2010 Alaska Trike Trip

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Monday, November 24, 2014

A break before the finish

Early to bed , early to rise. That was us on this morning, up at 5:00am. I walked to Casey's for coffee and hot chocolate for us to drink in the room while we watched the morning news. We went back later for refills and their breakfast pizza. We packed up for the last time and left the motel at 7:30am and still before sunrise. A few miles down the road we were greeted by an awesome sunrise which we took as a thank you for our time with nature. Because of some road construction the traffic came in spurts every 20 minutes so the ride went by relatively hassle free. The headwind was getting stronger the longer we rode so we only made it to Viola by lunchtime. The convenience store along highway 42 provided us with some shelter from the wind as we ate our lunch. We decided to take a break from the wind and ride east to Clearwater and have ice cream at Casey's. Ten miles into the wind took us about l 1/2 hour and then we pulled into the driveway that we departed from 10 day ago. The time was only 1:45pm so I had plenty of time to get all the gear unpacked and things put away. So long until next time.

I didn't know

A Englishman named F.J.S. Turnly bought land in what's now Harper County and for $500 would teach the secrets of successful farming to his countrymen. This venture lasted only 5 years. The church from the town was moved to Harper and still exists.

An awesome sunrise

This is what you get to see when you start your ride in the dark.

Day 10 - Kansas-Oklahoma Loop Ride

Good-bye Oklahoma

We made it through the night without any raccoon attacks. However, there was a deer that kept walking by our tent sniffing and snorting for several hours during the night. The sounds of the outdoors can be quite unusual. The sunrise was just beautiful, amazing colors. After a breakfast of oatmeal and hot chocolate we pedaled out of camp to the highway. We preformed a goathead check on the tires and found only a couple, but no punctures. The ride to Manchester, on the stateline, was uneventful and fairly easy. We stopped at a tiny cafe, located at the farmers co-op, and had the best homemade cinnamon roll since Tesla River. We listened to some interesting stories told by the locals and then thanked the cook for the great tasting rolls before we headed outside to the trikes. Just a 1 mile ride to the Oklahoma/Kansas stateline for photos and then on to Anthony. Our first stop in town was at McDonald's for lunch. A delivery driver for the local bottled water company said he saw us both yesterday and again today as he serviced his route. We chatted about our ride and his resent trip to Alaska. Only 10 miles to Harper and our last night of this trike trip was spent at the tv and reading.

Back to Kansas

I see the stateline just ahead.

Day 9 - Kansas-Oklahoma Loop Ride

Last campout

We heated our breakfast sandwichs in the mircowave and watched the morning news on CNN. We packed up and hit the road at 8:30am as we had to wait on the sun as we are heading east once again. The first 8 miles was slightly uphill and after that we had a downward slope the rest of the day. We stopped in Carmen and had hotdogs and a drink with the proceeds going to St. Judd Hospital. A short ride to Jett and then another stop for a drink, an ice cream sandwich and a bathroom call. We are only 10 miles from our campground at Great Salt Plains Lake. On our ride to the lake we watched Air Force pilots practice touch and go landings at Kegelman Auxiliary Field. We pitched our tent in the picnic shelter to avoid all the goathead sandburrs in the grass. We walked around the campground and down to the beach, as small as it was, to see what the lake had to offer. On the way back to our campsite we took photos of a small snake warming itself on the road. Most of the park buildings are in pretty bad condition, I guess no money to take care of them. What a waste. We wraped our food bag with a tarp to keep the raccoons out of our food. We read until dark and then off to the sleeping bag.


This little fellow was warming on the road.

Salt crystals

The salt crystals can be found on the western edge of the lake.

At the lake

We camped here and did a walkabout.

Along the road

Time takes it's toll everything.

Day 8 - Kansas-Oklahoma Loop Trip

Home for the night

It was pouring rain when we headed for breakfast. We decided to book another night and hopefully the rain will move on by tomorrow. We read and watched tv all day. We took time out from our busy activities to reserve a motel room in Waynoka for tomorrow night. It rained most of the day with winds exceeding 50 mph. New day, blue skies and just a light breeze. We walked to the convenience store for a breakfast pizza and sauage biscut. We needed to wait until the sun got high enough in the sky as to not bother the east bound drivers. We hate it when they can't see us in front of them. At 9:00 we turned off CNN and rolled the trikes out of their shelter and headed east out of town. We cruised along until we were stopped by a large paving project. In order to avoid the narrow temporary road they let us ride on the new concrete road. We enjoyed that 2 mile stretch road. Shortly after leaving the paving project we turned north on a road with lots of oilfield traffic. Everyone was nice and we made it to the Little Sahara Sand Dunes in time for lunch. We walked out on the dunes with our bare feet and felt the warm but damp sand between our toes. Nice to be a kid again. A short 4 miles to Waynoka and our motel for another night inside. We did a walking tour of town and saw lots of old buildings that were mostly empty. We learned about the rattlesnake roundup from a 29 year participant. He only got bit once and then he quit. We found the Waynoka museum whose home was in the old Fred Harvey House. We learned about the early train and air travel history dating back to Lindberg and Erhart. TWA stopped here on their flight from Chicago to Los Angeles. Who would have guessed. We bought some mircowaveable food for supper and settled in for some tv and reading.

A Harvey House

First class service in the 1920& 30s.

From the early 1900's

What a change from then to now.

The snake hunt

In late April the town holds a rattlesnake roundup.

