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Four Corners - Day 26

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Start Location: El Reno, OK
Ending Location: Raton, NM
Miles Today: 449
Trip Miles: 8441
States Visited: 30
Provinces Visited: 3
Low Temp: 71 degrees
High Temp: 88 degrees
Min Elevation: 1374'
Max Elevation: 6993'

Route Map:

The plan today is to stay on I-40 for a few hours to getthrough the remainder of Oklahoma and part of Texas. The road is just as bad as it was yesterday and the scenery is not much different. The soil looks like the clay of Georgia. After a short time we come across a field of windmills. There are approximately 50-100 windmills altogether. Surprisingly there is a fair amount of controversy about wind power. The proponents say that it is relatively low cost and environmentally friendly. The opponents say that the efficiency is just too low and we would be ruining the environment by creating 'windmill farms'. They also claim that they are deadly to birds.

After about 125 miles, we cross into Texas. After we cross the border there is a monument at the side of the road that has lots of Texas trivia. We thought it was interesting that Texas has both a large state mammal and a small state mammal. I wonder if Washington even has one state mammal. Although the road is better in Texas, the scenery isn't too different. We do get to see the largest cross in the western hemisphere - or so they say. After a short time we turn off I-40 onto a road that Rand McNally has designated a scenic road. We guess that this picture may be why, but we're not too sure. Maybe this is as scenic as norhtern Texas gets. Most of the afternoon we see oil rigs and cattle. We are kind of surpised that we only see one longhorn steer all afternoon. We saw more than that in Arkansas.

By midafternoon we cross into New Mexico although there are no signs welcoming us, and Linda was ready with the camera. This is also the home of the Kiowa National Grasslands. When we stop at a rest area in New Mexico we see at least three warning signs and Linda's not too sure she wants to get off the bike. This is also an information point and view point for an extinct volcano.

The best part of today is the secondary roads in both Texas and New Mexico. They are in great shape, the speed limit is 70, and the roads are virtually empty. One of the things that definitely surprised us was the elevation profile for today's ride. Although we started at 1400', we climbed all the way to almost 7000' throughout the day. I thought I would also include an elevation profile. It's a plot of elevation versus miles for todays trip.

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Tomorrow we plan to spend time in northern New Mexico and just explore and enjoy the back roads.