On the way back from the Drive In last night I realised I had passed the 2000 mile mark…
Yay.. only another 7-8000 to go.
Another late start as I have had a reply from the Irish Consulate in Chicago and they want me to ring between 10 and 12 this morning. I try and try but am getting a constant engaged tone…. grrrrr! I have one last try at about 1145.. it’s ringing, but no answer so I give up.
Back on the road towards Kansas.. I am aiming for a place called Galena where Route 66 enters, travels through Riverton and Baxter Springs then exits into Oklahoma… it only just clips the SE corner of Kansas so a really short run.
I’ve got to get out of Missouri first of course… I am almost immediately lost. My iphone won’t route via 66, it wants to go onto the Interstate all the time so I have to use my maps, which are not exactly accurate and I have missed a turning somewhere and am now heading towards Webb City. In trying to navigate my way back onto Route 66 I get myself completely lost…. eventually I do find my way by luck more than judgement. I only know I am back on route because I come across this cafe on a corner
But it’s not long after this that I am bombing along when suddenly the road bends to the left and there is another road straight on. No signage so I assume I need to carry straight on… after about 1/4 mile the road turns to gravel, I slow right down and start to wonder if this is right. I carry on for about half a mile but the surface is really bad and I am frightened I am going to come off so I decide to turn around and go back. The road is quite narrow and because the bike is so heavy I need a wide turning circle… OMG I’m stuck! I can’t get the bike all the way round and now the front wheel has hit the grass verge. I can’t move forward and I can’t move backwards because of the camber, the weight and the loose gravel.
The bike is way too heavy for me to move on my own and there is not a soul in sight. I am in the middle of nowhere.. just fields and cows! I stand hoping someone is going to come along but after about 10 minutes I realise I am going to have to try and do something. I wonder if it will be light enough for me to move if I take the bags off… I take the big bag off… don’t be daft, still way too heavy!
I have no choice but to wait and hope someone will come along soon… after about another half an hour a pick up truck starts coming up the road… hurrah! As it approaches I can see a man and, I assume his wife and daughter, are in it. I wave them down… they wave back and carry on past me; I mean the bike is blocking the road.. can they not see I am in need of assistance? I shout after them, ‘can you help me please’? The man stops, backs up and looks at me… I explain I need a push to get the bike out, he doesn’t look very happy, but he and his wife get out and help me move the bike. I have to say I am really grateful for their help, but my whole experience so far has been of people stopping and asking if I’m alright when I have just pulled over to take photos, or look at the map so when I really needed help these particular people seemed a bit reluctant.
Anyway I get back to the junction and take the turn in the road… OMG after another 1/4 mile that also turns into a gravel track…. FFS, I am on gravel again. I just try my best to get the bike turned around and back onto the tarmac; there were a few moments where I thought I would drop it.
After that experience I don’t worry about finding my way back onto 66 I just make my way to Webb City.
Now I get lost again, looking for a road to Galena… bloody ‘ell Toto, I don’t think we can find bloody Kansas. At last I get into Joplin and take the 400 up to Galena… so am able to rejoin the 66 here.
On the way I come to one of the more famous landmarks..
and am soon in Baxter Springs where there is a small gas station/museum.
I go inside for a looksee… there is an older gentleman there who is very helpful, he explains to me that when I cross the state line I will enter into Quapaw where they are very hot on the speed limit. He tells me several times that after I have gone under the green arch, turn right to Commerce then on into Miami and Afton, after that it is straight all the way to Tulsa. I thank him for the information and get back on the road.
I am soon over the state line and into Oklahoma
I immediately realise I am in American Indian territory… how brilliant is that!
I see that each ‘tribe’ or nation has it’s own area…
After a while I enter Afton… it has a water tower…
And continue on to Catoosa.. and the famous whale attraction!!
As you can probably see, it is starting to get quite late so I think I will stop soon.
66 disappears again while I am trying to avoid downtown Tulsa.. I pop out the other side and find it again at Sapulpa. I carry on for a little while longer as I want to find a motel on 66 to stay tonight. After a time I come to Bristow and find a motel, it is now really late and am so tired. That is why the blog is so far behind.