Day 6 & 7 – Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006

September 21 Canyon to Abilene (270 miles)

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Day 6 Ride Map

Thursday we rode to Abilene. It would have been a good ride except for the wind. The wind was blowing 25-30 MPH and on a bike that is no fun. For a goodly part of the ride (when ridding north to south) we had gusting cross winds that were the worst.. When heading west to east we had the wind at our back (tail wind) and that was easy riding. It was also really cold that morning (48 degrees). We hadn’t packed for riding in that cold of weather and that was a bit unpleasant even though we put on everything we had that was warm. It eventually warmed up and even got hot (92) before we got to Abilene. We passed by Cap Rock Canyon State park on the way. We wanted to stop and spent some time there but because of the wind we decided to leave that to another ride. We got to Abilene around 3:00 and went to our rooms and crashed until supper. The wind, cold and heat made for a very long and exhausting day. The only thing we wanted to do was eat and rest… sleep… So we did.

September 22 Abilene to Georgetown (204 miles)

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Day 7 Ride Map

Friday we rode to Buffalo Gap to see the Buffalo Gap Village Museum. It did not open until 10:00 so we headed back home since the wind was to start back up that afternoon. We got back to Georgetown about 2:00 and took it easy for the rest of the day.

We had a great time on our ride. The weather could have been better but if you ride weather is just part of the ride. You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

While you are here, you may like these post, too…

Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…

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Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006

September 20 Palo Duro Canyon(90 miles)

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Day 5 Ride Map of Palo Duro

Today is the 5th day of our Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride.

Today we ride to the Palo Duro Canyon a state park of Texas. Palo Duro is the nation’s second largest canyon. The weather was great. The ride to the canyon was not far. Larry and Gary were starting to wonder if there was a canyon because the landscape was flat as a table until we got to the canyon… and bam!!! There was the canyon, an impressive sight to see. Words don’t really do it justice.

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Palo Duro Canyon Welcome Center

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Palo Duro Canyon

We stopped by the visitor center and talked to one the staff about the canyon. At one time the canyon was part of Col. Goodnight’s ranch. That really perked Janet’s interest because her mom’s dad worked for Col. Goodnight and Janet’s mom was born on the ranch!!! For those of you who may not know that name, the TV series “Lonesome Dove” is a fictionalized account of Goodnight and Loving’s third cattle drive. Woodrow F. Call represents Goodnight, Augustus McCrae is Oliver Loving.

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At amphitheater in Palo Duro Canyon

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Janet and Me

After spending some time at the visitor center we rode through the canyon, stopping here and there to explore a bit. Gary ( a guy from Ontario Canada) was really crazy about the canyon and the animals we saw there. Gary has ridden with us after the “Trail of Tears” for several years now.  From the visitors center you take State Park Road 5 about 5 miles riding into the park. The speed limit is 30 MPH. There are many places to stop and take pictures of the canyon and any wildlife you may stumble across. A must stop is the Pioneer Amphitheater.  The Pioneer Amphitheater was carved out of the basin of the  Canyon. During the year majestic plays are preformed there. When we were there, there wasn’t  any plays scheduled.

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Larry, Gary and Me

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Lighthouse Formation in the Palo Duro Canyon

We ate lunch at the restaurant in the Canyon. The food was good but the restaurant was really busy. Larry, Shirley (Larry’s Wife) and Gary headed back to Georgia after lunch. Larry had a high school reunion he wanted to get back for. Janet and I stayed to explore the canyon a bit more. We hiked the Lighthouse trail but not to the end because it looked like rain was coming. People have got stranded in the canyon when it rains so we decided we should head back. We only got a few sprinkles but we had rather be safe than be sorry. That evening we went back to and watched the sun set in the canyon. The colors of the rocks were brilliant, the views went on forever, and overall, it was just a spectacular view.  The changing light on the canyon walls during sunset is prettier than any work of art. Pictures don’t really capture all there is. The sounds and smell are all part of the experience and can’t be captured. We hope to do that again and spend more time off the bike exploring all that is available.

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Sunset over Palo Duro Canyon

After sunset we headed back to our motel in Canyon (the town) and rested up for the ride home… Come follow along as we head home tomorrow.

You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

While you are here, you may like these post, too…

Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…

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Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Day 4 Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006

September 19 Henryetta to Canyon(363 miles)

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Day 4 Palo Duro Ride Route

Today is day 4 of our Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride. With the “Trail of Tears” motorcycle ride behind us we headed to the “Palo Duro Canyon”. Larry and Shirley and Gary are riding with us. Larry and Shirley are longtime friends we have been riding with for years. Gary is a friend we have hooked up with many times at the “Trail of Tears” ride.

