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Old 11-21-2013, 01:14 PM   #91
crjdirt
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Awesome pics!

Awesome Oklahoma pics and Santa Fe RR zekester63 I have a picture of my gf sitting on the yellow duck in your pic in front of The Alley Cantina, small world. Some people walked out of the door next to it and hit with the door and looked at her like "what the heck is she doing?" Looks like cool rural-explorations in OK, I hope to explore the area someday
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:32 PM   #92
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Awesome Oklahoma pics and Santa Fe RR zekester63 I have a picture of my gf sitting on the yellow duck in your pic in front of The Alley Cantina, small world. Some people walked out of the door next to it and hit with the door and looked at her like "what the heck is she doing?" Looks like cool rural-explorations in OK, I hope to explore the area someday
Thanks crjdirt. I've been a bit "distracted" with my new VStrom the past few months, so poor Roxy hasn't seen much action lately - at least not worthy of reporting on. There will definitely be more adventures coming though, weather permitting, sooner than later. And then next year, a couple guys and I are planning a trip up from the SF area into CO/UT for about a week. Can hardly wait!
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:18 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by zekester63 View Post
Thanks crjdirt. I've been a bit "distracted" with my new VStrom the past few months, so poor Roxy hasn't seen much action lately - at least not worthy of reporting on. There will definitely be more adventures coming though, weather permitting, sooner than later. And then next year, a couple guys and I are planning a trip up from the SF area into CO/UT for about a week. Can hardly wait!
Aww, I lost my bestest riding buddy to a V-strom last summer (I hope you see this jdmtbiker!). It happens... lol

Not that I'm an expert on CO/ UT riding but drop a line if you guys need any help planning next year. If I can't answer ya I know people that can.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #94
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Thanksgiving Ride

I’ve been a bit remiss in posting any updates for a while, so I thought I’d post a few pics from my ride a couple days ago. Truth be told, I’ve been a bit distracted the past few months with the purchase of a new Suzuki V-Strom 650.




I haven’t given up on Roxy though, and don’t plan to. In fact, I have gone on a few rides the past few months on her and just didn’t take any pictures.

Thanks to the fair weather we’ve had this fall, my riding buddy OKRaider81 and I decided we’d try to get in a little ride over Thanksgiving break. OKRaider81 had the idea to ride out to Appalachia Bay (aka motorcycle island) at Keystone Lake and play around out there a bit. So we made plans and I plotted a route to get there that would avoid as much highway as possible. Since I've been running Roxy in her original configuration with the 17" street/motard wheels, this means I needed to swap over to knobbies. I've got this down to an hour or so now, including swapping the front brake caliper and bleeding the brakes.

So we set out with plans to meet sort of in the middle, near downtown Tulsa. We both arrive at what we think is the right meeting place, and wait for each other to arrive. While waiting, I decided I’d take a few pictures of Owen Park.



Found this interesting piece of history:





Also made a mental note that the Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab is located here as well. I checked out the website later and it looks like something my 8 year old daughter might enjoy.







About 20 minutes after our arranged meeting time, OKRaider texts me asking “U coming?”. I know Owen Park isn’t THAT big, but I looked around again wondering how we could have missed each other. I responded that I was there, and had been for 20 minutes, and wondered where he was. Well, obviously a bit of confusion in where we were to meet, so I headed down the street to our next destination…



Burger House! :



Ah, there he is, hungry and waiting patiently for me to show up!



We ordered and didn’t waste any time scarfing down our burgers (great stuff). Definitely can’t judge the taste of the food based on the appearance of the exterior! I love all the signs and license plates.







The sign above OKRaider81 says it well...



Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures along our route to App Bay, but there was some beautiful countryside north of Sand Springs, and around Shell Lake, that neither of us had seen before or knew existed.

We went as far west as we could on side roads before we finally had to jump onto Highway 412 west to the exit we needed, a couple miles further. We arrived at Appalachia Bay Recreation Area, paid our $3 (per vehicle) day use fee, and headed into the area to play.

For anyone that is familiar with App Bay, it’s a pretty sandy island that is VERY popular with locals and their quads. There is no single track, and it’s not directional either. Being quite overgrown, it’s somewhat daunting to ride with any speed around the numerous blind corners, somewhat expecting a quad to be coming at you WOT. For years we’ve been going to App Bay with our boys and our dirt bikes, but neither of us had ever seen this many people (mostly on quads) there at once. We've also been fortunate that none of us have ever been injured while riding out there.

The water around the island was pretty high, so beach access was somewhat limited. Riding the beaches after a good rain is great fun. We did manage to find some beach though, did some obligatory wheelies, and played around on them and some of the trails throughout the woods for a while.



