Here’s what my route looks like:
And my trip stats:
Before the ride, shiny and clean, while it lasts:
I had to run into town to fill the tank before heading out. Even running premium “real” gas, it’s fun filling the tank for $10, knowing how far it’s going to take me and the enjoyment I’ll get out of it. And for the observant ones noting the amount of gas I got, I have an IMS 3.1 gallon tank.
The first bridge I wanted to see was on a road that was closed. Well, I figured I’d see how “closed” it was before just skipping over it. With the recent rains and not running my R wheels with 606s, I was a little hesitant getting too far off the gravel to get around the road block, but I managed to squeeze right through the middle, no problem.
Made it to the bridge without any issues Pretty cool!
There were mounds of dirt on both ends, but no big deal to ride over.
Got a kick out of this:
From there it was miles and miles of nice, gravel roads like this. As you can see above from my Garmin stats, I was able to average around 30mph, but most of the time I felt comfortable going 35-40 on the gravel:
I got to one section that I was a little skeptical about when reviewing it on Google Earth. I couldn’t tell if it was gated or not, so I took a chance to see. I was real glad I found it. It started like this:
But quickly started deteriorating:
I’ve ridden quite a bit of single/double track in the past, so it wasn’t unfamiliar territory. The recent rains made a few sections pretty questionable without my 606s though. In fact at one point I almost got stuck, but just kept pressing on until I made it through. I didn’t think to grab a shot of that section as I was just glad I made it through without having to get all muddy and push her out...
At the end of that section of road, I turned back and saw this sign. It was obviously very old, and from the looks of it, the gate hadn’t been closed in a long time. Oh well, there wasn’t anything indicating it was private on the other end so I didn’t feel too bad about it. This section was one of the highlights of the ride.
More awesome roads:
I saw quite a few bridges on gravel roads that looked like this:
I’m glad the signs were there...wouldn’t have wanted to get too close to the edge of this one!!!
Enroute to my next waypoint I came to this intersection: :)
I kept my camera in the outer pocket of my Wolfman Enduro tank bag, and that worked great. In the past I used my phone, but with it mounted in the case on the bars, it was a pain to take out and put back in every time I stopped.
This bridge was kinda cool. I’m not really “into” bridges, but it did give my ride a purpose of sorts, and gave me something to do and an occasional break.
We’ve had a lot of rain the past couple of weeks, with a real gulley washer this past week. There were obvious signs of that here. If I had been a day or two earlier, I doubt I could have made it through this section. In fact all day I saw signs of recent flooding.
Oh good, another bridge. I’ve always liked one lane bridges for some odd reason.
Notice all the debris:
A little asphalt and then I get to the next bridge. Some of these didn’t really have a place to pull over, but there was very little traffic on these rural roads, so I wasn’t too concerned just parking right along the side.
Lots of muddy water in this river. I guess it’s the Deep Fork River, which, according to Wikipedia, is an Oklahoma tributary of the North Canadian River.
I saw several signs/entrances to the Okmulgee Wildlife Management Area. Supposedly it contains the largest known tracts of old growth Post Oak/Blackjack oaks found anywhere. Also, according to the website, “Many of the area's post oaks are likely over 350 years old, making them some of the oldest trees found East of the Rocky Mountains in North America.” That’s kinda cool.
More miles of this (and the upcoming hill was surprisingly steep!).
Had some nice twisties as I approached the Okmulgee Lake area:
The lake’s spillway was a popular place. Several cars were stopped to take pics and quite a few kids were down playing in the water below:
Arrived at the state park:
Oh yeah.... unfortunately the speed limit was only 25mph, and “enforced by radar”. Didn’t want to take any chances either since there are usually park rangers and such in places like this:
Water level looked pretty high:
Then break time:
Not much, but it hit the spot after a couple hours of riding:
Here’s my navigation setup. Garmin 62s in a RAM mount and iPhone 5 (running the Trapster app), both plugged into power outlets that I installed.
Just a few miles after Okmulgee Lake State Park is Dripping Springs State Park. I didn’t go into the park though since my route had me going west between Okmulgee Lake and the Salt Creek Reservoir just to the south, and I really didn’t have time for the additional miles.
So, quite a few miles into my return route, I was planning to go see an old mission, called “Nuyaka Mission”. It was kind of in the middle of nowhere, on gravel roads, which was perfect for my trip!
No such luck... gate locked:
I had another waypoint for a bridge on the same road up ahead, but just passed a sign stating that the road was closed. Hmm. I figured I would at least take a few pics and check it out.
Notice all the water from the flooding. A nice couple were sitting on the bridge fishing. He said they had been there all day and hadn’t caught a thing. I asked if it was possible to get through up ahead, and he thought so.
So I tried, and of course made it over the obstacles. The other end was similarly blocked, but easy enough to ride around.
I never realized how many abandoned homes there were in rural Oklahoma. I had already seen quite a few that day, so I decided to just take a picture of one. I didn’t go look inside though -- even out in the middle of nowhere it kinda creeped me out:
Saw this interesting place. Looks like there were 2 homes, with similarly shaped buildings, greenhouse, etc.
This wasn’t too far from home, and I’d never seen nor heard about it in the past. Very cool, but I’m not sure why they are building a castle in Keifer, OK. To each his own I guess. And I bet if they have kids, that they love it and have a lot of friends!