Big day today as we headed out of Fort Smith, over the Arkansas River and into Oklahoma in beautiful weather. A really nice ride through to Checotah, again crossing the Arkansas River then across a narrow part of Lake Eufuala. This is a massive lake fed mainly by the North Canadian and Canadian Rivers. About here we ran into very strong head and cross winds from an incoming cold front which stayed with us all day until just short of our overnight stop at Shamrock, Texas. No fun riding on a lean to the left all day but we travelled right across the State of Oklahoma..
Into Oklahoma City, mainly for a look at the Oklahoma Land Run Monument. For those not aware of what this was, basically it was a way to allow anyone a chance to claim a parcel of land just released for settlement. I've included a picture outlining it. This has featured in a couple of old movies so some of us may be aware of it. Anyway, this is a magnificent sculpture. The length of the setting is hard to comprehend from the photos so I've included quite a few. The full sculpture incorporates a creek crossing as well. The actual sculptures are larger than life and as you stand near them, you can easily imagine the thunder of hooves and believe that you are about to be charged down. Very dramatic and moving.
From Oklahoma it was a long run in the wind, only stopping for fuel and a look through an Indian Trading Post, to the State border at Texola then on to Shamrock, Texas for the night. I don't know the full history of the place but they seem to have or believe strongly in their Irish heritage or it's just because someone called the place Shamrock. The place looks like St Patrick's Day in Brisbane, the local sports ground is branded "The Home of the Fighting Irish", and they even claim to have a piece of stone from Blarney Castle in Ireland. These small towns along here all have a history to display in regard to their role on the old and famous Route 66.
This afternoon's ride also took us past some very large wind farms and the towers were working overtime with the wind blowing the way it was. As we neared the border, we were hearing reports of a tornado watch near Oklahoma City. This seems to have been changed to a thunder storm warning tonight.
Hoping for fine weather tomorrow.
607 klms today, total to date 11,241 klms. .