Gary is from Windsor, Canada just across the Detroit River from Detroit, Michigan. Gary has always been great fun to ride with and he has a goofy sense of humor that is a good fit to our group. Gary retired from Chrysler some years ago. He didn’t have any hobbies to occupy his retirement time. Some friends suggested he buy a motorcycle and ride with them. Well, to make a long story short, Gary bought a Honda Goldwing and has been running the wheels off it. We are glad he did because we would have never met.

Today we ride 363 miles to Canyon, Texas. Most of the ride was down I-40 which was part of the old Route 66 highway. We stopped at Elk City, OK to eat and we spent a couple of hours at the National Route 66 museum there.  Route 66 the “Mother Road” stretches from Illinois all the way to California. The museum tries to give a feel for the experience of traveling down Route 66 with displays of roadside attractions that lured travelers to stop and spend their money.

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Route 66 National Museum Elk City OK Sept. ’06

The museum is part of the Old Town Museum Complex that gives you a look into the lives of early settlers in Oklahoma, as well as Oklahoma’s agricultural heritage. They were great museums and we look forward to coming back again.

It was a long ride today. We got to Canyon around 6:00 pm. After checking into the motel we ate at Big Earl’s BBQ. It was good but it was not owned by a guy named Earl and he was my size!! (i.e. NOT BIG…) The BBQ was good and a good way to end the day.

Tomorrow we ride the “Palo Duro Canyon”, the Grand Canyon of Texas. Larry heard about the canyon from someone suggesting it for a ride… so tomorrow we check that one off Larry’s bucket list…

You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

While you are here, you may like these post, too…

Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…

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Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Day 3 Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006

September 18 Hot Springs to Okmulgee to Henryetta (267 miles)

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Day 3 Trail of Tears Route Ride Map

Today is the 3rd day of our Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride and the last leg of the “Trail of Tears” ride.

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Getting ready to roll in Hot Spring, AR

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View of all the riders coming off the mountain.

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Trail of Tears riders

Today was over cast with misting rain and by the time we left it was raining lightly and was in the lower 60’s. For the first 110 mile it was overcast and rained on and off from time to time. I was afraid Janet would hate riding in the rain but she said it wasn’t as bad as she had thought it would be. This was her first time to ride in the rain. The ride stopped in Heavener, Oklahoma for gas and lunch. Since we have ridden the ride before we knew to peel off from  the group and gas up at the first gas station in Heavener. The ride always gases up at one station further in town and with 250 plus bikes trying to gas up it is time-consuming and nerve-racking. After gassing up we rode to a roadside park just across from the station where everyone else gassed up. We got a bite to eat and waited for the rest of the riders to get gassed up and eat. The rest of the ride was clear blue skies and pleasantly cool. It was a really nice ride. We got to Okmulgee, OK around 4:00.

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The “Trail of Tears” riders gassing up in Heavener

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This year the ceremony was held on the town square of Okmulgee. Each year there is a ceremony commemorating the original “Trail of Tears” and the charity work done by the “Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride”.  The ride raises funds from the proceeds of merchandise sales, donations and sponsors, and vendor fees.  The funds are used mainly for Native American scholarships, donated to colleges and other organizations to further educate and bring awareness of the Trail of Tears history. Over the years the “Trail of Tears Motorcycle Ride” has installed historical markers in the states through which it passes (Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Arkansas).

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Larry & Shirley at lunch in Heavener, OK

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Creek Indians Victory Dance Trail of Tears

After the ceremony we rode to the church camp (like last year) and had a “Creek Indian” meal. It was good but I liked the meal last year better. We were entertained by the Native Hymn Singers who sang native Christian hymns in various tribal languages. It was pretty cool and several of the singers gave their testimonies. Afterward we left the “Trail of Tears” and went on our separate way. We (our friends and us) rode to Henryetta, OK and spent the night. We had stayed there on a previous ride at a different motel. It was not the best and we found a scorpion in the room. There was another motel just down the road from there and we decided to give it a try since we ate breakfast at the restaurant the year before and liked the food and service. The motel was not the best there either. It looked as though it hadn’t been redecorated since the ‘50s. Shirley called Janet and said we needed to come checkout their room. The TV was sitting on an old console TV (Probably from the ‘50s). Well you had to have been there… We survived the night but we won’t stay there again.

