Day One- 65 miles from Sapulpa OK- Muskogee OK! “Cow Shit and Rocky Roads”
I want to start off my first cycling blog by telling you all a little bit about Cynthiana the stray dog from Arkansas that started following me as I was walking across the country. I was walking down some dirt mountain road in Altus Arkansas (wine country) when I was whistling along to some music, this little dog came right up behind me and jumped on me! She then followed me for 8 more miles, I went to every house I passed, all 5 of them and asked they knew whose dog it was, and they all said she was some wild dog that kicked around the area but never really approached people. When I got to the vineyard I was headed to for the weekend she was still right next to me, I set up my tent at Chateau Aux Arc for the night and when I woke up Thina was sitting right outside my tent with my boot in her mouth. From then on she has been by my side, never letting me out of her sight. I named her Cynthiana after the Arkansas state grape, we spent 12 days on that vineyard, I worked in trade for a camp spot and food, we camped next to the Cynthiana vines every night! I may have drank a good amount of Cynthiana wine as well, so the name seemed to fit.
Thina (which is her nickname) is a free spirit, she does not like to be boxed in, she hates cars, she ate through a metal crate the first time someone tried to put her in one, yes she literally ate and destroyed a metal dog crate! She is wild and free, some people have said that she is a lot like her owner!
So day one of our trip starts off with me trying to get this free spirited dog clipped into a small bike trailer. This was a struggle to say the least, but she finally realized that this is the only way she got to continue to be with me, so she got in the trailer and we started our 1,700 mile journey! After about 3 miles google maps told me to take a right down some road, so I did, Thina looked miserable in the back and the road we turned on to was a dirt road, so I unclipped her and let her run next to the bike, well after about 1 minute of that Thina smelled something she couldn’t resist, she crawled under a barbed wire fence and rolled in a very fresh pile of cow shit! Normally walking I wouldn’t care, but I knew I had to put her back in our brand new dog trailer in about 2 more miles. So as I use up half of our water supply cleaning her up, I missed the shit on her collar, so when I went to clip her back into the trailer down the road, I became covered in fresh cow shit!
As the day rolled on we got more comfortable with our new modes of transportation, despite the cow poop I still had a giant smile on my face because my new electric bike is a blast. As we made it another 30 miles google maps told us to take another right hand turn down some dirt/rock road, well I did and after 2 miles I had over committed, I realized that I was going to be stuck on dirt roads for another 6-7 miles, (luckily I was able to let Thina free again) and I had no service so I could not look at google maps for another route, we were running low on water as well because I had dumped so much of it on Thina after she had a cow poop bath. As I headed down this rocky road pleading with my tires to hold out and feeling the trailer I was pulling bouncing around, I ran into JJ a telephone pole worker! I asked him if he knew when the dirt roads would ever end and he said not for a bit but if I took a left and headed a mile back I could hit a major hwy and I would be much better off, I was so thankful, and he was kind of curious about how I got where I was, I explained our journey to him, he very kindly filled up all my water bottles with ice cold water and we took a selfie and we were on our way to a paved road!
The day ended much better, we made it to Muskogee Oklahoma, I called up some friends I had made about 25 miles south of there, they had taken me in the first time I walked through Oklahoma. My friends picked me up off the side of the road about 30 minutes after I called, and they were just in time as my battery had just died. Brandon and Julie took me to dinner, they let me take a shower and gave me a place to rest my head for the day, they drove me back out to Muskogee the next morning, I really wasn’t feeling well, so I rode my bike back to their house 25 miles and took a 3 hour nap, got back on my bike and headed to the Arkansas border!