If there's one thing I love, it's picking random places to go check out. Sure, I've been to a lot of the surrounding places so often they could be called Cheers and I could be called Norm(!), but I still enjoy every sip of adventure just as Norm enjoyed every sip of beer. If there's another thing I love, it's getting people to want to go explore with me.
An afternoon in Nowhere
As luck would have it (what's with this lady streak Luck is on?), I had managed enticing a couple of people to go exploring. Because I was the only motorcyclist and the weather was pretty sucky, Blueberry had to stay home. I offered to drive, and off we eventually went. The idea was to make it up to Hinton, OK, but we were short on time and took one too many detours.
We coasted through Apache and went up to Fort Cobb where we spotted a massive coyote. I say we, even though it was I who spotted the coyote, because it's somewhat bad to portray myself as always looking around when I should be watching the road...even if it may or may not be true. In Fort Cobb we stopped by the World War II memorial tree. Of which I have no picture. It was a pretty small tree planted next to the Fort Cobb history lesson plaque. Thank God for full braking power otherwise we might have missed it and needed to make a u-turn. I was somewhat surprised to see a small independent grocery store still thriving in Fort Cobb. Since we we really were short on time, there was no opportunity to check out the small tavern either. Next time. We stopped in Nowhere on our way to the Lake. As I was paying for my artificial flavoring and sugar loaded snack, I asked the proprietor of the store about Nowhere. Nowhere was established by a man from Los Angeles who brought his wife to Oklahoma. She must have been pretty shocked by the change in scenery and was mad at her husband for bringing her to the middle of nowhere. The middle of Nowhere might as well have an official name. The proprietor was very kind and gave each of us a "I've been to Nowhere, OK" bumper sticker. Once again, I did not purchase a shirt. However, one of my partners in crime did, so I lived vicariously through him on that purchase. Also, I think the population decreased by 2. I thought last time the Nowhere sign had said Pop. 5... That keeps up, we'll have a ghost town on our hands.
After checking out the lake and polishing off my 100 grams of sugar snack, I thought we might still have a chance to make it up to Binger, the childhood home of baseball MVP Johnny Bench. As we coasted up the road towards Albert, OK, (population maybe Nowhere x 2), a gigantic roadrunner ran across the road. I didn't hear a beep-beep, but that could have been from the sugar high. Of course, brakes were applied and I doubled back on the double so I could try to coax the bird back out of the trees, but it was long gone. After turning back around, we decided that Albert would be it for us. Have a letter to mail? Have no fear, Albert's post office is here. Yup, the great city of Albert has a small post office, its own zip code, a volunteer fire department, and a house or two next to the Future Farmers of America sign.I f that's the future of farmers in America, I think I'll stick with what I've got.
It's against my innate philosophy to take the same way back. Needless to say, we were back a lot later than planned and other plans had to be altered. Not that they were my plans- so it really didn't matter.
Museums, Norwegians, and Vegans
Weather wasn't an excuse for not riding today, but I still had two non-riders with me, and I don't have an active sticker on my bike to get on Fort Sill although that shouldn't matter anymore. This was the first time I strolled through the museums on base. They have an impressive set-up of all sorts of museums. If you actually plan on reading all the signs, I'd allot a day for this activity. We browsed through the Field Artillery Museum, the cannon walk, the Buffalo Soldier exhibit, and the Native American exhibit in an hour or three. The last Fort Sill stop was Geronimo's grave. Geronimo's skull is one of ten famous body parts which have been stolen. Whether or nor Yale's Skull and Bones society is actually in the possession of Geronimo's skull has never been proven even though a lawsuits still arise. Can't give something back if no one has proven you've stolen it. The skull was alledged to be stolen by the Yale's secret society in 1918 from the Fort Sill location. We could have car pooled, but for some reason we didn't. The boys had the map, so I just followed them. That was a mistake. We got pretty lost, and it certainly wasn't a 6 mile drive like it should have been. I think that's all I'll say about that. There were many offerings left at Geronimo's grave. I wonder if someone cleans up the perishables on a regular basis. People leave all sorts of things: money, tobacco, service pins, Native American jewelry, key chains, little figurines. The graveyard is one of the nicer ones in the area tucked away on Fort Sill.
We dropped off a car, and continued on our way. I should probably point out that Hinton was, once again, our final destination. We checked out the cobblestone church in Fletcher, drove through Cyril, and stopped in Cement. In Cement, we talked to the owner of the variety store gave some information about the Jesse James Museum. The museum's still open, but by appointment only. Who wants to make an appointment with me? The variety store is also the town library and accountant. Is that a one-stop shop or what? Not only can I buy a wedding-like dress, but I can get my farm taxes done while picking out some books to read. I was also corrected on the pronunciation of Keechi Hills. My memory fails me, but it's either Catch-I or Keech-I. The Keechi Hills are also home to a hill referred to as Saddle Mountain where local legend claims Jesse James may have buried some treasure. There are supposed to be carvings on the east side of this mountain which may date back to Jesse James' time. Who knows. The property housing this mountain was recently for sale for mere $250G...to live in Cement?!? Not that it's not...um nice or anything, but gee-whiz!
We drove down some of the roads until we came to Lake Burtschi. Found a lot of bottles, but no messages. Of course, I left all my post-it notes at home. I explained our travel options to my companions. We could go to Norge, where the Norwegians live, or we could take the highway and get to Chickasha a little faster. Somewhere in the process of explaining ideas, they got misinterpreted in translation, and I was told that it was cool that there was a place where just vegans lived, but it wasn't necessary to check it. Now I'm not sure if it was my German, my weird accent, or the driver was acting like most do:not listening to a word I was saying, so we opted against going where the vegans live. By the time we reached Chickasha, it was getting late which was going to make us late for our dinner invitations. We were slightly more late than fashionable, and Hinton was not graced with our presence yet again. I learned something new that day, when going into a liquor store, passports do not count as forms of identification. Could've just been that when you're from Mississippi, you don't know what a passport is. I'll have to ask my family...
Last but not least, I find it amazing that March had so many memorable moments after the vicious attack school had in store for me this semester. March held nothing but ugly assignments, from intense exams to three 10-15 page papers. It's a miracle I still have my wits strung together. The Paper Rebellion of Spring 2013 was brutal, and brain cells lost in the battle will be remembered fondly.