Once we’d had enough roost and dust from the suicidal youth on quads, we decided to make our way back off the island. After all, we couldn't just load up on a trailer if something happened, and still had to ride these bikes home. We headed over to the campgrounds, but it’s apparently closed for the winter. Here’s a couple shots of the lake from one of the parking lots.





Overall it was a great day. Of course, just about any day out riding is better than not! We headed back east towards Sand Springs, and then went our separate ways home. Good times!

Happy Riding!
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:42 PM   #95
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Osage County Dual Sport Ride

With spring finally here, the urges to get out and ride are strong. Of course with spring, come wind and rain, so it’s not always easy coordinating a time to ride in between work, family obligations and good weather. This forecast for this weekend was looking good though, so Okraider81 and I made some quick plans to go for a dual sport ride.

Our challenge, as usual, is finding areas within reasonable distance of us suitable for such a ride. A while back I had written about a ride where I rode part of the Oklahoma Adventure Trail (OAT). There’s a section of it not too far from us, and I knew we could follow it for a ways on gravel roads. So I made up some GPS tracks for our day to include that, plus investigate some other areas that looked interesting on Google Earth. Some of these areas would be a gamble, as routes that look interesting on Google Earth are often gated or private.

Here’s the route that I mapped out for us:



We agreed to start off our ride with lunch. This time we would try out Ted’s Hamburgers on W Edison St. I had the charburger and fresh onion rings, while Okraider81 opted for the cheeseburger. Highly recommend!!! They were super busy with both walk-in and phoned in orders, so that’s usually a good sign.





If you get here some time, check out the map of Tulsa on the wall. It was pretty interesting. I wish I had taken a more close-up shot of it now.



Okraider81 “giving me the look” as I snapped his photo.



We pressed westward towards Sand Springs on Edison, and veered off into town for a quick gas stop. We backtrack just a bit to get back on the tracks, and head north out of town. We had been the route another time previously, but once again, we really enjoyed the ride and scenery past the golf course, airport and Shell Lake. This was at the dam on Shell Lake:







We wound our way through the countryside taking New Prue Road north. We crossed over the very northeast tip of Keystone Lake and within ½ mile we found our turn to to get on the OAT.
A couple shots while on the OAT:



Remnants of some structure - could it have been a fancy entrance or gate?



We continued north, crossing highway 20 and also the western end of Skiatook Lake. We stopped by Bull Creek recreation area for a quick look-see. It’s a nice, little campground.





From there the OAT heads northeast towards Barnsdall, passing by Birch Lake. There are a couple l campgrounds on this lake, and having camped on the north side of the lake in the past, we decided to see what the other side looked like.





A few miles further we reach Barnsdall, failing to be able to check out an old railroad bridge along the Missour Pacific Railroad that I had spotted on Google Earth, just south of town. Unfortunately there was a locked gated, with what looked like relatively new fence. There were other railroad bridges along the same line I had planned to try and get to, so we’d just have to see how that went later.

We faced yet another fence, on our failed attempt to find a more “interesting” route around Barnsdall. Here’s a shot of how things look on Google Earth, vs the reality of a fence that either isn’t on the map or just not visible. In this case, it’s plainly an outdated image, because the path was not nearly as worn/used as it appears to be on the map - in fact it appeared to not have been used in years. Oh well, it was fun trying. Barnsdall is also where we left the OAT.



A couple shots from Barnsdall. I found it interesting that there was an oil well in the middle of the street.



Jack’s Place has quite an assortment of antiques. If only gas prices were the same now!



Heading south out of Barnsdall we would attempt another route that avoided asphalt, and it was a success! Quite a few miles of gravel roads and pretty countryside.

Low water bridge on Tucker Creek:





My next planned stop was Avant Cemetery, but when we got to the turnoff, there were signs stating it was posted/private property. Not being 100% sure if it meant the property to each side of the road, and seeing an elderly gentleman standing on his back porch watching us like a hawk, we opted to just turn around and press onwards. I should have just asked him if we could ride back in there, but didn’t think of it for some reason. I did this later on the ride concerning a bridge and the fellow was more than happy to tell me that the path ahead was private, but how we could get to it another way.

We rode south into Avant, where I had marked a waypoint for an old bridge I had spotted.







Just before the bridge, we spotted where the abandoned railroad tracks crossed the tiny street we were on. It wasn’t gated or fenced, so we took the opportunity to check it out. Sadly, (no pictures) it appears the town uses the area by the abandoned RR bridge as a local garbage dump as well. That always bothers me when I see that - are people just too lazy or cheap to dispose of their junk properly? Anyway, the bridge was fun to see. All the tracks had been removed.





Hoping to avoid more asphalt, I had routed us west of Avant on Birch Lake Road. This was asphalt, but would get us to another road that would eventually lead us into Skiatook, but on a more interesting route. Along the way I had spotted another abandoned RR bridge, and we were able to ride out to this one as well, although it was quite overgrown.







