September 24, 2003 GMT
DAY 21

Woodward, Oklahoma, to Ada, Oklahoma

262 miles

5117 total miles

We neglected yesterday to tell you about our dinner on the night of Day 20. It was our great fortune to stumble onto a motel that boasts the chef who won the Woodward, Oklahoma, catfish cooking competition three years running. Bo thinks it was the best catfish he had ever tasted, with the exception of that served by Country & Western Restaurant in Camden, Tennessee. Your travelers do know how to live!

Now is also a good time for us to go over a few trip stats. Day 21 marked a couple of milestones: we've been on the road for three weeks and we've driven over 5,000 miles. While riding our bikes 20 of the previous 21 days, we have averaged 256 miles per riding day. Less than 175 miles of this trip have been on interstate highways. Prior to this legendary 21 day march through the west, we had never driven more than two 200 mile days in a row. For two newbies, we feel pretty good about our endurance. We've growing just cocky enough to be intolerable to those with real motorcycle experience.

Let's get back to Day 21.

We began the day by cleaning our bikes. Miles of dust, tar, bugs and other road stuff had turned our gleaming steeds into rather unsightly things. The night before we had raided the mega-superstore across the street in search of cleaning implements. In the aisles of Walmart we discovered a new trend in consumer product packaging: pouch-filled wipes. Once the sole province of baby's bottom, wipes are now made for cleaning practically everything. We found wipes specially made for cleaning windshields, wheels, leather and painted metal. We literally wiped our bikes clean. It was inspiring in a modern, consumer sort of way.

No Bad Dogs!

We mounted our gleaming two-wheelers and continued on our voyage. After the desolate solitude of the Oklahoma Panhandle, the drive from Woodward to Oklahoma City was a small relief. Rather than 60 miles of nothingness punctuated by an occasional town, we now enjoyed 30 miles of nothingness punctuated by an occasional town. We don't want to be unkind, but this part of the country just ain't no fun.

It must be big bug season in Oklahoma. To ease the growing boredom, we often communicated back and forth to relay the size and color of the latest monster bug to smash into our helmet shields.

We soon reached the outskirts of Oklahoma City, where our trip odometers showed that we had attained the magic 5,000 mile point. We had originally planned to visit the National Cowboy Museum and the Oklahoma City National Memorial. We know you're disappointed, but time constraints precluded a visit to the Cowboy Museum.

We did visit the Memorial and it made a powerful impression. The memorial honors the victims, survivors and rescuers of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing that took place on April 19, 1995. We spent two hours there, visiting the outside memorial and the chronological, self-guided tour inside the Memorial Center Museum. Among the the many touching things we saw was the Field of Empty Chairs. The 168 bronze, stone and glass chairs, one for each victim, were made in two sizes; large for adults and small for the children. There were 19 small chairs.

OKC Memorial

OKC Memorial

We drove out of Oklahoma City. We didn't talk much for a while.

After Oklahoma City we began our drive to Ada, Oklahoma. Fans of the Tennessean crossword puzzle will recognize Ada from the clue, "City in Oklahoma." The terrain shifted from desolate and boring to grassy, wooded, hilly and familiar. It's just like the rolling terrain of middle Tennessee. We felt at home for the first time in weeks.

We soon arrived in Ada and checked into yet another motel.

Tomorrow we head for the only mountains in Oklahoma and then into Arkansas, where we plan to attack the Ozarks.

Posted by Bill Thompson at September 24, 2003 03:39 PM GMT

You must be having a really great time!! I am really sorry to see you getting closer to TN.

Posted by: richard mccarthy on September 24, 2003 04:18 PM GMT

OK, you haven't made me want to go to OK. I'm like Richard McCarthy, though, I hate to see the journey end b/c we've had so much vicarious pleasure from your adventures. Great pictures.

Posted by: Ginnie on September 24, 2003 05:32 PM GMT
Sorry, due to heavy form spamming, Comments are OFF.

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