Day 4 – Miles for Peace Motorcycle Adventure –
For the last few days we seem to have a tendency to get a late start. To be specific, we are packed up just as the maid comes knocking on the door (if we’re in a motel, and today was no different. When the attendant came, not only we were not completely ready but after lugging out our two Wolfman Rocky Mountain Saddle Bags filled to the gills with stuff (easily 50lbs) to the curb, we have to finish packing out gear which is now sitting on the hot asphalt. Can’t say it was the best way to start the morning but it will have to do.
Just as we are about to leave, a guy by the name of Shawn Bradley strikes up a conversation with us about riding and our final destination. After finishing, he returns once again with a red baseball cap on his hand and gives it to me. Shocked, I look at weathered baseball cap and read the words “have a safe trip – Shawn Bradley – Arkansas – Go Hogs.” Just before departing, for the second time, I wave to him through the tinted window of his black pickup as he’s pulling away. I look over at Sigga and say “only in the west,” meaning that I genuinely doubt (I’m actually pretty sure) that not a single person in any big american city would do such a thing.
Somewhere between Arkansas and Oklahoma, we decide to stop to rest our sore bottoms and backs, both of which are doing their best to get used to this seating arrangement. Pulling off the highway we see a resturaunt called Cowboy Corner with a large sign advertising all types of unique delicacies. As I read the menu, every dish reinforces the fact we are in the South, especially the “Fried Gator.” Just as I start to read the menu in my best southern twang to assume myself a man in a red pickup pulls up and asks what year the bike is. I say 2010 and he sounds genuinely surprised saying it looks like an old 76′ Triumph. We share a few stories and I ask him if his seat was also uncomfortable, he says “oh hell yeah.” Just before he departs he extends his weathered hand outside of the cab and offers a shake while saying “keep the sunny side up.”
Passing Oklahoma and on our way to the KOA in Elk City, we have been trying to outrun these dark clouds but our number has some up and they stay to dump on us. I hunker down and grip the handlebars tighter to compensate for the pain of rain drops hitting my hand at 75mph. I don’t particularly hate riding in the rain, especially if I have a dry layer somewhere in my saddlebag but the feeling of wetness slowly permeating my shoes and the crotch of my pants (oddly enough) is something that I can do without. After about 20 minutes, I could wiggle my toes in what now appears to be a small lake that formed in the toe boxes of both shoes. I also feel a steady stream of water leaking down my upper thigh and into my nether regions. With every drop of natures torture, I’m looking at the clouds hoping that I can ride to the edge of this storm. After about 45 minutes and only about 6 miles from the Elk City KOA, it happens; the clouds retreat and blue sky punches through, with a ray of sunshine warming both myself and the road.