Sunday, 24 April 2011

Day 5: Tulsa to Clinton

So, fist of all, Happy St George's Day! I guess all of you back home will be out celebrating?

I survived my visit to the Blue Rose Bar last night. Friday night is bike night, so it was pretty lively, but as promised, all very friendly. The bar is built on the side of the Arkansas River, and has an outdoor terrace/bar where you can sit and eat whilst looking over the river. Myself and a few others put the world to rights over a few beers and a burger.

It was Good Friday, but Easter doesn't seem to be recognised here as much as it is at home. The kids were at school, and will be again on Easter Monday. Strange, given that I'm in the middle of the Bible belt.

I overslept this morning, probably due to the activities the night before, so was not away from the hotel until after 10. Today was about riding, and I didn't have too many stops planned en route. The weather was perfect: dry, warm (low 70s), and not too sunny. I made good progress, covering almost 100 miles before my first scheduled stop in Arcadia. This is home to the Round Barn, quite unique, and there were some pretty interesting exhibits inside.

Across from the barn was the Biker Shak (sic), advertising bikers' apparel and leathers. I wanted to get some lighter gloves, so paid them a visit to see if they had anything suitable. They did, they fitted OK, so I bought them, but not before a long chat about my trip and the Royal Wedding with the owner!

Speaking of which, the wedding is everywhere here. On the front of papers, on the TV, and everyone is talking about it. And to think I would be able to get away from it. No chance.

Here's some more from Arcadia:

It's nice to have confirmation that I'm on the right track!

A little further down the road, the other side of Arcadia was my lunch stop, Pops Soda Ranch. This is a newly built gas station and diner, is very distinctive, and offers around 500 different types of soda. Did you know there were that many? I didn't! Some Route 66 purists may not like the idea of this place as it's not traditional, but I think one has to move with the times, and it's good to see new ventures succeeding along the route. The locals seem to agree,as it was very busy; this is the first time I've had to wait for a table to become available.

Now it was time to push on. I mentioned that this the Bible belt - in fact one book describes it as the buckle of the belt. Throughout the day I was told that I would spend eternity in hell unless I mended my ways, and reminded that I had to pray today, by placards on the roadside. I guess they're put there by the many churches that line the way. I did pray that I would get safely to Clinton tonight, but not to a God that they would probably approve of!

Shortly later, I entered Oklahoma City, and and I have to agree with the song that, it's "mighty pretty" coming in through the State Capitol Park with the Capitol building right ahead, as I did. What is noticeable is that there are no skyscrapers; it's a very 'low' city, with no real skyline.

Eventually I did make it to Clinton safely, and sought out the Route 66 museum. Unfortunately, it had closed 5 minutes earlier, maybe God isn't happy with me after all? Not having booked a room for the night, I had been hoping for a recommendation at the museum, however I spotted the Trade Winds Inn over the road so I went to take a look. First impressions were not great, but the owner, Mr Patel, did have a room for me, and at $50 I thought I'd chance it. As it turns out, the room is pretty nice - certainly not the worst I've stayed in this trip by a long way. I guess somebody up there likes me.

Tomorrow I head for Texas, and meet up with Bob and a bunch of Ausies in Amarillo who have been travelling the route a day ahead of me in Mustangs. Should be fun!

More pictures and today's route (including many missed turns!):

Today's Mileage: 226
Total Trip Mileage: 1022
Funniest sign seen today: "Oklahama! The shopping cart was invented in this wonderful state". Hmmm

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