I began and ended my quest for the RUSA R-12 award riding the Munger Moss Route 66 permanent. Tamara Mitchell and I headed out Saturday morning from the Travel America in Strafford. We had a south wind that helped push us along. The sky was mostly cloudy, so it was not too hot. The ride was uneventful until we got to the Oasis Truck Stop, the turn-around control, and it was closed. It was not just closed for the day but actually out of business. Fortunately, Grumpy's Outback had opened on the other side of the interchange, so we were able to get our cards validated. The clerk said the Oasis had been closed about a month and someone was trying to reopen it. Hopefully, they do because the Oasis was right at 200K. Grumpy's is to close. If it does not reopen, I will have to modify the permanent route to add some extra distance.
The clouds had cleared somewhat, and it was hot, particularly on the pavement, as we headed back. We did have a short rain shower that was a welcome relief.
We were climbing the hills back into Lebanon when we were passed by about 100 motorcycles headed the other way. Earlier, I had seen a number of motorcycles heading southwest as we were heading northeast out of Lebanon. They must have rendezvoused there. It was an impressive sight. I should have stopped to take a picture, but I kept thinking the parade would end. We did stop briefly after the motorcycles passed because we had quite a few cars backed up behind us.
We stopped in Lebanon to eat at Britts Route 66 Grill, which is in the former Wrink's Market. Wrink's was a long-time, main stay on Route 66 that closed a few years ago. The sandwiches and fries at Britts were really tasty.
About five miles out from Strafford, the temperature suddenly dropped and the wind shifted out of the north. I could see rain to the north, but it was really localized. It made the last few miles of the ride much more enjoyable.
I purchased a Carradice Nelson Longflap saddlebag and saddlebag support that I used on the ride. I packed a lot more into it than I needed for the 200K, and it rode real well. I will have plenty of cargo space for the longer rides.
So ends the quest for the R-12, but why stop now. There is always another 12 months of riding.