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Old 06-10-2008, 08:41 AM   #151
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The next morning... guess who we're staying next to?







It's the law... let's get outta here, Bonnie!

Kiowa by day:







Back on the TAT...



And whoosh, she's gone

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:59 AM   #152
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Sunday May 11th

Mother's day, I believe.

We transitioned from the prairie to the high plains. Our goal was to make it to Liberal KS, at the start of the panhandle, and then spend the whole next day resting and doing bike maintenance. We started the day tired and sore. But at least the wind had died down overnight.



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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:12 AM   #153
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It was fascinating to travel across the land at ground level.



The topography started to change, not slowly, or subtly... but all of a sudden.







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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:15 AM   #154
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Transition

If you look at the map of the US, check out the transition from green to brown at the eastern side of the Oklahoma panhandle:



This is what that looks like at ground level:



I mean, we really perceived it.
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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:18 AM   #155
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Prairie / farm gives way to ranch / range







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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:20 AM   #156
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Rest stop

Where we could climb up a little rise and get a lay of the land.











You need trusty steeds in cowboy country

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space

DR. Rock screwed with this post 06-10-2008 at 09:44 AM
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:28 AM   #157
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Passing through open ranges

A little ranch homestead:







Bigger and bigger herds of cattle...



Scared the shit out of this one:






As we progressed west,



they became less and less inclined to move off of the road:

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:31 AM   #158
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It really feels like we're in a Western:



This sort of confirms it:







A good tree for hangin' the bad guys:

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:32 AM   #159
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This story ROCKS!
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:38 AM   #160
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Great report
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:12 AM   #161
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:18 AM   #162
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Scenes from the trail

An old church:





We crossed the Cimarron River. I had read a little bit about the history of the Santa Fe trail, and the Cimarron cutoff -- faster, but with the risk of no water availability.

From Wikipedia:
"Historically, the Santa Fe Trail branched southward from the Arkansas to the Cimarron. One branch was known as the Cimarron Cutoff, and another, the Aubry Cutoff. The lack of water along the Cimarron Cutoff route from the Arkansas to the Cimarron led American traders and travelers to call the area the "Cimarron Desert". Mexican traders called it the "Jornada del Muerte" (Journey of Death)."



While I was planning our route from the point where we deviate from the TAT to get down to Albuquerque, I noted that in the GPS database, the Santa Fe trail appears as a dotted line, as if it's a regular dirt road. Unfortunately, I coldn't find anything corresponding on GoogleEarth satellite images. A little digging revealed the historic nature of the Santa Fe trail, and that it doesn't really exist, except for visible ruts carved into the earth from years of covered wagons getting stuck in mud. (Actually visible on GoogleEarth if you increase the elevation topography amplitude, and tilt the viewing angle -- very cool)

I was excited to be in this part of the country. We were covering about 200-300 miles in a full day. Wagon trains were lucky to make 10.

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:30 AM   #163
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No Man's Land

The Oklahoma panhandle has an interesting history. It seems it was orphaned and abandoned in the western land grab era. Again, from Wikipedia:

"When Texas sought to enter the Union in 1845 as a slave state, federal law in the United States based on the Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery North of 36°30' parallel north. Under the Compromise of 1850 , Texas surrendered its lands north of 36°30' latitude. The 170-mile strip of land was thus left with no formal territorial ownership. It was officially called the "Public Land Strip" and was more commonly referred to as "No Man's Land."The Compromise of 1850 also established the eastern boundary of New Mexico Territory at the 103rd meridian, thus setting the western boundary of the strip. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 set the southern border of Kansas Territory as the 37th parallel. This became the northern boundary of No Man's Land."



I'm not sure all that much has changed... it is desolate and remote.



Shade is a commodity. There aren't many communities...





Just antelope: (look close)



And open road... that's sand, pin it, baby! :

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:42 AM   #164
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Push to Liberal

This was supposed to be an easier day after yesterday's long slog in the wind. Well, for the most part, we were on packed gravel / dirt:



Rest stop



And we could wick it up a bit





But as the day wore on, we started to get into more and more sand, and the wind picked up, and we (I) underestimated how far we had to go to get to Liberal.





This was the mental aspect of the trip, and can't be underestimated. Look, I'm not complaining, but we were tired, sore, hungry, sun-baked, wind-burned, and just wanted to get there.

We had started the day saying that if we couldn't make it all the way to Liberal that we would just stop and get there in the morning. At a certain point, though, it became clear that there wasn't really any convenient place to stop, and we were committed to getting all the way there.



And this was in fair weather... imagine if it had been raining, or cold, or sweltering hot... yikes.

Right here is about where I got yelled at, followed by the silent treatment for claiming we'd be there in 20 miles, 30 miles ago when we actually had about 50 to go....



"HOW MUCH MORE OF THIS SAND IS THERE????

MY SHOULDER IS KILLING ME!!!"
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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:51 AM   #165
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Home for the next 36 hours

So from among the half dozen or so motels, we pick this one randomly.



For $35/night, it seems clean enough,



Let's see what we can get done the rest of the afternoon...



Our riding stats... what's interesting is that we still covered almost 200 miles in about 2/3's of a day riding... this was more than we did most days in Nova Scotia... We're starting to get acclimated to riding hard. But after 7 straight days of this, we need a break.

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"I came into this game for the action, the excitement; go anywhere, travel light... get in, get out... wherever there's trouble, a man alone... Now they got the whole country sectioned off; you can't make a move without a form." --Robert De Niro as Archibald 'Harry' Tuttle in Brazil, 1985. The Mobius Trip index | Spot tracking live 4/18-5/4/13 | AdventureLoft™ Tent Space
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