The same bridge from the road:



Gas and refreshments stop in Skiatook.



We found another old bridge from 1912, that was not in use. To the naked eye it looked better than many other bridges I have crossed before, so I’m not sure why it was closed, unless it was due to the road being routed differently. I suppose it was structurally unsound, and just looked fine.





There was no fence or gate, and it wasn’t posted to keep out, so we rode out on it.





Within a couple minutes of crossing (and turning around because of a gate on the other end of where the road used to approach the bridge), an old man came driving up to us on his tractor. He asked me if my bike was a dual sport, and if those were “super motard” wheels on it. He said he had been riding all his life and was a motorcycle mechanic for over 35 years. Nice guy, but the last thing he said was that we really weren’t supposed to be out there and he didn’t want us “getting hurt”... whatever that meant. I’m sure the bridge wasn’t his, so I really wasn’t sure of his concern, unless he thought we were a couple of hooligans out there getting ready to damage something. We’re both 30+ years past that point in our lives, but I guess he couldn’t tell because we still had our helmets on.

We left and headed towards the last of a couple bridges I had marked on our route, but other than being grated steel (somewhat eerie to ride across), there wasn’t too much to stop for. We did however, both agree that for being a single lane bridge, it was a somewhat daunting, because approaching from either side, you couldn’t see a thing approaching from the opposite direction. This is where Okraider81 was going to part ways and head home, so he planned to just ride out after the next car came by and follow it across. I made my way back to Tulsa, via Sperry and what eventually turns into N Cincinatti St. A few twisties and definitely more interesting than following Highway 11 back into town. I wound my way past Gilcrease Museum, through downtown Tulsa, and finally south towards my end of town.

It was a great day of riding - couldn’t have asked for better temperatures. It was also a rare day with virtually no wind.

Trip stats:



Happy Riding!
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:45 AM   #96
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COOL! Thanks for keeping the report going. Been a long winter this year.
Randy
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:10 AM   #97
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Clayton Lake, K-Trail and More...

Stay tuned: Clayton Lake, K-Trail and More...
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:13 AM   #98
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Clayton Lake, K-Trail and More…

A couple years has passed since I have had the opportunity to ride down in southeast Oklahoma, so Okraider81 and I finally had the chance to plan a weekend. Our plan was to camp and base our rides from Clayton Lake State Park, which is right in the heart of some awesome dual sport riding areas. We have ridden parts of K-Trail a few times in the past, but never all the way from Clayton to Three Sticks Monument, so this was one of our primary rides to get in.

We had planned to ride down, but the more we thought about it, the more we realized that the reality of the drone from knobbies on asphalt for 3+ hours would get pretty old, and it would just be easier to haul them down. The forecast was good for Saturday, but severe storms were predicted for Sunday, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect, and decided just to play it by ear. Hauling the bikes down also gave us a safer “out”, in case storms rolled in sooner than forecasted.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:14 AM   #99
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Day 1

We both had Friday afternoon off, so we headed out, hoping to get camp set up and get in a little ride before it got too late. We had GPS tracks for the whole weekend, so there were plenty of options for us. We arrived to find only a few people in the whole campground, so we found a nice spot by some running water and set up camp.







With a few hours of daylight left, we decided to head out on a little ride, exploring some of the areas to the SE of Clayton Lake. We weren’t sure how far we could get, but we had some tracks and would just ride until it started getting late, and then just turn back towards camp.

We headed out from camp to Highway 144, turning east past Nashoba, then turned south onto Nolia Loop. We followed that for a while, turning onto Watson Creek Rd, which apparently is also (or turns into) Paul Stevens Trail. A few more turns and county roads and we found ourselves in the metropolis of Pickens, Oklahoma. There were several places that had fallen trees across the trail, so we weren’t making as good of time as we had anticipated. Our ride ended up being about 60 miles, but it was a lot of fun.

One of the things we noticed was that southeast OK is definitely not lacking in water, unlike other parts of the state. Everywhere there was supposed to be water, there was plenty.



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Old 05-12-2014, 11:16 AM   #100
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The roads/trails were really great riding:







Although the water hasn’t come over the road, you can see that there is plenty of water in the creek:



Okraider81’s DRZ, aka QE2:




These trails are exactly why we drive 3 hours to ride. There’s nothing even close to this near home.



We ran into several obstacles, but we managed to get past all of them. I wouldn’t recommend taking a big, shiny, bike there though, unless you don’t mind it getting scratched.









More awesome riding:







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Old 05-12-2014, 11:20 AM   #101
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We got back to camp, started a campfire, made some dinner and sat around the fire for a while, enjoying the cool, quiet evening with the sounds of the creek and water running over the low water bridge nearby.