Dunes in Oklahoma

Neveer too old to play in the sand.

Day 7 - Kansas-Oklahoma Loop Ride

A frog strangler

During the night we had a pesky visitor to our tent. The raccoon repeatedly tried to get in our food bag that was on our trike. I would have to chase him away as he just won't give up. Finally, it got to the moth balls and ran off with them, but not very far, as they didn't smell or taste very good. After that, all was quite. We were the only 2 for the 9:00am tour of the cavern. The cavern had lots of unusal features and the history of it's formation was very interesting. We even saw a few small bats hanging on the walls. We packed up our gear and left the park at 10:45pm. Today, we fought a 20-25mph headwind all the way to Mooreland. No coasting on the downhills. We had several oilfield workers stop and ask if we were okay or needed anything. We said no, but thanks for checking. As we neared the airport, Dee called out for me to stop. Money on the road. We picked up $4.05 on the shoulder of the road. Our camp neighbors drove by and honked as we neared Mooreland. We had a late lunch at the convenience store and Dee checked the weather. We were greeted with 100% chance of rain for later in the afternoon and overnight plus winds in excess of 30 mph. We needed a motel room again, so much for roughing it. Hew, at least we got to watch pro footfall. We'll see what the weather has in store for us tomorrow.


We found the money laying on the shoulder of the road.

Roadside color

The colors of fall have arrived in Oklahoma.

The underground tour

We were the only 2 on the 9:00am tour.

Day 5 & 6 - Kansas Oklahoma Loop Ride

The caverns

We rolled out of bed at 6:00am and walked to the truck stop in a light rain for coffee and hot chocolate. We didn't leave the motel until the 11:00am checkout time and our first stop was in 1 mile at McDonald's for lunch. We made a few stops on our journey west to use the roadside weeds and remove unneeded clothes. We usually stop for historical makers as they provide information about what happened at some point in time in this area. Mr. Stansberry, who resides across the road, rode his bicycle over to see if we needed anything and to tell us about the historical sign. He had built it and a neighbor tore it down in a dispute over it's historical accuracy. Later, after the neighbor passed away, the sign was located and Mr. Stansberry put it back for others to enjoy. The Houston GeneralStore was at the turnoff for the caverns and a convenient place to stop for all kinds of refreshments. The highway sign showed 9 miles to our campground and the caverns. We located the tenting area and pitched our tent for the night. We enjoyed a campfire with our camping neighbors before calling it a good day.

Heading for the caverns

We are on the correct road.

A break from the heat

Just in time for a potty break and a cold drink.

Historical marker

There was a modern day battle over "this" informational sign.

A roadside visitor

Mr. Stansberry rode his bicycle over to visit with us. How nice.

Day 4 - Kansas-Oklahoma Loop Ride

Indoor camping again

Windy, wet and cool as we walked to the office for a motel breakfast. Lots to choose from and we ate plenty. We waited until 10:15am to head out to do battle with the elements as the weather map showed a 3-4 hour semi dry period. We had a nice tailwind and just a light mist for the 26 mile ride to Hardtner and our lunch stop. The buffet was loaded with all kinds of homemade items and they all smelled good. We ate our $10s worth and were stuffed. We stopped for photos at the Kansas/Oklahoma stateline before we continued south to Alva. The next 16 miles was a blur as it was done in just 1 hour. Our flags went limp at 21 mph which means we had a Grrrreat tailwind. We stopped at Wal-mart for some supplies and to check the weather forecast on Dee's smartphone. Rain and more rain for tonight. We stopped at 4 or 5 motels and they were all full, oilfield workers they said. We finally found a room and it was expensive for what we got but camping out in the rain didn't sound like a good idea. We took long showers and felt better now that we were warm and clean. Guess what, the rain has started to fall so we are going to eat in the room and watch tv until we fall asleep.

Crossed the state line

Your not in Kansas, Calvin.

I'm not

I'll be strong to the finishline.

In the middle of nowhere

The food was outstanding in Hardtner, Kansas

Day 3 - Kansas-Oklahoma Loop Ride

Rain and wind

Great sleeping overnight and the temperature at 6:00am was a warm 68f. We ate peanut butter and chocolate rollups and packed up camp in the dark. The trikes were lit up as we left camp at 6:45am. The 17 miles to Zenda was mostly into a light headwind with a few low hills thrown in to make the ride more of a workout. We stopped at the community center to use the restroom. The lady that was fixing meals-on-wheels lunches told us about the historical town jail just a couple blocks away. Off we went to find it and take some photos. Wind generators fill the sky all around the Zenda area. We rode along Ridge Road for miles and saw nothing but wind generators turning and under construction. As we neared Medicine Lodge the oil and gas related traffic picked up. We arrived at Barber Wildlife camping area about 1:00pm to sprinkles and a cool wind. We checked out the restrooms and they had no showers and the camping sites were out in the open with no shelter from the wind. The question for the day--pay for this or get a cheap motel room. The room won out on the coin toss. We rode into town and found just such a room and moved in as the rains settled in for the rest of the afternoon. Timing is everything. This rain is related to a hurricane off the coast of California. We walked across the street to Casey's for some of their famous pizza and returned to the motel to watch tv and check on the weather. All systems go for tomorrow.

Did you know?

We spotted the old stockade and the home of "Carrie Nation".

Sharing the road

We talked to the farmer about 10 miles back and he liked our flags.