Washunga Campground on the Kaw Lake surrounds us tonight. A wade in the water cools and cleans us after our dusty journey north and westward from Tulsa.
We rode side by side for endless miles on the gravel road through prairie fields speckled with daisies. We couldn’t tell by looking, but we both smiled under our helmets. Free and flying.
We pass through abandoned town after abandoned town. We desperately want these downtowns to be thriving but continuously they disappoint. Forgotten store fronts, collapsed roofs, and wide empty streets. We can hear a weed whacker in the distance as we stop in the middle of what used to be a busy cobble stone street and imagine what should still be in this charming place.
A wooden poll with a hundred arrows point in every direction indicating which big city is where. Another wooden sign says “A town too tough to die.” The people who live there still cling to their home and that’s admirable. I would have happily supported a local business, had there been one.
But we ventured on, 25 miles to go until we rested. We now perch ourselves on the Kaw Lake and the muddy bed finds its way between our toes as we see turtle heads pop out of the water.
A beautiful view of trees and bridges surrounds us as we laugh and frolic before setting up camp, soaking up the last moments of daylight.