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Old 08-19-2008, 11:10 AM   #1
OldSchoolMike OP
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Cool2 Lost In Tulsa - A KTM attends the IBA National Meet

Last Thursday morning I left my home in the middle of the Dallas / Fort Worth metromess to attend the Iron Butt Association National Meet in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was to be my first ride of any distance on my new 2008 KTM 990 Adventure and I was anxious to see if replacing my KLR and my R1150RT with the Adventure was going to work out.

Here's my bike warming up before the start

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Old 08-19-2008, 11:16 AM   #2
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Slowin' down

Like most of us, I've ridden right past far too many interesting places because I was intent on the destination instead of concentrating on enjoying the journey. On this trip I had a full day to ride and Tulsa was only 300 miles away. I was determined to slow down, see things, learn things, and enjoy the ride.

Here's the first stop. I have ridden past this courthouse in Marietta, Oklahoma many times. By stopping and taking a breather I learned that it was the first courthouse built in Oklahoma after Oklahoma became a state.



Some of you may not know that Oklahoma achieved statehood in 1907 - not really that long ago. My grandfather's birth certificate states that he was born in 1900 in Sallisaw, I.T. (Indian Territory)
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:20 AM   #3
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Way down yonder...

When I was a little kid, my grandfather (not the Sallisaw one - this was my mother's dad) used to sing a song that went,

Way down yonder in the Indian Nation
Riding my pony was an occupation
In those Oklahoma hills where I was born...

Whenever I start seeing these Oklahoma hills (these are on OK43, east of Stringtown) I think of that song and of my grandfather. It's kind of nice...

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Old 08-19-2008, 11:25 AM   #4
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Seeing some mountains

The scenery in the eastern Oklahoma mountains is pretty nice and the roads are mostly in good shape. The mountains aren't high (they're very old) but there are these rugged rock outcroppings (some over 100 feet high) and lots and lots of trees of various types, both hardwoods and softwoods.





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Old 08-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #5
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Interesting...
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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Veterans Colony

In southeastern Oklahoma, south of Wilburton (in the Winding Stairs Mountains) is the United Spanish War Veterans Colony.

From the United Spanish War Veterans Colonization Project, Inc. info package cover letter:

"The colony lies on 800 acres in the beautiful Winding Stairs mountains in southeastern Oklahoma. ... The colony was founded in 1933 to provide home sites for Oklahoma's Spanish-American War Veterans. The offer has been extended over the years to include any veteran that was on active duty, during any foreign war or conflict declared by the US Government. ... The Colony is a private non-profit organization. There are no property taxes...The government owns no part of it. No businesses are allowed on the Colony. There has never been any assessments or dues to shareholders."

Pretty cool, huh?









There's a nice park with a big pavilion building at the entrance to the Colony. It makes a nice quiet peaceful rest stop.
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Old 08-19-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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Thumb Robber's Cave

Further up the road, in the Sanbois Mountains, lies Robber's Cave State Park, a 5,000 acre preserve built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There is a 80-acre lake, a lodge-style nature center, a restaurant, a snack bar, miniature golf, camping and more. Another nice spot for a break.







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Old 08-19-2008, 11:49 AM   #8
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Laugh A dam nice ride to lunch

Continuing north, Oklahoma 100 crosses the dam at Tenkiller Reservoir



and intersects with Oklahoma 82, a swoopy entertaining road through the Cookson Hills which leads to the Cookson Smokehouse - they cook better than they spell



Here's the proof! The hotlink sandwich is a bargain at $4.99 and even better when paired with the hot BBQ sauce and some onion rings

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Old 08-19-2008, 11:50 AM   #9
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Nice...

I grew up in Tulsa and love eastern OK. I haven't been down that way in quite a long time. Gonna hafta' load up the Strom and do a little tour.

Thanks for the inspiration and great photos.

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Old 08-19-2008, 12:03 PM   #10
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Gettin' my kicks...

Since I'm a bit of a Route 66 buff, I decided to take a slight detour up Oklahoma 10 (which curves along and follows the Illinois Scenic River) to the Kansas/Oklahoma/Missouri borders to try to find some original Route 66 pavement and attractions.

This is painted on the pavement of an old section of Route 66 in Kansas


It doesn't take too long to see everything that's left in Kansas. Kansas only had 13.2 miles of Route 66.


I found this cool bridge near Baxter Springs, Kansas


I've stopped before at "The Cafe On The Route" in Baxter Springs, Kansas after seeing it on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives". It was very disappointing and not very clean, so I skipped it this trip.

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Old 08-19-2008, 12:06 PM   #11
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Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nada de lujo
Nice...

I grew up in Tulsa and love eastern OK. I haven't been down that way in quite a long time. Gonna hafta' load up the Strom and do a little tour.

Thanks for the inspiration and great photos.

Tulsa is a great small city and eastern Oklahoma has some teriffic scenery and entertaining riding. The more I explore the more I find !
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:18 PM   #12
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Eek Seeing the devastation

Heading back into Oklahoma on Route 66 brought me to Picher, where a F4 tornado virtually leveled the town last May, killing 6 people. Picher is in the heart of mining country and the lead and zinc extraction left huge piles of rubble, called chat. When I was a kid, we rode Honda XL250s over miles and miles of these huge chat piles. There were sinkholes, some as much as 1/4 mile across, that riders got into and couldn't get out of. It seemed that every year a rider or two would get trapped in a sinkhole and die.









Look closely at the face of the chat pile in the last photo. The erosion was a result of the tornado (all the other chat piles are smooth and round) which means that tons of this sharp-edged chat were being blown around by the 100+ mph winds! I can't imagine what that must have been like.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #13
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Better days

A bit further down the road is the small town of Afton, OK, home of Afton Station Route 66 Packards (www.postcardsfromtheroad.net/afton.shtml).



Unfortunately, Mrs. Kane was not available that day to show me her collection of Packards, but the building restoration looks great and is something Afton sorely needed.





Unfortunately, some of the Route 66 "survivors" have not fared so well


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Old 08-19-2008, 12:30 PM   #14
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Another bridge

Near Chelsea is this great old (1926) bridge over Pryor Creek. It's hard to imagine that this bridge was on one of the nation's busiest highways. Look how narrow it is

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Old 08-19-2008, 12:40 PM   #15
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It is very nice country
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