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50 States, Day 334

Oklahoma City to Weatherford,  207 Miles

"We are all born originals--why is it so many of us die copies?"
~Edward Young

We finally rode the back roads once again, with ranch land and farms extending to the horizons, and an occasional oil well pumping away. A bit cold in the morning, but by afternoon we tossed the sweat shirts. However the wind never let up, our only relief riding northbound, the wind at our backs. 

We visited Mount Scott in the Wichita National Wildlife Preserve. And we did see wildlife; prairie dogs, buffalo, range cattle, and a couple dogs riding in a pickup.  

Mount Scott jutted above the generally flat state of Oklahoma, a huge outcrop of orange granite, the view from it tremendous. To the south, a flash and puff of dust. Ten seconds later, 'Boom!' What the frack was that? That's right, fracking. 

They put off shots around the drill location to fracture the ground and get the oil to seep to the drill, a much more efficient method of extraction. Another half dozen blasts occurred, and I counted to ten from when I saw it to when the boom arrived. And thanks to Josh, who works on the oil fields, for explaining it to me.  

The Wichita Mountains roads twisted and wound, even the farm roads couldn't go straight but zigged and zagged left and right. The mountains loomed, each bearing different and interesting clusters of granite, as scrub brush struggled to grow between them. 

Out of the mountains again and graceful windmills rotated, generating power- but where were the power lines? Must be underground. And another question; we saw oil derricks pumping away, but no sign of storage. Do they pump it underground to a storage area? That's another thing we pondered as the landscape passed by.

When the ride got mundane, we shared ideas for a short story for the '50 Stories in 50 States' anthology. We bounced ideas off one another and came up with a story involving wind mills, cattle, and federal law. Should be fun. Stay tuned. 

We arrived in Weatherford and debated: Go to Elk City, or stop here? QG thought we should stop, so stop we did, at the Scottish Inn, and personally, the clerk looked more like an Eastern Indian than a Scotsman, and not a kilt to be found. 
And now, the Weatherford Wonder, Quilter Girl!

We had been told about the ride up Mt. Scott by a couple of Oklahoma bikers in Fredericksburg, so we put it on the list.  Our original thought was to go from Oklahoma City as a day trip, but it was west, the way we were headed.  Also it was 70 miles from Oklahoma City, a bit far for a day trip.  It has also turned out to be a good break for the trip to Amarillo.  I-44 goes straight from Moore to Lawton, but was a toll road so we got a bit creative.  We took 37 west to 81, south to 9/62 west, then 62 south to 49, which goes through the wildlife preserve.  Whew!  We didn't get lost once.  We originally intended to head for Lawton/Ft. Sill for the night, but it was only 2 when we were done and there were some marked scenic routes on the way to Weatherford, which made the decision easy.  That route was easy, 115 north through the Wichita Mountains and lots of farmland.  The road was just the way Kevin likes it, very curvy with 20 mph turns.
Amarillo tomorrow, but first there is a quilt store in town, hmm.


And in spite of being a bit cold and windy, Oklahoma did not match the horror stories we heard in Florida, complete with ice storms and tornadoes. Much milder now, thank God. 

Tomorrow we visit Amarillo, Texas, the home of Terry Burns, my agent and his lovely wife Saundra. See you then. 


Mel said...

Love the pics of the huge outcrop of orange rock that you've obviously taken for granite... beautiful!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

A rockin' good place.