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Thursday, September 15, 2011

DAY 242: RINGLING - WAURIKA, OKLAHOMA

Mud Creek BBQ, RINGLING, OKLAHOMA, a family restaurant where I enjoyed a Pulled Pork Dinner with "trimmings" for $9.00, was SPIA's home last night and this morning during my first walk.

It is 23 miles from RINGLING to WAURIKA, OKLAHOMA on US 70 West. When I stepped out of SPIA, it was C O L D and raining. Went back in and put on my full reflective rain suit (wish I had taken a photograph of it). Then proceeded to walk for 3.5 hours = 13 miles.

US 70 as it transits RINGLING, OKLAHOMA. I believe there is more to the town, but I did not go investigate. For the last 2 days, it has been overcast. The nights become a one-blanket night and the day did not get above 65 or so today. It was downright windy too.



US 70 looking back East into RINGLING.

All day I kept a sharp lookout for lowering clouds - and tornadoes. So far, the clouds are staying up about 5,000 feet. The rain is not heavy...but is somewhat constant. The earth is so dry that it has not yet shown the effect of the rain...it evaporates rather quickly.

From a couple miles away, looking back East towards RINGLING, OKLAHOMA from US 70.

The wind blew steadily all day at about 25 mph with some higher gusts. First out of the N.W., then switching out of the North East in the afternoon.

This is cattle country. Lots of grazing grass. The animals look very good and did not run away when I walked by chatting with them.

The inevitable horizon...seems to be always waiting...

and, around the next bend, again another horizon mocking me just a bit.

A relic from the not-too-distant-past. The advent of the new rotary mowers has enhanced the safety and looks of highways throughout America.

Not many flowers to be seen as Summer closes down. This plant looks frisky, though.

WAURIKA, OKLAHOMA Water Tower. There may be more towers, but I will not see them. The route changes in WAURIKA from US 70 to US 81, which is about one mile from town.

SPIA is bedded down at a Truck Stop at that intersection. I also enjoyed a bowl of Chili and a Baked Potato, finished off with Wild Blackberry Cobbler and Iced Tea...all for $9.00...my shower set me back another $2.00, but was well worth it since had not seen a shower since Georgia....when I walked out, the attendant lady said...Oh, my, you smell so much better !

Intersection of US 70 and US 81.

Arriving at this Truck Stop, parked SPIA and walked back US 70 towards RINGLING for 12 miles. It was UP HILL going against a stiff wind and intermittent rain. Returning, it was kinda pleasant.

In the morning I wore my full Rain Suit - jacket and pants. Turned out to be unnecessary for the rain, but was welcome protection from the cold wind.

In the afternoon, wore only my Rain Poncho over my regular walking regalia. Was a bit chilly from the wind, but served OK.

That "Pen" in my pocket is MACE. I have not had to use it, but did take it out once and pointed it at a rather obnoxious dog before he backed down as I chatted with him. Interesting enough, though two women have commented on my MACE, suggesting it was my protection from THEM.

I did not pursue that line of conversation, but the circumstances of the comment did send a chill up my .... back.

This Rancher had many miles of grazing land on both sides of US 70 near WAURIKA.

US 70 looking West down into WAURIKA, OKLAHOMA. Yes, it was raining and blowing.

A look at the topography and "Scrub" (small trees) of the 7 S Ranch.

A Windmill no longer used. Water is piped to the few homes along US 70...one ranch home had a sign at the driveway stating "Water Meter Below".

One of the few watering holes with water. All the cattle were across the Highway - or perhaps in some distant unseen part of the large ranch.

These two fellows were kinda close, though. Being tuff-looking beasts, they did not shy away from me as I chatted with and photographed them.

An update on my left leg: It is OK for walking. It is NOT OK for sleeping or twisting in any manner. The tendons around the ankle and behind the knee cap are quite sore. Have only 10 more days of walking to reach WOODWARD, OKLAHOMA. They just have to hang in there...then, perhaps a rest period.

Re my life-saving Panasonic Camera. Did NOT use my second camera today. All the above photographs are from the camera slammed down on the concrete bridge over the Red River. I made some adjustments, which seem to help. Seems as though the abuse jiggled the electronic settings - perhaps back to "default" factory settings. Will make a couple more adjustments tomorrow. Wish I had some training in cameras...would then KNOW what to do.

In the morning, SPIA stays at the Truck Stop as I walk North on US 81. The next town up is COMANCHE, OKLAHOMA, 15 miles away; then comes DUNCAN, another 8 miles after COMANCHE. Will shoot for DUNCAN for tomorrow evening.

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