and whatever else are on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Amazing Year

Hello, 2014! And, hello lovely readers!

Looking back on 2013, it was an amazing year filled with many wonderful people and impressions. November and December are a blur, but the year ended and started with many adventures (some with Blueberry and some without) and good times. 

So my first thoughts for 2014, besides the never-ending, fun, work related stuff, include the following:

1. Possible riding destinations.

2. Blueberry TLC.

In the past, I've just been randomly exploring small towns and different locations. We're doing things a little differently this year. I'm thinking themes! So the following themes will possibly become my obsession this year: geocaching (geocaching motorcycle adventures!), doors, and mailboxes. Yep, the photographing nut in me has developed a crush on doors and mailboxes. Soooo....suggestions? Tell me about some awesome doors and/or mailboxes!

Besides being my longest, and best, relationship, Blueberry has been a God-send these past years. From learning to be a better rider and driver, having Blueberry has honed my ability to see small details (and in record time) while providing many interesting adventures. It's high time I paid back.

What are your riding plans for 2014? Tell me about one place you'd really love to check out this year; I'd love to hear about it!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside 2013

And, inside, too. Hence so few updates. I've been battling a never ending cold for the past month. It has, however, given me some time to pull all my winter gear out of the closet. It was a hard job finding those winter gloves, let me tell you! I've been out a little bit, cold and all, and I couldn't help but wonder how I survived two winters with out any decent wintery motorcycle gear. Where there's a will there's a way.

Blueberry is patiently waiting for me to change some oil. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving day project; Show some thanks to my faithful companion.

It turns out that I don't have the best luck when it comes to technology. I plugged a hard drive containing seven years' worth of pictures from random motorcycle/life adventures only to find that there's nothing there anymore. It be kaput. Drat. It didn't take a lot of brainstorming to find a silver lining. Perfect (legitimate) excuse for some extra motorcycle riding! Therefore, I'm not bummed at all.

Speaking of trips, I'm scouting out different adventures for the rest of 2013 and for 2014. Any small Oklahoma towns of interest? Any small towns with a salacious past? Would love some suggestions!

So Project (Color) Madness has been a hiatus as you've probably noticed through lack of pictures on Wanderings of Girl Ryder Facebook page. No more! I've got some new victims! And, a lot of new ideas. So stay tuned as Stone Turtle Ranch Lodging enters into Project (Color) Madness part II.

Besides spending a lot of time creating a Honey Do list for myself (that's time consuming seeing as the list just keeps growing. Yikes), I've also picked up the hobby of reading. Mighty fine considering I can barely navigate through my living quarters without bumping into books and motorcycle stuff. Even found one of my Keith Code books! Motorcycle + Book = Can't get much better especially if there's coffee involved.

I hope all y'all have an awesome, safe Thanksgiving holiday! Remember that EVERY day is a good day to be thankful!