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Wandering Biker

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Tue
6
Oct '09

Elk City, OK to Gallup, NM via Washita Battleground National Historic Site, OK and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, TX and El Malpais National Monument, NM – 662 miles

Woke up early this morning and got out the door right at 8:00AM. There is a very strong north wind to fight up to my first stop.

Washita Battleground National Historic Site is at the site of an attack on the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle. There are guided and unguided walking tours as well as an overlook site that was closed the day I was there.

I headed out west across the Oklahoma and Texas plains. The north wind was very cold and fierce and I ended up following cars as much as I could so there would be someone close by if I got blown off the road or worse.

Lake Meredith National Recreation Area surrounds a man-made lake on the Texas panhandle. It provides drinking water to 11cities as well as recreational activities. The lady at the headquarters was very nice, but there was really nothing to do at the headquarters so I got my National Parks Tour stamp and moved on.

Heading south towards Amarillo with a tailwind the bike felt like I had twice the normal power and I had a good time passing cars like they were standing still. When I got to Amarillo I got on I-40 for the long slog west. Thankfully the wind subsided the further west I rode and wasn’t a problem the rest of the day.

With the time zone change it looked like I might be able to make my next stop before it closed for the day. Making this calculation tough was the many construction areas along the route along with my uncertainty of the closing time. I decided to forgo my normal afternoon snack stop and made a quick fuel stop. I managed to make it to El Malpais National Monument just 10 minutes before it closed at 4:30PM.

El Malpais means “the badlands” and this lava covered area fits the bill. There are lava flows, cinder cones, pressure ridges and lava tubes to explore.

Since I got this stop out of the way so early I continued on to spend the night in Gallup, NM. Today was the longest day of my entire trip.

National Parks Tour progress so far – 53 sites, 24 states.

1 Comment »

1 Comment » to “Elk City, OK to Gallup, NM via Washita Battleground National Historic Site, OK and Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, TX and El Malpais National Monument, NM – 662 miles”

  1. edtNZ Says:

    Keep up the excellent blogging Curtis, I read daily. May your travels be safe…Regards edt