Day 20: Liberal to Alva

We’ll continue with the “boring” theme for Day 20.

I was heading to Alva, OK; two legs, 191 miles, via Buffalo, OK.

Liberal, Kansas was a decent sized town by TAT standards.  Interestingly enough, Dorothy’s house from the Wizard of Oz was located in Liberal.  I rode over to it before heading out of town only to find the complex was a tourist trap which you could only access if you paid to do so.  I didn’t mind paying; but realistically I’d rather get on with the ride before the temperature started to rise; it was supposed to be HOT. As a side note, the movie wasn’t even shot there; the house is apparently just a replica.

I skipped it and headed out of town.  I’d already ridden a proper desert back in Nevada, the weather was much cooler while I was there; it didn’t feel much like what I’d expected a desert to feel like. Oklahoma on the other hand felt like a proper desert.  Hot, dry and I could feel my face getting sun burnt with every mile that passed.

Buffalo was 104 miles away.  I’d grab gas and rehydrate when I got there. I didn’t snap many pictures because quite frankly it all just looked about the same:

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I road into Buffalo, grabbed gas and the lunch of champions.

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I was sitting there eating when a guy pulled up in a beat up truck.  He walked over and sat down next to me.  He knew all about the TAT and explained that every time he saw a rider grabbing gas at this station he’d pull in and ask about their trip. I shared my experience and he proceeded to give me the run down of the area. He told me that he thought Trump was a lying SOB but he was the only hope for the area; though he didn’t honestly believe he could fix a single thing he’d promised. I listened and nodded in agreement.  I don’t know, what else was I supposed to say? I was in the middle of Oklahoma by myself, of course I agreed. I’ll admit it was the weirdest endorsement Trump I’d heard yet.

The conversation went on a tad too long and eventually degraded into a full on King of the Hill conversation. “yep…”  “yep…” “…yep…”  To make matters worse I honestly didn’t know who smelled worse, he or I; I’d like to believe he did. My temperature gauge was showing 106 degrees when I pulled in for gas so the breeze that blew in felt nice. However, that breeze blew my gloves off my bike and I ended up chasing them across the parking lot.  That seemed to break up the awkwardness that the conversation had become and we both went our separate ways.

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On to Alva; only 87 miles, no big deal right?  Holy hell the heat… My gauge showed 110 degrees almost consistently the rest of the afternoon.  I’d made it a policy of mine not to drink the water I brought with me. I’d started to drink an entire 48 ounce Nalgene bottle of water while I packed in the morning and another 48 ounces at the half way point of the day when I stopped for gas.  The idea being that if for whatever reason I found myself stranded I’d have a full 48 oz Nalgene bottle of water available. Unfortunately though, I had to break from that after about 50 miles; I’d just had a good bit of water and Gatorade while conversing with the guy at the Buffalo gas station but I needed more and my onboard water was HOT.

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Short of a 15 mile stretch of windy road the middle of the section it was again all straight lines; with truck traffic at times too.

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I pulled into Alva, OK and the first building I encountered was the high school which had the current temperature at 112 degrees (44.4 degrees the Celsius folks).

I was looking for a certain hotel on the other side of town that was advertising $55 a night online. Unfortunately, town was all stop signs spaced about 100-200 yards apart. It took about 45 minutes to get to the other side of town and due to the distance between stop signs there was almost no opportunity to get the air flowing past me. I was dying…

I got to the hotel and the guy at the desk hit me with $90. What the …?

I’d been at this whole traveling and finding a hotel on the fly thing a while now so I just laid it out.  The price online was $55, do I really have to sit here in the lobby and book it on my iPhone?  No…they’d match the $55 from online. Perfect!

Oh, but the water was out in the entire East end of town… Fantastic.

Milage: 200 after tax.

 

 

 

 

 

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