Scenes from the Mother Road

Just before rollout. Downtown Tulsa
is a cool hangout. But I couldn't bring
myself to eat at El Guapo
Mexican Restaurant. "Would
you say I have a plethora of pinatas?"

Oklahoma people #1: The guy in Tulsa who pulled up alongside us as we walked around downtown and asked if we knew how to get to Cain's Ballroom. N. told him we just rolled into town ourselves. The guy pointed out his truck window at N. and said, "HEY, man. WELCOME."

Beer review:  Choc Oktoberfest. Light and lemony. More of a chaser for a beer. Sort of a Vacation Bible School beer.

Favorite rejoinder: The OSU Sports Medicine bus almost nailed Judi as it had to brake hard to avoid oncoming traffic. She heard the brakes but didn't see what happened. I told her later that dude, you almost made national headlines. Her response: "Well crap, not again!"

Oklahoma people #2: The mail carrier in Chandler. Gave a little fist pump as he crossed a front yard and yelled out, "Good work! Almost there!"

Best roadside sight: Rolling out of Tulsa. Cowboy in his cowboy hat riding a gorgeous huge American Paint Horse down the median. Evidently people do this, exercise their horses alongside the highway. Or in the middle of the highway. Just loping along.

Me and Judi. We met on the ride. She has the coolest frame,
built by a small independent shop, and painted with iridescent auto body paint
so it alternates teal, purple, blue, green, lavender, depending on the light.
We had a good discussion on the dorkiness v. utility of the mirror attached to my shades.

Judi helps me commemorate the furthest I have
ever ridden in a day. That's 50.2, not 52. So
I guess that makes my head the zero.

Beer review #2: Choc Bier de Garde. Our server told us it was their Belgian beer, but it turned out to be an amber Farmhouse ale. Notes of honey and walnut. Pair it with your apple pie. Not bad but not the same as a gold-medal-winning dubbel.

Beer policy review: Oklahoma does not sell cold beer in liquor stores and sells only 3.2 beer in convenience stores. So you can drink warm good beer or cold Shinerbock. (Or you can be patient, N., and wait for the beer truck to open up with the free, delicious Choc Last Laugh on tap. Jeez.) Anyway, I am sure this beer policy is a primary contributor to the social ills of the state.

Oklahoma people #3: The farmer with the bushy gray moustache, beaten suede work hat and gloves, mowing his front yard on his John Deere riding mower, honest-to-God straw grass in his teeth: "Great day for it, y'all!"

Elevating legs for a few minutes
after day 1. Skygazing.

Random episode in a public park:  We were sitting with Greg, with whom we go way back and who drove out from Yukon to hang out with us in a public park watching us drink Shinerbock and all of us telling stories.

Group of high school boys shows up and begins attiring themselves in RenFest garb. Those who have no RenFest garb go shirtless which has, um, a charming authenticity all its own. They commence practicing battle with their bow and foam arrows and foam cudgel and foam swords and foam electric guitar. (I don't know, you tell me.)

Every so often a girl in a purple dress will come over and drag the boy with the huge fro off for a "conversation." She will badger and gesticulate and he will look miserable. She will storm off. Ten minutes later this will happen again. Finally she yells, "If we don't f&#k tonight, this is over!" In front of a playground full of little kids whose parents do not look at all fazed.

Also, the Jim Morrisonesque shirtless boy came over and Morrisonesquely grinning and posing challenged N. to come out and join the fun. He offered him foam weaponry and everything. N. played the "I just rode 70 miles on a bike" card.

Buster and his owner. At the rest stops, we met volunteers who live with MS. HR 1362, the National Neurological Diseases Surveillance System Act, requires HHS to develop a system for collecting data to count the number of people with MS and Parkinson's. There is no available, accurate national count and the agencies that already collect this data do not share it with each other. 
Oklahoma people #4: The grade-school girl with the Ramona Quimby hair at Rest Stop 5, waving us into the gravel turnoff. "Right here! Right here! We got a snack, we got a potty, we got a pickle juice! That's my mom up there, her name's Teresa, she has MS! Good job riders! Wooo!" I told her she was awesome and she said, "I SURE AM! And so are you!"

The bagpipe corps played us in at the Capitol. They had six songs but they were all really good songs.