Tomorrow we ride to Canyon, Texas 363 miles away. Come follow along as we ride and share the fun and scenery…

You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

While you are here, you may like these post, too…

Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…

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Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Day 1 & 2:Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride September 2006

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Day 1 Ride Map

September 16 Georgetown to Texarkana (345 miles)

Today is the 1st day of our Trail of Tears and Palo Duro Canyon Motorcycle Ride. We are riding from Georgetown, Texas to Texarkana, Texas. Just a short ride of 345 miles. Texarkana sits on the border of Texas and Arkansas, hence the name… I’m sure it must make for some interesting city government and politics. I have often wondered how that could ever work…

We left on Saturday the 16th and rode to Texarkana and spent the night. There was a lot of nice scenery all along the way. There are lots of rolling pasture and farm land with pine woods in east Texas. We didn’t get an early start and most of this route was two lane roads through many small towns with stop signs and stop lights, it’s slower traveling so it took us a while to get to Texarkana. The weather was good but the temperature got up to at least 99 degrees according to a temperature sign in one town… That meant that the surface temperature of the road was at least 120 degrees or more and we were ridding in it. We got a bit dehydrated and should have stopped more often and drank more water. In our younger days we could have handled it better but… That was then and not now!

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Day 2 Ride Map

September 17 Texarkana to Jessiville (149 miles)

On Sunday we rode to Jessieville, Arkansas (20 miles north of Hot Springs) to visit Janet’s brother Roy and his wife Debbie. The ride was a short 149 miles down scenic Highway 7. We arrived early and were able to attend church with Roy and Debbie. We spent the afternoon with them catching up on all the family news. We always enjoy visiting Roy and Debbie. We need to get back more often but life gets in the way. Around 3:00 we headed to Hot Springs to wait for the “Trail of Tears” motorcycle ride to arrive.

It looked like it could rain riding in, so we wanted to get checked into the motel before it rained. Once unloaded we checked the weather channel and found we could get thunder storms with large hail!!! I was afraid that my bike might get hit by hail so I moved it under a breeze way. We did get a heavy rain but no hail, thank goodness. We were afraid the Trail of Tears” riders would have a bad ride but they only hit a little heavy rain on the ride into Hot Springs.

It was getting late and we were getting hungry so we walked down the street to a Pizza place for a bite to eat. Afterward we walked back to the motel to wait for our friends. They usually ride ahead of the ‘Trail of Tears” riders when they reach the last gas stop. When we got to the motel we found they had just arrived. My old Air Force buddy Larry C. did not make the ride this year. He hurt his back and was recovering. He wanted to come but everyone convinced him it would be best to skip this one. Larry was missed… if for no other reason than his crazy sense of humor.

We got everyone unloaded and spent the rest of the evening talking about the ride, past and present and just having fun visiting.

Tomorrow we joined the other riders on the last leg of the Trail of Tears motorcycle ride to Okmulgee, OK. Tomorrows ride is just 267 miles through scenic mountain roads in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Come follow along as we ride Okmulgee and then we will ride on to the Palo Duro Canyon in Texas.

You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.

While you are here, you may like these post, too…

Come follow along as we explore more scenic vista’s in Texas…

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Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Colonel Goodnight and Mama

This is a ride to do a little family research about Colonel Goodnight and mama… no not my mama, Janet’s mama. Janet’s mom was born in Goodnight, Texas in 1927 on Colonel Goodnight’s ranch. Janet’s grandfather worked for Colonel Goodnight until Colonel Goodnight’s death in December 1929. I’m hoping to find as much as I can about their time there from any historical information I can dig up…

By now you may be asking who is Colonel Goodnight. Colonel Goodnight is also known as Charlie Goodnight… Colonel Goodnight was a colorful and interesting fellow of the American West.  Perhaps, he is the best known rancher in Texas.  The Lonesome Dove novel and TV series is a fictionalized account of Colonel Goodnight and Oliver Loving’s third cattle drive. Lonesome Dove borrows from real events of the drive. Loving’s ambush by Indians and Goodnight’s care of Loving before Loving’s death from an arrow-induced infection and the returned of Loving for burial in Weatherford, Texas by Goodnight are real events. There are other accounts borrowed from Colonel Goodnight’s life but you can find more about him here.

