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Day 25: Waurika, OK to Madill, OK

72 Miles - Early Headwinds; Ringling, OK; Ardmore, OK; Arrival in Madill, OK - March 16, 2011


Jefferson County Hospital, OK Energized and ready to tear into the countryside, I walked my bike to the edge of Highway 70 and noticed something strange.

I looked at the Jefferson County Hospital flags in the adjacent photo. On the left is the one way sign for the Highway 70 east lanes, and those flags were flying in the opposite direction. This was an easterly wind. Another headwind. Damn!

South Oklahoma Scenery
Highway 70 in Jefferson County, Oklahoma.
I rode slow. Somehow, I was becoming resigned to headwind, in a self-pity type of way. This had become the norm since the late afternoon of Day 21 in Haskell, Texas. I reaped the benefit of wind at my back for many days (Day 12, 16, 17, to name a few), and now this was payback.

Thankfully, after 60-90 minutes, the winds changed into a southerly wind, which is what the forecast projected all along.

Cattle Lots of cattle seemed alarmed at my presence. Often they'd run away from me in fear, or, because of their poor eye sight, would run parallel to me.
Allergy Pills

Ringling, Oklahoma

24 miles brought me to Ringling, Oklahoma. On the highway was the Ringling Motel, but they had no website, no Google places page and didn't show up in basic web searches. If I had known, maybe I would have biked here instead of staying in Waurika.

At the town supermarket, I bought my first package of allergy tablets. For about a week, spring pollen had been bothering me, and finally I did something about it. My symptoms would never entirely go away, but they did help me function better.

Highway 70 Oklahoma The riding day improved as I continued east into Carter County. Near Wilson, Oklahoma, the highway widened to four lanes with a median, but where's the shoulder? I had about six to eight miles of this until I reached Lone Grove, OK.

Ardmore, Oklahoma

At 50 miles, I crossed under Interstate 35 in Ardmore and took a significant break.

My only photo in Ardmore was the back of my tire and saddlebags. It struck me how thin that tire was. I was grateful for the distance both of my tires had taken me with no flats* since Deming, New Mexico.

* - I'll remind you that I had nine flat tires (six in Arizona, three in New Mexico) way back when and would have no more all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. :)

Highway 70 Oklahoma
Highway 70 east of Ardmore, Oklahoama. For the first time since the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico, the road was surrounded by trees.
The southerly wind grew strong as the day went on. On the edge of Ardmore, Highway 70 turned two miles south before correcting itself to the east. Ahhhh, I had another two horrible miles of headwind slamming into me. "I'll sound like a whiner when I write about these headwinds!" I chuckled.

Past Ardmore, the location of motels was ideal. Lodging existed in Madill (20 miles away) and near Lake Texoma (36 miles), a popular vacation area. I certainly had more riding to do.

Madill, Oklahoma

Madill, Oklahoma

Madill, Oklahoma

Arrvial in Madill, Oklahoma. 72 miles. As fate would have it, for the last mile or so, the road turned south and I had one grand hurrah with that southerly wind. When I saw the Madill Inn on the left with a Subway restaurant across the street, I was surely done.

Second Photo: In the evening, I walked about one mile south into the center of Madill, but the southerly winds had grown so strong that sand was flying into my face. This was not the leisure walk I had hoped for. It's too bad my photos don't show how wild the wind was!

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