The crawl to Shattuck

Today would be a long day — way longer than we thought. We didn’t know that setting out, which is why we lingered in town and had a fine breakfast.

We're pretty sure no one in a wheelchair needed to get by us. But yeah, we should have geared up somewhere else!

Actually found some good snacks in this town!

Around us the town hustled and bustled!

There was a “Museum Of The Plains” just north of the hotel that we should probably have checked out, but for some reason it didn’t feel inspiring.

I invite you to make up your own caption.

We rode due east all day, ranging away from each other for most of the afternoon, then bunching together as evening approached. We reached the edge of the Texas panhandle and entered Oklahoma around 6pm, stopping for snacks in a tiny town right on the border.

THE QUOTABLE NICK, #8

Nick:
“Why did I put a cookie in this pouch? That was stupid.”
Me:
“What happened?”
Nick:
“I put a cookie in and it got all mashed up. What did you think happened?”
Me:
“I think … you need to clean that pouch really thoroughly.”

Night fell, and the clouds thickened into a blanket and erased the stars. The wind began to push at us from the right side of the road. To keep our legs moving we paired our headphones and listened to a selection of Braindead Monkeys tracks, finishing up with Pavel Zmiewsky’s interview.

We were treated to a little chunk of midwestern spookyness as the mist thickened below the clouds and the moon came out.

Finally we reached Highway 283 and turned south for the final 10 mile stretch to Shattuck. We knew it would be tough because the wind had been blowing from the south with increasing intensity all night, and now we had to pedal straight into it, up and down a series of big rolling hills.

First sight of Shattuck.

Since I had all my gear packed low on the bike – and a lot more practice with this sort of thing – I slowed down to about 3 miles per hour and chugged along in a straight line. Nick charged ahead, motivated by what he called “loud music and anger.” With teenage-adjacent angst powering his legs he kicked his way back and forth across the road and over the hills and arrived in Shattuck fully an hour ahead of me. While I was listening to Act I of Hamlet (performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company) and gazing out across the misty hills, Nick was unpacking his bags in our motel room.

When I finally arrived in town, I paused to take a short video showing just how nasty the wind was.

I went straight past the motel to the one food source that was still open – a Sonic burger stand – and bought several hotdogs and hamburgers. Nick joined me a few minutes later and we obliterated the meal, stuffing things into our faces as fast as we could chew them.

And finally, we were in Shattuck! Having covered so much ground on bikes, it really did feel like a remote place. Combining it with “The Worst Hard Time” audiobook also made it feel a bit like a journey into the past. Time to look around…

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