Day 2: Borger to Guymon, Oklahoma - The Empty Middle 2015 - CycleBlaze

September 24, 2015

Day 2: Borger to Guymon, Oklahoma

My motel didn't offer any breakfast, so I ate at McDonalds and got on the road at 8:45. The sky was overcast, spitting tiny drops, 65F (18C). The weather forecast called for a gentle tailwind but the wind was dead calm. Very unusual in the Great Plains.

I pedaled north from Borger to Stinnett on busy TX 207. 4 lanes, and most of the traffic is big trucks. The road has a shoulder but the noise was annoying.

Nice roadside rest area between Borger and Stinnett. It has a historic marker about the battle of Adobe Wells.
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A "walking stick" came to visit. It got around fine even though it's missing a leg.
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It was gradual downhill from Borger to the Canadian River. The Canadian river was the only place during this tour that I dropped (slightly) below 3000 feet (910m) elevation.

Looking back at the dry Canadian river canyon.
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The Canadian river has a large watershed and a wide, deep canyon but I didn't see any water. Maybe some water flows under the gravel. Or maybe no water is discharged from the reservoir upstream.

Looking ahead while climbing out of the Canadian river canyon.
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The climb out of the Canadian River canyon is the only steep climb of the day. Maybe a 200 foot climb, 6% grade. It was my last time to see rock escarpments for many days to come. The road continues to climb gently through the town of Stinnett.

Incredibly large county courthouse in Stinnett.
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I pedaled through Stinnett (population 1864) without looking around much. Most of the town is off the highway some distance.

North of Stinnett the highway shrinks to 2 lanes and traffic decreases. Traffic decreased significantly after I turned onto TX 136. Finally a low traffic country road. The Borger to Stinnett segment was one of the busiest roads of the entire tour.

The pumping system is fascinating.
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North of Stinnett the oil development decreases and agriculture increases. Feed lots, irrigated sorghum fields.

One of several large feedlots.
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Hilltop view, Great Plains style.
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Every creek bed is dry.
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TX 136 north of Stinnett
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Lunch was at Dairy Queen in Gruver (population 1200). The only option there.

Sleepy downtown Gruver. The last town in Texas.
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The terrain isn't as flat as I thought it would be. Gently rolling hills with the occasional 4% grade. Combined with the absence of tailwind it was a strenuous day.

The clouds broke up at about 1 PM and the temperature rose to 82F (28C). Wind still totally calm. The wind turbines were motionless. Flies became a nuisance after the temperature warmed up.

Irrigated cotton.
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Irrigated sorghum
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Most of the cornfields were already harvested. This field hadn't been harvested yet.

Irrigated corn. Rich Haubert informed me that field corn is allowed to dry before harvesting.
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The terrain became flatter north of Gruver. The last 35 miles to Guymon was relatively easy but I was already very tired.

Looking back at the state I'm leaving.
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Looking ahead into Oklahoma.
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The paved shoulder disappeared after I crossed into Oklahoma. Pavement was in very bad condition between the state line and Guymon.

Centennial Park in Guymon, Oklahoma.
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I arrived in Guymon at 6:15 PM, totally exhausted. Sunset is about 8 PM so there was no worry about daylight.

I got a $72 room at Super 8 motel, with fridge, microwave, flat screen TV.

In the excitement of a new tour I apparently worked too hard yesterday and today. I'm exhausted and my butt hurts. Tomorrow I will take a rest day.

Distance: 79.7 mi. (127.5 km)
Climbing: 1555 ft. (471 m)
Average Speed: 11.0 mph (17.6 km/h)

Today's ride: 80 miles (129 km)
Total: 165 miles (266 km)

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