Tuesday, September 3, 2013

07/31/13

     We slept in a bit but were still away from the cabin and gassing up before 8am. Everyone was well rested and in good spirits. Its kind of crazy, as hard as we have been pushing ourselves morning to night everyone is still eager to get the miles in.
     Our destination was Bridgeport and Old Bridgeport, a couple ghost towns just a few miles away from our site. Apparently some citizens got in a dispute over the town's water tower and a group splintered off in to a new town. We thought we had our bearings but as ghost towns usually don't have signage, we had to ask for directions here and there. We finally found the water tower and a few old structures, namely the post office. There were empty foundations on either side. These old towns are pretty cool to find when you can. I always wonder what happened and why they didn't make it.    
      We headed into Hilton for a bite to eat. As we discovered, outside of fried food at either of the town's two gas stations, Hilton doesn't have much to offer. We chose the station with the better options and we ate. I had a meal I deemed "the border jumper:" a bean burrito with marinara sauce and an egg roll with strawberry and grape jelly. It helped curb my Chinese craving so I was good with it.
     Our next stop was the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. This was a real mind blower. There were all kinds on local animals roaming free and minimal infrastructure. It was just about as close to the wild as you can get. An added bonus, these were easily the best roads we had ridden yet. A start contrast to the flat, straight roads Oklahoma is known for, these roads were curvy and rose and fell. The pairing made for outstanding riding.
     We stopped at the visitors center and got some laughs and good info and decided to trek up Mount Scott. This was the highest elevation in the reserve and easily the high point of my trip so far. I was already feeling closer to the land and the views made me feel just how big and beautiful our country is. I did a little boulder hopping despite my fear of heights and could have spent hours up there. There was no shade and I was getting hot as were my companions so we made the ride back down.

    




A couple in our party needed some parts, oil, etc so we headed to the HD dealer in Lawton. This is a quality dealer with a friendly, helpful staff. They got us hooked up with what we needed, despite some stocking issues. The parts guy, Hammer, sat with us for a while and made a great recommendations for dinner. Sam's Soul Food and BBQ, housed in an old Pizza Hut, had excellent, ribs, hot links and brisket. Nobody left hungry.





     It was getting late and had been a full day. We were still a good stretch from the KOA. We still opted for the killer back roads vs the interstate. There was something about these small towns and Indian reservations we ran through that was too good to pass up. Outside the towns were we able to run at a good speed. The sun retreated to the west and us to our cabin. We made it in with just enough light left to see. After settling in we sat on our porch and talked for a few hours, enjoying group reflection and planning the rides and routes for the next day.

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