Day 44: (45.7 miles) The Best Western sure did put on the best breakfast. An omelet station, yogurt bar, biscuits & gravy, tamales, bagels, Kashi Cereal, and flavored coffee creamer. Needless to say, we stayed longer than anyone else around us. Once our bellies were stuffed we took our time getting ready since it was drizzling. The rain was scheduled to pass around 10:30 and we weren’t too concerned with reaching a specific location because Katie, Shayna’s amazing cousin, offered to drive up from Dallas and pick us up for a few days. We had originally planned to meet up in Oklahoma City to explore together for a day, but forecasted thunderstorms caused that plan to lose its appeal. As a result, we accepted her generous offer and planned to meet up around 6:00pm. The flat terrain we had been enjoying the last couple days had come to an end and was replaced with, what seemed like, everlasting rolling hills. However, we enjoyed the plentiful trees and vibrant greens of springtime in Oklahoma. At lunch time we happened upon a perfectly placed picnic area where we filled up on our usual afternoon eats. Not knowing exactly where we’d make it before Katie met us, our plan was to contact her once we reached the center of El Reno, what we didn’t anticipate was her speedy driving and before we even attempted to make contact she drove up alongside and yelled “hey, are you guys tired yet?!”. She parked in the MGM Realty lot and we began the puzzle of how to fit two bikes, eight-plus bags, and three humans safely into her Jeep Cherokee. The bikes, bags, and two of the three humans were fairly easy to fit. The last, littlest human wedged where there was room- the passenger side floor. Consequently, the three-plus hours to Dallas were a bit uncomfortable, but knowing we were going to have two days off and be with a familiar face made it all worth it.
Day 45: (0 miles) Rest Day! 🙂 We enjoyed the slow morning and the delicious coffee. Matt and Katie had to work, so we hung out with their two Jack Russell pups and got to watch Netflix. They live in a beautiful complex overlooking a lake which we enjoyed from their comfy couches. We did venture out for lunch, and to pick up dinner fixings to cook a thank you meal for our hosts, but mostly we spent our day thoroughly enjoying our time OFF of our bikes.
Day 46: (0 Miles) Rest Day 2 of 2! Chef Matt whipped us up a tasty breakfast to start the day. The morning was slow and relaxing but when we eventually got around to it, we headed to the Dallas fairgrounds for their Earth Day TX event . There we toured some tiny houses, sampled some sustainably sourced craft brews, and listened to some speakers who are working in various ways to help the earth- including popular climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe. When we had our fill of windy, chilly weather, we headed toward north Dallas to check out the complex where Katie and Matt are purchasing their first home. We toured some similar floor plans, saw the lot their house will be built on this fall, and Katie kept hinting at the available space near by. It seemed like a great place and we look forward to coming back to visit once the house is finished. But this day, the pups had been alone long enough so we headed back, had some ice cream and a peaceful night to rest up to be back on the road tomorrow.
Day 47: (49 miles) Our pedaling started a bit later than usual since we had the 3.5-hour drive in the morning, but Katie dropped us off exactly where she picked us up in El Reno. We said our goodbyes and our tires hit the pavement again. It felt kind of like coming home after a weekend away. Just a few yards down the road though, we stopped for a quick lunch at Sonic. After, we passed through Yukon, the home of Garth Brooks, and a small town called Bethany where we were flagged down by two enthusiastic cyclists who had pulled their cars to the side of the road to chat with us. They inquired about our journey and shared their dreams of doing their own tours (one was hoping to start in 2019, the other waiting for retirement). They made sure there was nothing we needed, doubled checked our route and snapped a photo before sending us along with their well wishes. A few miles later we saw a familiar car and a familiar face. It was, Amy, one of the women we had just met. She had wished she had something to give us but had nothing in her car. She realized the best gift may be the $20 in her wallet. She insisted she pay for our camping that night which we were ever so grateful for. After pedaling through some beautiful suburbs of OKC, we found our campsite soon after, pitched our tent, and quickly fell asleep.