2.20.2014

El Reno to Fort Smith, Arkansas via Clinton, Oklahoma

The heavens above our cabin in Oklahoma were filled with alabaster white clouds and powder-blue horizons; the grass in the front yard of our cabin was weighed down with dew. Our steads were still corralled together as we packed them up; each rider caught between cheerful banter and focused silence as we tighten straps or made other adjustments. Wes had an adventure to pursue and would be parting ways with us; instead of seeing four headlights behind me, I would only see three. Us remaining four would head west to Clinton, Oklahoma to their Route 66 museum before turning east for Fort Smith, Arkansas. All of us wished Wes the best, took a few group pictures before he roared east to the Volunteer State and us, west almost to Texas.
The ride west to Clinton was smooth and scenic but my thoughts were on Wes and how he would be faring on his solo adventure.
Clinton was not too far away.  We dropped into Clinton about two miles short of the museum. However, that served as an opportunity to see some old sights from days gone by...
We arrived at the museum a little early but that just gave us an opportunity to enjoy a popular restaurant located with in a local hotel.  I was skeptical.  However, the lady working the front desk of the museum recommended it. Without much hassle, we found the place. The place was small but full of locals and not so local; I think we may have been seated in the favorite table that 'belonged' to a group of regulars. However, it pays to travel with a rock-star...
...The food was good! Without any more awkwardness we enjoyed our food and went back over to the museum...




This museum was top notch! My compadres and I still had a long ride east to Fort Smith so we bid the nice lady at the desk adieu, rode past some French motorcyclist, made our way out onto OK 152, and rode it east most of the afternoon until we hit the Canadian River.
OK 152 is pretty straight, secluded and level!
We got turned around and slightly disorientated between Norman and Moore. I figured out where we needed to be and how to get there; there being OK 9. The afternoon was on the hot side, but we managed to deal with the heat. As we continued east, the landscape became bumpy and green. The green foliage was accentuated by the sinking sun. Crossing over Lake Eufala was especially pleasant...
As the heat of the day settled with the sun, we moved even closer to our destination. Our steads needed to be watered so we stopped. A friendly conversation at the fuel pump with a resident of Haskell County produced a tip for dinner: the Eaton Hole over in Stigler. A few miles down the line we were told, "...you guys need to eat there!" Always willing to try a local recommendation, we stopped there for dinner. Unfortunately, Ken was feeling cruddy and sat dinner out. Our meals were excellent; we did eat like kings! Ken rebounded and joined us at the table.
 The rest of the evening was spent riding forward into Arkansas; squadrons of winged insects plastered Ole Girl and I as I tried to navigate in the dark with my headlamp around my neck. I managed to get us turned around a few times while trying to reach our campground. However, JT, Ken and Wyatt were very patient and understanding-thank you guys! We managed to locate the Ft. Smith KOA, and thankfully they had our campsite information for us despite arriving late in the night. As if it was not enough to ride around in circles around Ft. Smith, I almost rode off the side of an incline next to our tent area! Wow! I was spent like a link from a 240 Gulf!

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