In a word, today was dreary... but can't say it was bad.
A common question I've gotten from family and friends is "what do you do with all your clothes"? Here they are... 3 compression sacks and a shaving bag. And yes Mom, I'm wearing clean underwear in case of an accident and in spite of one.
Originally I thought I'd ride west to check out the Little Sahara State Park... but then my buddy Ed mentioned the Oklahoma City National Memorial. It looked like I could possibly get to OK City before the rain really started there so decided to head that way instead.
Pulled out of Ponca City at 33 degrees. Cruised up to the north side of town to check out the Ponca City Motocross track. They have some big-time national level amateur races there. Cool track, no real elevation changes but really wide and looked very well groomed. Gate was open but no one was there for me to sign a waiver to cut laps on the Triumph...
Ended up riding by the Miller 101 Ranch... apparently the Miller's were big time ranchers, oil men, had a Wild West show and a bunch of other stuff. Not much left now, this is the foundation of the 17 room mansion. Had 9 bedrooms and each had it's own bathroom... and this was the late 1800's.
Here's what the ranch looked like 'back in the day'... the mansion I was standing in front of is on the right end.
The Miller boys had this really big ranch... turns out they also had really big... hats.
The ride to OK City was really cloudy, spit rain on and off, mostly straight roads running through ranches. I did get on a really nice curvy stretch that flirted with the Cimarron River for a bit.
As I approached the north side of OK City the rain started. My jacket, pants, and boots are relatively waterproof so unless it's a major downpour I usually don't have to put on a rain suit. Of course it did start to really come down right when I got near downtown and was trying to read exit signs and navigate downtown to find the National Memorial. Parked in a little dingy ramp across the street for $5 which was nice so I could be out of the rain to stow my pants and stuff before going in. You had to fold and stuff your $5 into these little slots... thought it was kinda weird...
I was just 1 year out of college when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred. I don't exactly remember where I was or what I was doing. The Memorial is one of the most moving collections I've ever walked through. Thanks for suggesting it Ed. 168 people, 19 of them younger than 6, woke up the morning of April 19th, 1995 and never got to go home again. Another 680 were injured. At one point, you sit in a room and listen to a recording of a conference call that was going on in the building next door that morning and hear the explosion and the reaction of the people on the call. Gripping.
Here I'm standing next to part of the foundation that's still there.
Reflecting pool. The 'empty chairs' represent those that lost there lives. They are arranged based on what floor they were on.
If you remember, they ended up catching Timothy McVeigh in the Perry, OK jail where he'd been arrested two hours after the bombing by a trooper along I-35 for not having license plate on his car and an unregistered gun in the car. I rode through Perry on the way down to OK City.
Took several hours to get through the Memorial. Still raining as I made it out of downtown. Headed west a little since the radar looked a little lighter that direction. It was 4:30 and I really hadn't had lunch so decided to call it a day. Found a hotel on the west side of town that met my criteria... it was off the exit I took, it was cheap-ish, and it was across the street from a nice bar and grill.
Looks like I'll finally make it into Texas tomorrow! Yee-haw!