Day 2: Great Salt Plains Lake to Ozark National Forest, AR
Miles 570-1040 (470 miles)
Woke up to a school bus, rolling through the campground, picking up oilfield children... a bit different...
Beat feet across OK... didn't miss a whole lot here. Took almost all back roads, certainly no Interstate. That being said... a lot of back roads are in OK are 4 lane anyway. Oh well.
I cut south around Tulsa, since I've been there for long enough that I know i didn't want to ride through it. I did ride through some "classic" oilfield towns, including past a "dealer" that I found out later buys old equipment from our company and sells parts back to us at exorbitant prices... shady business at its best! He had a whole fleet of our old equipment there, including tractors/chassis that they don't even make anymore, like cabover dual steers!
Anyway, nothing was missed until far eastern OK. OK route 80, to be exact. It follows (roughly) the south east edge of Fort Gibson Lake. Spectacular road... (sorry, no pictures, i think i have video somewhere)
Then, into Arkansas:
I came into AR and headed directly for the Ozarks. This is why I came here. And my goodness, what a reason it was! AR 16 across the north end of the Nat'l Forest is beautiful! Picturesque woods, gorgeous pavement, and most of all: NO TRAFFIC. Honestly. 100+ miles of spectacular roads, and I saw maybe
20 other vehicles the whole time!
Somewhere in there i made my first 1000 miles of the trip
I cut South on AR 7, which is a "scenic Arkansas Byway," or something like that.
I stopped at a "natural bridge" site. the last natural bridge i've seen was in Utah, so it was neat to take a short hike and see another!
I camped at a nice little National Forest campground, i guess with some ATV trails around (Which i wanted to take a short spin on, but it was dark...). While OK had basically no cell signal across the state, i had 3g service sitting in my tent in Ozark National Forest. A check in with some friends and family brought me up to speed with what Tropical Storm Isaac had in store for me the next day:
(this was an early prediction of Isaac's path, so not quite what it did)
Basically, New Orleans was getting pounded, and i needed to make a more northerly plan to blast East the next morning