May 20, 2003

A pleasant trip, and gave me a chance to use the digital camera instead of the disposable cameras that have done so well for me for many years.


This was intended to be a quick trip towards southeast Oklahoma, with a bit of riding in Arkansas and Missouri. As it happened, though, there was just a bit of traffic, which prevented me from making a left turn at the first intersection, so I turned right. This trip is the result.

Rode down K42 and then K2 through the town of Harper, where I turned straight east (US-160) and rode on to Medicine Lodge where I ate dinner. I stayed on US-160 through Coldwater, Protection, and Mead. This is a great riding area. The road is fairly straight but dips and climbs through the Gypsum hills. At the higher peaks, you can look from left to right, sweeping out all the way to the horizon and see only more rolling green hills with groves of cottonwood trees in the valleys. Very nice.

I had intended to ride directly to Liberal, but as there had been a terrific storm the night before, the road was closed due to flooding. In fact, there was a great deal of damage all over the area: power lines down, trees down, some home damage. I detoured north and west on some smaller roads, but eventually made it to Liberal.

This is perhaps not the best motel I've ever stayed in. Kicking back--watching the Austrian F1 race in Spanish(?).


Liberal is the home of "Dorothy's House" It's all tied into the Wizard of Oz movie, but I didn't spend too much time there.


On old steam railroad crane.  Quite interesting.


The next morning, I headed out on a likely paved road, only to have it dwindle to dirt after about 20 miles.  Not wanting to deal with this, I returned to Liberal--I need fuel, and had no idea where the next town might be found on that dirt road. Anyway, I had breakfast at the Pancake House in Liberal, where I had blueberry pancakes and hash browns.  Excellent. Recommended. A dish of hot blueberries to pour over the top was included.


This time I left on US-83 taking me south into Oklahoma. I turned east on US-64 and followed the Canadian River to Freedom, Oklahoma and then south to Alabaster Caverns State Park.  What a nice place. The weather was perfect and I spent a couple of hours walking the paths. Well, for the most part. Occasionally, I lost the path entirely and ended up sliding and crawling through the underbrush and down rather steep embankments to the creek trying to pick up the trail.




From the Caverns, I rode to Alva (had lunch) and the turned north on US-281 and then Kansas 2 taking me back to Wichita.


Fuel stop in Kiowa, Kansas.


Ice cream stop in Harper, Kansas.

That's it! About 540 miles.


last edit: 2/18/2009