Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 19_July 22-->McAlester, OK

McAlester Route
I'm still remembering yesterday's ride with great fondness, maybe my funnest riding day. There were others that were more strikingly scenic, but as for pure fun, yesterday is the winner, so far. Quite a bit of steep climbing but they were all hills built for my style of recumbent riding--steep climb followed immediately by a fast descent that carried me up 2/3's to 3/4 up the next hill. Over and over and over again. Loved it.

Today was similar in distance and amount of climbing, but the hills were not as much my style, so more of a workout with less of the pleasure.

But, what was absolutely delightful today were all the sounds, Midwest sounds,I'd say. We'd ride through ranch lands and then into a wooded section, rich with deciduous trees that offered a vibrant orchestra in its tune-up mode--cicadas, birds, frogs all in full throat.

Road kill has shifted from deer, racoon, and an occasional porcupine, to armadillos, actually lots of them. Lon was recalling the fully rigor mortissed bobcat he found along side the road on a previous tour on this route. He stopped, took off his front wheel, scooped it up and stood it up on its hind legs along side the road. When the riders passed it later in the day, well, let's say it was the talk of dinner that night. Pretty funny. Reminded me that yesterday I'd seen a mail box that had been toppled. On closer inspection t'was not a mail box but a rigor mortissed deer.

My head is in a much better place today, too, thank goodness. I'm feeling full of gratitude for the gift of being able to ride this Tour: to be fit enough; to not be compromised by medical issues; to have the family support; to have the finances in place; and the time to be able to pursue this quest which seems to have an increasing focus on integration of whole life experience. Exactly how I will be called to share the wisdom remains to be discerned. I'm committed to staying open to learning more about that, and am much more accepting that at age 63.75 I am not supposed to be able to compete with men or women 20 years my junior.

Pictures today seem a little impoverished compared to the striking beauty of of OR, ID, UT, and CO. But, that, too, is the way life is.

Russell in Calvin, OK
The most photogenic opportunity in Clinton, OK. That's Russell, assuming the position with his hand over his heart, but alas, he's from the UK.

Message Board
Daily message board with instructions re: dinner options for tonight and ride out time for tomorrow morning. Click to zoom in.

Massage Sign-up Book
Massage sign-up book outside Jon Jahant's, room, our massage therapist.

Another variation of PAC Laundry
Another variation of laundry PAC style. Doesn't take long to dry when the temperature on the Atomic clock/thermometer on the motel truck reads 112.

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