Day 31. | Mt. Pleasant TX. | End: Hugo OK. | Mileage 1525.6
So I woke up to an overcast morning. Like clockwork, 7:00am I was up and kicking. Not an easy feat, trust me… if you know me, I can hibernate like a bear and sleep through an earthquake. The first couple staggered steps out of the tent was in the direction of the mint cookies. After cramming three in my mouth I noticed my dad was awake and leaned into the truck to poke him…. he didn’t get much sleep. The heat and bugs must have terrorized them throughout the night, something Dirk and I are well accustomed to by now. I said goodbye to my father for the second time of the trip. Giving him a big hug and telling him we were going to be all right, hell we came this far.
Starting the day off with a flat tire, we discovered our tires are slowly dying. Tearing and peeling, fragments of missing rubber leave the Kevlar lining exposed. Nervously examining the sad puppies. I decided to rotate them out and try to extend the life of the tires that have carried us so far. Moving the front to back and back to front, maybe I can get to the mountains before thinking about new shoes for my pony. A hug, a wave, a smile… we set off.
The day was hot. Not the normal heat of a nice day at the beach. This was the “I’m cooking… what smells like fire” kind of hot. While riding, one can escape the heat with the constant breeze. But once you stop, the sun would catch up to gain revenge. As we hopped from small town to small town, the normal mid day nap was instead spread over many small breaks.
As we made the turn north we were greeted by a strong south wind. Finally with a tailwind on our backs, we booked it. Easily keeping a steady pace around 18 to 20mph we were stuck at a stalemate. When the wind is at your back, you find it is an easy ride, yet once you catch up to the wind speed and match it, the sun again seems to take advantage. Like a pocket, we were caught in this windless current, baking like a roast turkey.
Making it into Hugo Oklahoma by the late afternoon we had to rely on finding a motel. Still can’t believe that a state park would be closed at 6pm, I called at 6:10 to only discover this. After a handful of tries at various establishments, we settled with a motel that didn’t hurt the budget too much.
As soon as I set eye on it… I knew I had to have it. A Chinese restaurant, mmm. As I walked in, still in my cycling shorts and gear, I met the husband and wife owners. They gave me a to-go box and said I can stuff as much food in as I can. As my eyes lit up and my mouth began to water, I filled that box up with the precision of a pro Tetris gamer. With all the money in my wallet, I reach to grab 6 bucks and some loose change; they left me happy and full.