In October 2012, some folks from the Adventure Rider forum decided to build a long motorbike tour route of Oklahoma. In their words, it would be “a large ride that would encompass the state and stop at a bunch of interesting sights along the way avoiding major roads and towns.” The result is a 1700-mile trail, less than a third of which is paved.
Though it’s designed for adventure riders, it’s supposed to be doable in 4x4s. I guess we’ll find out.
This afternoon, Evan, Taylor, and I will be meeting at Turner Falls in south central Oklahoma, to drive about half of the route. I’ll be in my Fiat-built Jeep Renegade, Taylor in his trusty Xterra, and Evan in the Land Rover he brought home from our last adventure.
We’ll start in Turner Falls, then head to Mount Scott and the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, home to the Narrows Trail. Then on to Quartz Mountain State Park at Lake Altus, Black Kettle National Grassland, Gloss Mountain State Park, and the Great Salt Plains. We’ll wind up back in Tulsa. All in all, we’ll be staying at two state parks, a roadside motel, and, for New Years, a winery in northwestern-ish Oklahoma (believe it or not).
We’ll pass Geronimo’s grave, the Washita Battlefield monument (site of the Washita Massacre, a 19th century attack by Gen. Custer on a Cheyenne village), sites of Old West shootouts and cowboys’ graves. And we’ll have the opportunity to attempt some potentially interesting water crossings.
I’m an Oklahoma native, but I have to admit that my home state isn’t particularly known for the views. And where there is beautiful scenery, I’ve always thought Eastern Oklahoma is home to most of it – just check out the colors in the satellite imagery on the full route picture above. So it’s with some trepidation that I’m about to lead a Texan and a Washingtonian on a five day, 800 mile sightseeing tour of our little piece of flyover country in winter. Should be fun.
Wish us luck.