Friday, May 25, 2012

Oklahoma Summer Evenings

Smell wonderful! There's nothing like a cool breeze and the smell of fresh cut and bailed hay. Love being at Stone Turtle Ranch since it's so close to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge; makes a quick, scenic ride more than possible!
Can you find my guardian "bell?" After losing my 6th or 7th bell, I had to find a substitute. Much better!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Aftermath of the rainy ride

Okay, so my phone did not survive the ride in the rain yesterday as well as I had hoped. Lesson learned: insert zip-lock bags in all jacket pockets no matter how water resistant said jackets claim to be. Good thing I had a prepaid phone and plan which expires in the next day or so. Is that luck or what? Maybe that penny really was lucky? I mean why else would a penny made in my birth year be lying under a tree branch in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere? Destiny, no?

A short ride in the rain

So yesterday after it rained in the morning (which, by the way, was not predicted), it looked pretty clear for a ride. I get on Blueberry, and I'm a mile into a hopefully 120 mile and it starts to sprinkle. Okay, no big deal. Major showers were not predicted until later in the afternoon.The roads were still kind of wet from the morning rain so I just took my time.

Nothing but rain on my 25 mile ride into town to the meet-up location. By the time I got there I was soaked through. Thankfully, my camera and cell phone are still functioning even after getting wet in my jacket (water resistant my foot). Also learned that my tires probably aren't in the best condition to be riding in rain. The roads got really slick in Lawton. And, people were still driving and tail-gating as if the streets were dry.
Almost no dry spots on my jeans.

Was happy to see a couple other people crazy enough to ride on my way in the rain. All cruisers, though. No other sportbikes seen. Not surprised. The other rider that was supposed to ride with is a new rider, so I didn't think conditions were good for a newbie to be getting comfortable on his bike. Maybe I'm too cautious, but better safe than sorry. I'm starting to think that a lot of motorcycle accidents could be avoided if riders knew their limits and realized that  riding skills come from a lot of factors, but mainly from experience and logging miles. Just my two cents from 5 years of observing riders of all types.

By the time I got home, the rain was back to a sprinkle, and the sun was starting to peak out. Figures. But, it was still a little chilly and it did look a little rainy off to the west. Oklahoma weather. Gotta love it. After that little whatever it was moved off to the east, there was no more rain to be had. So much for that rain in the afternoon prediction. I think somewhere in the forecasting process, the weather people got confused.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

To my lovely blog visitors:

To all those who take the time to read my ramblings and browse through my pictures, I'd just like to say: Thank you!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Another hike and ride

2 rattlesnakes, one buffalo, a couple bad-ass rock "cavern" systems, millions of daddy long-legs, and a nest of bats. Yup, I'd say it was a pretty good walk in the refuge. Not to mention the awesome ride. Blueberry is nice and clean (or was) because I finally got around to cleaning it. Love my life.

Found the bat cave... First hike on the refuge where I've run into bats. They were adorable.

Excuse my dirty helmet. Had a passenger on the ride home! Luck be a lady...
More pictures can be found on WGR's Facebook page!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More of Beautiful Oklahoma!

Just some pictures I took this morning on the way to a "waterfall" near Elk Mountain. No climbing today since the mom came with me. We saw a bunch of awesome flowers and I even stepped right over a slumbering rattlesnake. I scared the poor thing to death. That's how scary I can be; Rattlesnakes flee. Be warned.
To the far left is Mt. Scott. To the far right is the "mountain" that can be climbed from the Parallel Forest. From the forest to Mt. Scott and back is about 8 miles. An easy afternoon hike =)
Prairie dogs in the prairie dog town. Watch out for these little rascals, they like to cross the street at all times. Also, if you visit the prairie dogs, it's best not to feed them since their water resources are limited.

Rock frog.

