Friday, November 13, it wasn't until the end of the day that Bob shouted out "Hey, is this Friday the 13th?" Good thing we didn't know or we would never have cycled today. Turns out maybe we shouldn't have. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I got up at 8:00 to wispy clouds but the sun breaks through after a low of 54. I work on journal pages for an hour and a half. I went for a walk but Sandy and Brandy were not out. I'll catch her later. On my last lap around the campground I stop at the office and pick up our big packet of mail. I think it was the second week of August the last time I ordered our mail. I'll have to do better than that. I still have a few late birthday cards though so that's fun. Home to stretch.
We have a big breakfast in anticipation of cycling. I called Dean's RV Store and Nick says our thermostat came in yesterday. They are open until 1:00 tomorrow so we'll go by and pick it up in the morning. No time to browse the mail now. I walk up to find Sandy. She is inside brushing Brandy and invites me in for a tour of their deluxe Newmar motorcoach. It is one of the most open motorhome floorplans I've ever seen. Their kitchen table is built into a credenza that they have their computer on so all they have to do is turn sideways and it's a desk! Her convection oven has a rectangular rack that sits on hooks on the side walls of the oven. Mine is a three-legged round rack that rotates. She says hers works well and she didn't really adjust any of her recipes. Love their like colors and oak cabinets. We settle on 1:00 tomorrow for shopping. I'm so excited that we worked out a day to get together.
Taking a break at the fountains along the Arkansas River in Tulsa, OK
Home to pack my panniers, put on my bike shorts and help Bob load the bikes. We head to Turkey Mountain and zoom down the hill at 12:30. It was smooth sailing as we went north but the wind out of the south is lurking to kill us on the way back. As we take the pedestrian bridge across the Arkansas River we get blasted with a side wind and I really had to hold on tight to my handlebars to keep control of my bike.
We take the ramp over Riverside Drive and head north on the Midland Valley Trail. We only rode this once when we took our 50-miles round trip to Skiatook, OK. Today we plan to just go to where the trail ends and joins the streets downtown. It is kind of hilly on this part and we make it out just over 7.5 miles before we turn around. We stop at Centennial Park where we saw a wedding party last year and detour around the trail that runs through the park. I hop off for a photo op. What a pretty little park with a great view of the Tulsa skyline.
As we head south the wind is a killer. Some young boy comes out of the shadows under an overpass wearing a black t-shirt and black jeans and riding a black bike. I never saw him and almost mowed him over as I made a left out of the park back on to the Midland Valley Trail. Whew, that was close.
We take a break at the fountain along the Arkansas River. I take some pictures of the sculpture and the Pedestrian Bridge. Little did I know how hard the rest of our journey would be. We turn into the strong south wind and I can barely peddle. It is about 1:30 and I thought we'd get back to the truck around 2:45 based on prior rides. But we can barely keep a pace up that will keep Bob's odometer working (the wheels need to spin around 6 mph for it to work.) Good thing it's on his bike because I fall way behind. I start to feel like I did on the second day of our 3-day trip in Minnesota. So I decide I might be getting dehydrated in spite of already drinking three bottles of water. So we break open the Gatorade and that really helps.
We still takes twice as many breaks on the way back. We stopped by a fence and the wind was blowing so hard you can see in my photo the big brown leaves were plastered up against it. Finally we get to the cliff along the RR tracks by the River and the huge wall of the cliff shelters a little bit from the wind.
School's out so cyclers are starting to fly past us coming down Turkey Mountain about 30 mph. They keep saying "What's the matter? Can't take the hill?" We just keep our heads down and keep pedaling. Those poor suckers will find out on the way back just what the problem is. We finally arrive at the truck at 3:3) after decompensating going up the 11% grades to the top. Three hours to ride 20.4 miles. Boy, I sure feel like I had quite a workout.
We load the bikes and head straight home. Sandy and Brandy walk by as we are chaining the bikes up so Bob gets to meet Sandy. Of course he and Brandy bond immediately. We haul all of our gear inside. Bob showers while I take a walk and stretch. Then I get cleaned up and we head to Amici's for dinner. That place is dangerous when you're as hungry as I am.
I had Chicken Puttenesca (grilled chicken, portobella mushrooms, black olives, capers in a wine sauce.) It was heaven. Bob had Pork Medallion Special of the day but it turned out to be completely different than the pork medallions he ordered off the menu last time and liked so much. But no matter..he said these were even better if that was possible. It seems to be pork stuffed with pepperoni and some kind of white cheese with a marinara sauce. We ate two loaves of bread I think and then just had to try the Italian Creme Cake. Very rich. We rolled out with 'go' boxes.
Bob checks his tires as I snap a picture of all the huge leaves blown smack up against the fence by the strong winds.
Got a paper at the busy QT across the street and drove home in fading daylight. I went through the mail to see if anything needed attention but it all looks pretty mundane. I spend an hour updating my journal and we plan to watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. It's 7:14 p.m. and 66 degrees. The high was 71 with 59% humidity.