Start: Tucumcari NM (32356)
End: Shawnee OK (32760)
Today is an uneventful day, and still extremely hot. We head out of Tucumcari fairly early, knowing that there will probably be a lot of breaks due to the heat. I am riding by myself again, since this is an arrangement that is working well for everyone.
In Vega TX, I jump off the interstate to explore a little Route 66 silliness in Oldham County. Somehow I had googled to Dot's Mini Museum a few months ago, and even more amazing, remember it today. So I detour briefly off I-40 and manage to go right through the happening town of Vega (population 200-something) without ever spotting Dot's digs. I did see the Vega Motel, an original Route 66 motor lodge that is still open for business. This stuff is kinda fun, and you can waste a bunch of time poking around in flyspeck towns like this, but I hop back on the interstate instead, and keep heading east.
Amarillo TX is my sole gas stop in the Lone Star State. Traffic is not too bad. It's a quick trip across the panhandle, and I'm in Oklahoma by midmorning. I get gas in Erick, then my next stop is at the National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, OK. (I stopped here last year, but had forgotten ... pulling into the parking lot and recognizing the place brings a smile.) I buy Suzanne a cheesy deck of cards at the museum gift shop. I love road tchotskes. More road junk shopping at one of those hysterically bogus "Indian Trading Posts" at some forgotten town on I-40. I think it'd be nice to get Miz and Bloody some gifts; they've offered last-minute to let me room with them. The whole problem with the bike is you're very limited in space and therefore any gifts you pick up must be SMALL. I end up selecting pocket knives and shot glasses, emblazoned with 'Oklahoma' and 'Route 66' stuff. Hope everyone will like their baubles.
I stop for gas in El Reno OK and find that I've caught up with Marty, Kathy and Bob. We chat for a while at the pumps. I think they left an hour or two before me in the morning, so I'm making pretty good time even with a few extra stops. They said they had run into Della (MagentaMomma from RSBS) at their previous gas stop ... she was on her way from Oregon to Plano TX before heading to Murfreesboro. Small world, huh? She had spotted the Rumble Sisters sticker on Kathy's windshield and had rolled in to the station hollering "Rumble Sisters rule!" Of course they all knew who SHE was immediately. Not too many six-foot-one ladies running all over the country on a 1800cc Goldwing painted metal-flake magenta. Heh.
I am first to arrive at the hotel in Shawnee, OK, and that's the real highlight of the day. Carrie from TX had ridden up to have dinner with me, and I had never met her in real life before, so it was a true pleasure to meet & get to know my Amazon sister. Here in Shawnee, Marion and Marsha (from Utah) join our group heading to Tennessee. Also, RoninK9 and Mel from RSBS - sort of locals - join our group for dinner, so I get to meet them as well. It's a great evening, convivial and happy. Carrie and I stay up late talking about life, the universe, and Amazons in general. We head off to bed after 10:30 pm, a late night for a road day.
Next: Day Four