Steam rises from the blacktop like smoke signals as we approach the bridge girders over Skeleton Creek. I slow the big BMW R 1200 GS and keep Susan’s bright yellow F 650 in my mirrors as we duck under a canopy of trees. Our early morning ride brings us to this place only moments behind a thundershower that has provided the final ingredient to the cauldron in which we ride. The mixture of rain, fog hanging low over our path, and dark green morning skies makes this place remind me of Sleepy Hollow.
We are northbound on Highway 77 out of Guthrie, OK, en route to the Washington Irving Trail Museum, discreetly hidden on a backroad near Stillwater. I suppose my subconscious mind remembers that Washington Irving wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but that fact never surfaces as I check my six for the headless horseman. Nope, only my lovely wife smiling through her Arai XD. Not so scary as long as she’s happy.
Earlier, I spied an abandoned roadbed through a gap in the trees and made a spiral motion with my index finger, indicating to Susan that we were turning around. Circling back, we entered the woods through an obscure access point. We explored as far as we could in each direction, feeling like survivors of the apocalypse who had emerged into an unkempt world devoid of civilization. What stories could this narrow, grass-infested strip of pavement tell? We turned off our engines and listened, but its secrets remained sealed in concrete. We could only imagine the dreams our ancestors discussed while driving some of the first automobiles, and the thoughts that passed through their minds as they rolled over this old highway astride early Harley-Davidsons, Indians, Vincents, and Ariels.
A few miles farther along, a sign catches my attention: “Tanya Tucker for Court Clerk.” I laugh as we stop to snap a photo. The music business must have gone into a slump since “Delta Dawn,” but I am certain she will do her community proud.