Next morning we were on the road by 7 am. It was a beautiful morning and at the first stop RVsparky reflected on how it does not matter how long you rode the last day or how tired you were the morning rides are always the best. We finally get south of Elgin after having taken a nice small paved roads for a few miles.
Then probably the best part of the ride began, we are in open ranch country and cattle gate after cattle gate we enjoy the scenery. It is green, not windy and not hot yet quite the contrast with out west where RVsparky is coming from, he is having a blast!
We make it through a few creeks, rock bottom creeks.
While we do not make any progress going west, neither of us regret the ride as we went through amazing scenery.
We stopped for a while regroup in Foraker and stopped by a couple of old rail road cars that are used to store hay.
we decide to head north and try just about every road that goes west until we get close enough to Cedar Vale that we decide to go and get gas.
We see some remains of some old bridge or pipeline bridge above a small creek
We end up for lunch in Newkirk OK. This town is on the TAT and people of the town are proud of it, at least 4 or 5 persons ask us if we are doing the TAT and all have story to tell us about some riders that they talked to in the past. As we leave from lunch RVsparky rear is flat and mine is making the characteristic sound ofgetting ready to get there too. So he wipe out his tools and in no time we are back on the road. It sure would have taken us a lot longer had we had to take the wheels off to replace a tube...
As we keep on going west, it keeps on getting drier and drier, wind is blowing at a pretty good clip and it is starting to get hot.
As we cross 35 highway, we decide to stop at a gas station to cool down and for a drink. We are tossing the idea of maybe giving up this tour idea and going back to the flint hills where it is green and the riding good. We have both ridden quite a bit out west and knowing that we'd see more variety if we stay East. Regardless, the weather makes the decision for us as they forecast some severe thunderstorms the next day. So we decide to head west but to make time we jump on pavement. The ride actually ended up interesting as we were leaning all the way into the wind. There were places where I could not see RVsparky bike ahead of me because the dust was blowing so bad and at one point I almost went off the road as it was raining on us a and a wind gust used my panniers as a sail to move me around.
We get to Elkhart just as the sun starts to head down, it was a pretty long day.