Janet’s mom was at least 2 1/2 years old when her family moved from Colonel Goodnight’s ranch. Even at that age she remembers many details about their time there. One of the things she remembered was buffalo… a lot of buffalo! On this trip I will find out more information about that…

Janet was on a trip to New York City with a friend of hers so I decided to do this little ride. In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have gone because I may be traveling in heavy rain with strong winds and cold weather being blown in by a strong norther…

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My route to and from Goodnight, TX

Day 1 Georgetown to Amarillo  (460 Miles)

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Overcast skies, heading toward rain…

I left Georgetown under overcast skies with scattered showers in the area. The temperature was 60 degrees and made for nice riding. There was a cold front with a lot of rain headed my way. I was able to make Amarillo before it arrived. It did warm to the 70’s on the ride. I rode through several areas where I got a few sprinkles but not enough to stop and put on the rain gear. I’ve been this way many times in the car and on the bike so there was no new scenery to see. Although I’ve been this way many times, I continue to enjoy riding this part of the great state of Texas. All in all I made good time and it was a good ride.

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Darker skies…

I stayed on the east side of Amarillo because it was the best motel nearest Goodnight, Texas. I arrived about 4:30, checked in and got a bit to eat before settling in for the night. I checked the weather for tomorrow and it wasn’t looking good. Low of 35 degrees and rain was forecasted. I don’t mind riding in temperatures in the 30’s. I’ve done it many times and I don’t mind riding in the rain… but I’m not crazy about combining the two…

Day 2 Amarillo to Goodnight (38 Miles)

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Loading up getting ready to head to Goodnight, Texas

It rained heavily during the night and the temperature was 38 degrees when I left the motel. I was on the road at 8:30 since the Colonel Goodnight home didn’t open until 9:00. The road was still wet from the rain earlier. The rain was in front of me moving southeast so it would be awhile before I would catch up with the rain. I had planned on stopping in Claude, Texas at the Armstrong County Museum. The museum has information and documents from Colonel Goodnight’s ranch. Armstrong County Museum didn’t open until 12:00 so I rode on to Goodnight to tour Colonel Goodnight’s home and the Charles Goodnight Historical Center.

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Charles Goodnight Historical Center

I arrived at the Charles Goodnight Historical Center just after 9:00. I was greeted by the two staff members who filled me in on some of the history and the restoration of the home. Before touring the Goodnight home I spent some time looking at the exhibits and viewing 2 short videos about Colonel Goodnight and the ranch.

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Colonel Goodnight’s Ranch Home

Several years ago we stopped by before the home was restored.  We could see there was much to be done. I was amazed at all the work that had been done. It was obvious they did a good job restoring the home just from viewing the outside. My tour guide was very knowledgeable of the home and Colonel Goodnight’s history. Since I was the only person on the tour, I was able to take my time and ask many questions about the home and Colonel Goodnight.

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Goodnight Ranch House

Some of the interesting things I learned during the home tour…

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Dinning room of the Goodnight Home

The Charles Goodnight Historical Center didn’t have any of the ranch’s documents. Since there weren’t any documents, I wasn’t able to do any of the family research I had come to do. To do the research I would need to ride back to Claude to the Armstrong County Museum. I really wanted to do that but the weather was getting worse. I needed to be home tomorrow and I wasn’t sure if the weather would cooperate. I decided to play it safe and head back home and get as far as I could today.

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Sculpture by Colonel Goodnight’s niece

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Sculpture’s plaque

It wasn’t raining when I got back on the road. After I left Childress, Texas, it started to rain lightly and I had to put on the rain gear about 50 miles from Abilene. I had thought about staying the night in Abilene but the rain wasn’t too bad so I rode on hoping to get in as many miles in as I could.

Just outside Abilene I missed the exit for my planned gas stop so I decided to ride on. As it turned out it was a big mistake. Gas was getting low and I wasn’t finding any gas stations down the road. I was worried I would not find any. I could have a long, cold, wet walk for gas.  When I finally did stop, I had 0.2 of a gallon left in the tank. That was a very close call. If I miss an exit for gas, I will turn around and go back next time. That was just too close.

It was 5:00 and I was just 151 miles from home, so I rode on. As I approached the edge of the cold front, the rain got harder and there was strong wind gusts… I slowed down and considered stopping at the nearest town. About 50 miles from home I rode through the front, the rain changed to sprinkles and the wind was all but gone… I was home and exhausted but I was home…

While I wasn’t able to get much information on Janet’s family I did learn more about Colonel Goodnight, the ranch and the many contributions he made to ranching in Texas. He and his wife were amazing people. I will be coming back with Janet to do more research. If you are ever out that way it is worth a stop to visit Colonel Goodnight’s home.

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Ride safe and I hope we see you down the road somewhere…

Merry Christmas From Texas Y’all

Merry Christmas from Texas y’all…

May it be filled with Love, Joy and Peace…

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Santa is a biker…

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place whilea Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,

and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

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Ride safe… I hope we see you down the road somewhere…