Route 66: Cuba, MO to Chelsea, OK
Day 15 – 3417 Miles
CUBA, MO to CHELSEA, OK – 329 Miles
My goodness! What an action-packed day! A day of pitbulls and kittens and thunderstorms and dirt roads!
I had a feeling the crazy one (the one eyeballin’ the camera) wasn’t going to let us go easily. The second I started up the bike, he got even more crazy-eyed and lunged and chomped at my front tire when I tried to move. Finally Shelly and a young guy from the restaurant came out and held the beasts so we could take off, slobber still dripping from my tire. Funny part is, when we saw them lurking before we left the restaurant I asked the waitress if they were motorcycle eaters! Ha!
Onward to Devil’s Elbow! We had to zip through on our way East because we were running from a storm, so this was on the list of “must stops” on the way west, especially this magical old divided section of the Mother Road.
The next leg, we got a bit wet, oddly enough, around the same place we got soaked last time! So glad we could help the Missouri drought! Just about the time we got dry, on a stunning stretch of 66, the clouds ahead grew darker by the minute, creating a brilliant contrast to the sun hitting the road and turning the still-damp hayfields a rich golden hue.
After a bit he said, “Why don’t you roll your bikes up under the cover. This storm’s going to blow through big.” We thanked him but said we needed to move on. After some persuading we did as he said and Man!! Are we glad we did! It dumped buckets and brought a fierce blowing the wind.
When it finally calmed a bit, we got rolling even though Gary tried to convince us to stay. If you have a bit of time and can stop and chat with him, do so. He’s a heck of an interesting guy and has a wealth of knowledge to share. And he just might feed ya some watermelon and “sodie-pop”!
We hit a few more sections of Route 66 we missed on the way out, and took a couple alignments again that we really liked such as the one through Galena Kansas, and pushed on toward Chelsea Oklahoma, way behind schedule with our extended visit with Gary. Around six thirty, not having eaten since the pitbulls, we stopped in Miami for dinner and on the way out of town, took a wrong turn and ended up on a different alignment than we took in, and found this…
A section of one lane Mother Road. Bumpy as hell and worth every moment. Eventually the sparse chunks of paved road vanished until it became just gravel. Gravel’s not the most fun to ride on, but I don’t regret a second of riding one of the most primitive sections of old road on the trip.
We rolled into Chelsea around nine, and Frank from the Chelsea Motor Inn warmly welcomed us. As the fellers talked motorcycles, I hit the tub with the satisfaction of a perfect Route 66 day behind me.
Until next time,