Oklahoma: where the buffalo roam.
More pictures on Facebook album!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yet another close call

I don't know what it is about the coffee group, but it just seems that I always have a close encounter with death when leaving. Today's brush with almost kissing pavement had even me somewhat rattled after all was said and done. I honestly wasn't expecting to get out of that scrape. If riding has taught me anything at all about myself, it's that I have an almost unnatural ability to remain calm, relax,  continue functioning, and keep those rusty gears grinding. My face may be doing all sorts of funny stuff, but my body remains relaxed. Figure it's probably better to face pavement relaxed as opposed to stiff as a board.
So anyways, on to the close call. I turn left out of the parking lot and decide to grab gas at a station at the other end of town and close to the interstate since the turning lane onto Sheridan was beyond full. I'm standing at the light in the left lane and there are a couple of cars in front of me and a few to my right. The light turns green and we all proceed forward. It's lunch hour and the streets are packed. Sure it's not Dallas rush-hour, but still where the hell do all these people come from? Someone decided that he has to turn left into Arby's or that oil-change place right next to it. Not happening, so everyone in front of me is slowing down and stopping while the right lane has moved on and become clear.
I check the right lane, a few cars are moving through the light, but nothing up close and personal. I signal, look again, and switch lanes along with the driver behind me. All is good. I'm moving by the stopped cars in the left lane, when this white car swings out from whatever strip mall is after Taco Bell without so much as a glance in my direction. I look to the left, line's still there. The car seems to be in a major hurry since there were still cars coming through the light. I get as close to the cars in the line on the left while down shifting and applying throttle. The white car was millimeters from my right foot peg when I glanced over and getting awfully close to my rear tire. I relaxed my body and inched a little closer to that line, thanked some higher being that I had decided to wear my leather jacket, and braced for impact. The combination seemed to do it because when I looked back in my mirror the car barely swept past my rear, swung wide, and turned into the parking lot four feet away from where it came out of. A parking lot he could have entered without cutting into traffic. I honestly have no idea how I didn't wind up on the pavement, but very thankful I made it to the gas station in one piece.

I have been observing a lot of drivers lately as I chill out while I ride. I have come to the conclusion that most drivers are complete idiots and don't have the decency to respect the safety of other drivers while they are doing stupid things. Maybe an emotional intelligence test ought to be given when applying for a driver's license?

Oh- Diagram coming soon thanks to an awesome chart a reader made for me ;)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cookietown, once again.

I think it's safe to say that I am obsessed with this town.  What better way to enjoy a lovely Sunday morning than ride down to Cookietown and have a cookie?

I found myself in good riding company. I didn't even get a voiced concern when I pulled out the cookies. Probably thought it was safest not to say anything...

Wandered on over to Chatty and Faxon. Had to stop in front of the old general store/gas station to get a pic. Dig those windows! If my memory serves me right, I don't think I've ever mentioned anything about Faxon, so here goes:
Faxon's population hit its peak of 215 in 1910. The Chicago, Rock Island, Pacific Railway came to "town" in 1903. The town was named after U.S. Senator Chester Long's secretary Ralph Faxon. Senator Long was from Kansas, Senate-wise that is. What is it with Kansas??? Truly, that is the million dollar question. Anywho, the town had two cotton gins, a newspaper (until 1918), an ice yard, a telephone company, a lumber yard, and several grocery stores.

You probably won't believe this, but Faxon is famous. The gas station was featured in..what was that movie? Oh yeah, Fast Charlie the Moonbeam Rider back in 1979 featuring David Carradine. This building had a skating rink upstairs. Not bad for a town so small. Makes me wonder why can't Lawton manage to have anything cool. Not much left of Lawton's old downtown since it was torn down (where was the historic preservation society when ya need it?) to build the mall and whatever else is over there.

More pictures on WGR's Facebook page!
This blog is brought to you by the lovely (biased opinion, we know) Stone Turtle – Lodging, a small family owned and operated hotel / lodging business near Lawton, Oklahoma, Fort Sill,  the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Meers and Medicine Park. Yeah, that’s right we’re a small lodging business close to all the awesomeness Oklahoma has to offer!!