Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Baby,it's [starting to feel] cold outside!

Of all the people who should be a seasonal rider, it should be me. To paint a better picture of how miraculous it is that I don't "winterize" Blueberry, let me explain. 

I'm the type of person who when it's below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is running around the farm in a parka which looks like it's been imported from Antarctica. Anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit and within one minute my fingers are frozen popsicles. With the aid of gloves, I'm usually good for 10-15 minutes, depending on the wind, before the joy of living is sucked right out of me and carried south by the chilling north wind.

All indicators point to the conclusion that when I move it'll have to be to somewhere warmer than Oklahoma. How I managed to survive without winter riding gloves for so many years is beyond me. Now, you'd think that since I'm the biggest baby when it comes to cold weather and since I refuse to not ride that I would have at least written my layering system down, right? Wrong. 

Plus a layer or three. What do you wear? Let me know on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Explore OK trial run

It was a busy day. Especially since someone could not stay away from the car show in Medicine Park. Guilty! But, it was worth the rush because I got to see some sweet rides (go back a post or two). Anyhow, yours truly came up with the idea of doing history tours in Southwest, OK. Yes, sure we may not have as much history (time-wise) as wherever Plymouth Rock is, BUT we have a rich history nonetheless. State history may only be a century, but the Native American history goes back many centuries. And, of course, let's not forget the not so up-and-up history provided by the outlaws, gamblers, and fortune hunters back in the day. Southwest Oklahoma also has a loud military presence which I'm reminded of on a weekly basis when my windows and pictures rattle like in Mary Poppins. Yes, that's  one of two things I remember about the movie. One, Mary Poppins had the coolest bag ever. I mean, who wouldn't want a bag which could carry a motorcycle and apparently not weigh a ton? Two, the family always had to hold the valuables down when artillery was expected. However, they had it down to a science. Fort Sill hasn't given me its schedule. I wonder if they even have one. Maybe they ought to watch Mary Poppins...
 The Loop:
  • Huckleberry Barn
  • Victory School #43
  • Saddle Mountain
  • Cooperton
  • Babbs Switch School Memorial
  • Hobart
  • Quart Mountains
Victory School #43
Over the years, I've ridden to many interesting places; Sometimes only to make a mental note to come back to check it out, sometimes with the opportunity to explore and be questioned by the local police. I've received a lot of comments and interest in the wheres (location) and whats (history) so together with Stone Turtle Ranch I decided to try my luck as tour guide. It was the first, of what I hope to be many, what I'm calling Explore Oklahoma tours. 

Our second stop was the old Victory School #43 building. It's interesting that a stretch of road barely 20 miles long had three schools in the early 1900s (Meers School, Victory School, and Saddle Mountain School). Victory School, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society, is believed to have had a teacherage (a house for teachers) when teachers usually lived with families who lived in the area. The one-room school house offered knowledge to the kiddies from 1902 to 1946. Teacherages were usually found in school districts prior to 1915 and at schools with two or more rooms which makes the fact that Victory School #43 had one kind of unique.

Stop four was in Cooperton. I now know, thanks to Hobart's website, that the sign advertising Saturday Nite Dance is a current thing. So if you find yourself in Cooperton on a Saturday night, have no fear! It's kind of sad when a town with a population of 5 (okay, maybe 15) has more to offer folks than Lawton. Funny how the world works. Drove down Main Street...not much to see there but the bank. And we found this gem (see picture below). It looks to be an old church. Love to have additional information should someone possess it! If I stumble across it in my research, I'll post it.

Additional pictures can be found on my Facebook page.
Tucked away in Cooperton, OK

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I seriously just have too much fun

Destiny. That's right, Blueberry and I were just meant to be.
 Enjoyed my Sunday afternoon riding through the refuge and having coffee with the family!

Medicine Park Car Show 2012!

Before I get started, this blogger, who is not in the possession of technological savvy, is having issues with uploading pictures. Now I'm not sure if it has something to do with my new camera (megapixels and all that junk), if it's Blogspot, or user error. I am, however, going to allocate all the blame to Blogspot since Facebook has no issues accepting my works of art (pictures). So for more pictures of the car show clear here to be directed to the MP car show album.

I was super excited to go check out Medicine Park's annual car show. Blueberry and I rode over shortly after 10. Of course, I had trouble finding parking. There were plenty of places to park, but none that I liked. After circling the town, I ended up going back to where I'd started and parking on the grassy parking area by the creek. I always end up somewhere where the parking ground reminds me of quicksand. It wouldn't be the first time I parked to come back to find my bike sitting lower than when I had left it. If I had one of those kickstands found on cruisers it wouldn't be so bad. The makers of those long cruiser kickstands obviously had more faith that cruiser riders would venture to places without paved parking. What a vote of confidence in sportbike riders...then again most of the sportbike riders I know wouldn't need such a kickstand.

