#139b Moonshine to Texas

Fleeter Log #139b
Moonshine to Texas
2009 April 19-21

Moonshine was only the beginning of the adventure.
The Great Southwest is calling. I am answering.
Westward I shall go!

Interactive map of this
entire trip here on SpotWalla.

Day 5 - Sunday
April 19, 2009
365 miles
(click on any photo to enlarge)
Casey, Illinois to Willow Springs, Missouri

I leave Casey, Illinois in the rain and find the thunderstorm somewhere in Missouri. But just before leaving the State of Illinois, the sun came out as if to say "Goodbye and travel well. We will spend some quality time together when you arrive in the Southwest!"
While traveling south along the Mississippi River, waiting for an avenue across the Big Muddy Stream, I rode a strip of pavement that offered a 2 for 1 bonus. State highways 3 and 146 meet at Ware, IL and wear the labels of "the Lincoln Heritage Trail" and "Great River Road-Illinois."

After crossing the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau, I ride into the eastern edge of the Ozarks covered by dark skies.
Note how I am able to take this shot right-handed -- thanks to a fellow moonshiner. Before leaving Casey this morning, I met a fellow under the hotel's portico as a group of us were looking for protection from the rain while loading up our motorcycles. He gave me something that I, at the time, had no idea of its value. I knew it was a Good Thing, but I had no idea HOW good. I always use a Crampbuster, even on the RT where I have a cruise control. But on the GS, without a cruise control, the Crampbuster alone just wasn't cutting it. There was still the need to completely remove my hand from the throttle in order to stretch out my elbow. In only two days when riding from Virginia to Indiana, I was already beginning to feel the effects in my elbow and shoulder of all day spent on the throttle. This little yellow o-ring from Caterpillar will prove to be worth far more than the silicone it is made from! Big Thanks to the fellow who gave it to me. I wish I could remember your name . . . sorry.

Hwy 34 from Cape Girardeau to US60 near Van Buren is a wonderful gem of a twisty road that travels through Marble Falls as it transverses the Salem Plateau of the Ozarks. This is the kind of road that makes a day on two wheels a success no matter what else the day may bring before coming to an end.

I WILL get wet before the day is over! . . . that is a promise made by the looming dark clouds.

Carter County Missouri has an interesting courthouse . . . found in Van Buren.
Carter County Courthouse, Missouri
Anyone traveling US60 in southern Missouri, be advised: State troopers spend a lot of time there with radar guns! And yes, even the GS is ticket worthy . . . according to a certain Missouri State Trooper patrolling US60 near Van Buren. And trying to outrun an eminent storm is not a worthy excuse, or so I'm told by said trooper. Trooper Ladd was nice enough to allow me to sit with her in her patrol car out of the rain as the rain cloud let loose above...while she wrote the ticket for 11 over--76mph in a 65mph.

Tonight I will dry out at the Comfort Inn in Willow Springs, MO and continue my way to Oklahoma via Kansas tomorrow. While checking into the $60 room, I'm still thinking about that ticket. Guess my lodging won't be my largest expense of the day. Some days the expense of being on the road are just more costlier than other days.

Day 6 - Monday
April 20, 2009
420 miles

Willow Springs, Missouri to Enid, Oklahoma

On my way to Texas, I arrive in Texas sooner than planned!
Texas County, Missouri

Time to stop in search of Ink. Wilson's Creek National Battlefield is found on an inviting rural road southwest of Springfield, MO.

Here in Mount Vernon, MO you will have more than your normal choices when you stop for fuel. Yep, that was a fill-up. And this will get me about 200 miles down the road before I'll need to stop and do it again.

I find another ink stamp here at the George Washington Carver National Monument. Good video too.

We don't see these much anymore. Might already even have to explain what it is to the younger generations. Let me know if anyone reading this doesn't know what you're looking at or shares it with a younger reader that needs to have it explained. I spotted this booth in Coffeyville, KS.

Leaving Missouri, I ride half way across Kansas before turning south in Caldwell, KS to drop into Oklahoma. This stretch of pavement follows along the Chisholm Trail. I will follow it as far as Enid, OK.

(click on any photo to enlarge)
The sun sinks low along the old Chisholm Trail.

This ride has carried me deep into the heart of Braum's Country. This evening, I indulge.
Tonight I sleep in Enid, OK. Tomorrow I cross back into the land of my birth . . . Texas.

Day 7 - Tuesday
April 21, 2009
372 miles

Enid, Oklahoma to Hereford, Texas

Ink is on the list of priorities as I make my way across Oklahoma and into the Black Kettle National Grassland. The Washita Battlefield lies just outside of Cheyenne, Oklahoma. This new visitor center opened less than two years ago and is impressive in the story it tells through its architecture. The video is well worth the time to watch it. Captivating in telling the tragic story of what happened here.

The GS takes on a few miles of the infamous Route 66 as we find our way west along I40. Route 66 shows some of its oddities as we pass through.

Speaking of oddities, I still don't understand my last stop in Oklahoma. I took the exit off I40 into downtown Erick and found the Sandhills Curiosity Shop located in the City Meat Market. It is a curious place that can't really be explained. Don't look for any price tags. Nothing here is for sale. It's not that kind of shop.

The oft photographed Leaning Tower of the Texas Panhandle.
Groom, Texas
Meet my nephew, Layton. He's a student at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX. I arrive in town hungry and met Layton at the restaurant near the University. His Aunt Donna (my late brother Jerry's wife) drives in from Hereford to meet us for supper.

After supper, I follow Donna back to Hereford as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Tomorrow I will let the GS spend the day resting while I try out a different saddle . . . the type of saddle I used to spend a lot of time in when I was growing up in south Texas.
Copyright 2009 Fleeter Logs

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