City Escape: Oklahoma City

Text: Bill Dragoo • Photography: Bill Dragoo

This mixed terrain ride takes you by The Round Barn, through an old ghost town, and returns via Route 66, where a restored WPA-era armory and the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum make history of your rowdy scramble down Oklahoma's backroads. Spring and fall are the best riding seasons in Oklahoma.

Length

Approximately 150 miles

Meet-up Spot

Pop's Soda Ranch, 660 W. Highway 66, Arcadia, OK

Lunch Stop

Jalopy's Drive-In Restaurant, 419 E. Highway 33, Perkins, OK, (405) 547-2499. This mom and pop style sit-down restaurant serves breakfast, hot links, burgers, and BBQ.

Scenery (2.5 out of 5)

Enjoy the Cross Timbers region, canopied dirt roads, old bridges, and a ride along the Cimarron River. Return passing museums down historic Route 66.

Traffic (2.5 out of 5)

Depending upon the day of week, Route 66 can be active, but rural traffic is usually sparse.

Difficulty (3 out of 5)

Weather determines required skill level. There is no technical terrain, but some roads may be sandy, rutted, or muddy.

Road Conditions (3 out of 5)

Backroads are improved dirt but grading is sporadic. Ghost Hollow Road borders the Cimarron River and has multiple personalities.

Points of Interest

  1. The Round Barn, Arcadia, OK
    The Arcadia Round Barn is a one-of-a-kind landmark along Route 66 that was originally built in 1898 by William Odor. After several new owners and many years of neglect, the barn almost fell to ruins but was restored by Luke Robinson and the “Over-the Hill” Gang in 1992. Still standing after more than 100 years, it remains an admired piece of architecture; www.arcadiaroundbarn.com.
  2. Ingalls, OK
    The ghost town of Ingalls was originally settled in 1889 and is most famous for the deadly outlaw battle on September 1, 1893, between the Doolin-Dalton gang (the Wild Bunch) and U.S. marshals. Three marshals and two town residents were killed; several others were wounded. Every member of the gang managed to escape, except for “Arkansas Tom” Jones, who was caught and sentenced to 50 years in federal prison; www.usmarshals.gov/history/dalton/doolin-dalton.htm.
  3. Route 66 Interpretive Center
    A restored National Guard Armory in Chandler, OK, the original was built in 1936-37 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's “New Deal” policy. This is one of only two built on Oklahoma Route 66. This armory's walls were chiseled by hand, a technique considered unique among the Oklahoma armories. The outer walls are 20 inches thick and can withstand tornadic winds; www.route66interpretivecenter.org.
  4. Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum
    A renovated pre-war service station turned museum. Open Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Sunday; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; www.seabastation.com.