So my little parking situation seriously cut into the time I had allotted for the car show. I had an appointment to play tour guide at 11 (read about that in the next post). I power-walked through the car show. Since it was still early, a lot of cars were still in the process of getting their spots and registering. There were some awesome classic cars there. Some of the regulars were there (GTOs, GTXs, Challengers,Thunderbirds, Buicks, and Fords), but I also spotted a lot of street rods I hadn't seen before.

Previous town events had *CAUTION* tape barricading everything. The traffic cones looked a LOT better. I didn't feel as though I were entering a crime scene. Medicine Park is putting forth great effort in their events for the community. If you haven't managed to check out any of the events, I recommend you do so!


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!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hello front brakes! So nice to have you back.

The stars, moons, and planets must have been aligned because my parts arrived just as I had some extra time in my schedule and was closing the deal on a bribe I offered someone to play free public transportation for me. Yes! I had a bombproof, or so I thought, plan.

My plan was to call a locally owned shop and have them do the work since their website advertised that they install parts and change tires. Since it's just a couple of miles from home, I figured I had a better chance of actually finding someone to drop off my tires AND give me a ride back home should my bribe fall through. I'm all for exercise, but I think I'd be too tempted to give my poor feet a rest and hitch a ride home. Someone once told me hitchhiking was bad. It was probably my mother. See? I do remember things occasionally. 

Of course, I was already happy dancing seeing my grand plan unfold so smoothly in my mind that when I called the shop I was utterly disappointed to have my bubble be bombed. I was told that they don't put on provided parts...Man, I wish I could turn away paying customers. I guess $65/hr just isn't as enticing as it  used to be.

The key to having a bombproof plan is having a back-up plan when Plan A gets annihilated  and sent to the bottom of a dark sea along with all the other bombed ideas. I ended up taking Blueberry to a dealership and the work was done in a couple of hours.

But, seriously, I would much rather have given my business to a locally-owned shop. Oh well.

Since the work was done a lot faster than I expected, I've been able to enjoy the amazing weather we're witnessing here in Oklahoma. I decided the conditions were perfect to start breaking in my tires and front brakes. Woah baby! Stopping power never felt so good. I cruised through the refuge and saw some buffaloes chillaxin' in the prairie. Beautiful day!

Of course some more pictures can be found on my new Facebook page. I'll probably be posting most pictures there so it won't take forever for the blog to load.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WGR Social Networking

Hello, my awesome readers!
Wanderings of a Girl Ryder now has a Facebook page. Please "like" my page (and recommend it to your friends if you enjoy my wanderings and wondering thoughts)! I plan on using it to post more pictures from my various rides as well as posting links to new posts. Since blogger seems to have issues uploading my pictures, I thought this would be the best solution. After some massive house keeping (1/25/2013...ish), all of my pictures from this blog (and then some) can be found there. I will be posting updates on when a new post (or edited post) is available since I'm not really sure how the email follow works. Also, feel free to say hi! I won't knock your hat off...scout's honor.

Happy Riding!

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!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sprocket All Grown Up

As those of you who have been with me from the start may remember (or, those who've managed the task of perusing through all of my ramblings; a tedious task, I know; And, those who haven't the foggiest notion, click here (= ), I once stuffed a cat in my backpack on one of my rides and took her home. No worries, the cat's out of the bag now. Sprocket is still with me; albeit, I've probably used up 4 to 5 of her 9 lives.

Sprocket is one of the coolest felines. EVER. She's also one of the most vocal cats. She comes when she's called and paws at the door when she wants to go out. She always talks to me. Now, I'm not a cat whisperer, but I'm pretty sure it's all positive since when she's mad at me it usually involves cat teeth in my flesh.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Medicine Park

Packed my coffee and went over to Medicine Park for a quick errand. Always charming.

Mural on the side of the post office


Of all the times I've written about HWY 115, I don't think I've ever included a picture or short history of Meers. Considering that I ride by (or is it through?...I think it's both) not once a month, not twice a month, but more like twice a week- it's pretty sad that I never stop to take a picture.

Meers sits in the foothills of the Wichita Mountains in southwestern Oklahoma. It's a hotspot to visit for anyone visiting the area *hint hint*. It sits close to a fault line (think earthquakes) and once had a working seismograph. All through my childhood, I always enjoyed going to Meers just to see the seismograph squiggle some lines. It wasn't on display last time I went, so that was a bummer. 

Anywho, they make their own ice cream and beer and have a ton of felines chilling on the porch; Not that any of those items are related. They're closed on Tuesdays, don't accepts credit cards, and won't split a table's ticket.So be warned.

Drinks are served in giant mason jars just like home (at least my home) and the burgers are served in "dishes" which make you feel you're in the old mining camp. And, their burgers are huge. 
Meers History: 
Not even Oklahoma was safe from the Gold Rush. There were quite a few mines in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge area. Many of which can still be seen. In 1901 a group of miners created a mining district at the base of Mount Sheridan which they named after Colonel Andrew Jackson Meers. At its peak, Meers consisted of grocery stores, drug stores, a cafĂ©, a newspaper (Mt. Sheridan Miner), a smelter, post office, and then some. It even reached a population of 500 (or in that ball park). 

For more information on the store itself check out Meers Store Website.