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Old 05-12-2014, 11:27 AM   #102
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Day 2 - Part I:

After making some breakfast, our first order of business this morning was to top off our tanks in Clayton. Fortunately there are 2 convenient stores there, as one of them appeared to be closed (we discovered later when driving home that it was closed then as well, so we’re assuming it is out of business). On our way into town we noticed a group of Toyota 4x4s gathered at a local restaurant, two of which were brand spanking new 4-Runners, lifted and loaded, that had camped a few spots over at Clayton Lake that night as well. We didn’t know their plans, but assumed there were plenty of roads/trails they could explore in the local area.

We headed back out of Clayton to the south about 2.5 miles to find the turn-off that headed to Clayton Trail, which is supposedly the main access to K-Trail, as there are now gates on K-Trail that prevent access from Highway 271.

Along the way we saw this place - immaculately manicured, by ma and pa, who had been out the day before on 2 riding lawn mowers to mow all this acreage. I think a few goats or horses would be cheaper and easier though…



Not sure what this used to be, but this is where the turn-off to K-Trail is located:



Clayton Trail was another 2.5 miles from Hwy 271, so about 5 miles total from downtown Clayton. Here’s a few shots from along the way:











Much to our surprise, we met the Toyota 4x4 club along Clayton Trail. Although none of these pictures show it, I can tell you that I’d never take a new truck on this trail, especially if it were my primary means of transportation! There was no way they would not come out of this excursion without scratches from the overhanging branches, let alone the carnage from the trail that was highly likely. There were several technical areas, but on 2 wheels it’s fairly easy to pick a line. It’s obviously not the same in a 4-wheeled vehicle. Not long after passing the Toyota group, we met another group in a variety of different 4x4s - Jeeps, Pickups, etc. We didn’t stop to talk, but our main question was how far did they plan to go? There weren’t many options on that trail that we were aware of until you get to Indian Highway, which was about 15 miles up the trail.

Our bikes in their natural habitat:









Signs of things to come for the next few hours.







There has been some discussion in other threads about whether K-Trail is big bike friendly or not. All I can say is that I’d never take anything bigger than a true dual sport bike (maybe 650 and smaller), and leave the big ADV bikes at home. Sure, there are always those will superior skills on the big bikes, and it would be possible, but it’s definitely not something I’d want to do. Much of it would be ok, but it’s the few technical areas that would make it a real pain to have a big, heavy bike.
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:30 AM   #103
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Along the way there were several cabins, which wasn’t that surprising, but there were also 2 busses that had been parked there. How in the world did they get these things up there?





Slow - Pet-Pig Crossing:




I wouldn’t recommend K-Trail if you’re looking for a nice, smooth trail. This picture is very representative of the trail.



More mud - so far the bikes were still fairly clean, but this didn’t last much longer:










Fun times ahead:







The only good snake is a dead snake, but we left this guy alone:



Unless you’re familiar with southeast Oklahoma, you wouldn’t think you were still in Oklahoma when riding in this area:





Obligatory fire tower shot:



42 miles later from the start - Three Sticks Monument on Highway 259 - trailhead for K-trail:

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Old 05-12-2014, 11:35 AM   #104
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Day 2 - Part II

Once we arrived at Three Sticks, realizing we still had a long day ahead of us, we decided to jump on the highway. Okraider81 has been wanting to find the gravestones of ancestors buried near Mena, AR, so we headed that way.

We arrive at Rocky Cemetery, the place that Okraider81 had been told that his ancestor’s gravesites were located.



Rocky Methodist Church - ragged on the outside, but looking in through the windows it appears that they might still hold weekly services there.



Unfortunately we searched and searched and couldn’t find the gravestones. After we got home Okraider81 found out that there was actually another cemetery a few miles further west (that we had passed), where his ancestors were actually buried. The information he had been originally given was incorrect. Bummer.

Our consolation prize for not finding the gravesites was a great lunch waiting for us at Papa’s Mexican Cafe in Mena.

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Old 05-12-2014, 11:45 AM   #105
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By now it was nearly mid afternoon, and we had over 85 miles to get back to camp, most of which would be gravel, county or forestry/BLM roads, which means we would probably only average 25-30mph at best, plus stopping to smell the roses along the way. It ended up being an awesome afternoon of fairly easy riding (vs the 3 hours of somewhat technical, and very rough riding on K-Trail).

Not far out of Mena we were riding on a really nice, country road - a surprisingly beautiful area following parts of the Mountain Fork river:



Lots of water...







We stopped by the old jail in Smithville, OK:







Not the nicest accommodations for a prisoner:



The next hours were some really great riding. We didn’t see a single vehicle for at least an hour.



Our tracks crossed several other, more travelled, roads:



Now we’re talking:









Suddenly our trail ended, being blocked by a row of rocks. We realized this was planned, so we didn't try to go around them to see what lies ahead. Time to get get on the Garmin and re-route - all good training for bigger and better trips coming later this year.



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