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If you are ever in far southeastern Oklahoma, say around Tom (you know where Tom, Oklahoma is at, right? No? Idabel? Go to Idabel and keep going) be sure and stop by and see the oldest known grave in Oklahoma at the Garland Cemetery. It is a rural, very remote cemetery that requires driving down a gravel driveway to find, but when you get there you can see the oldest known birthdate on a gravestone in Oklahoma. Below is the inscription from the Oklahoma Historical Society marker:

Small cemetery nearby contains graves of Choctaw chief Samuel Garland (1862 – 64) and family members including his mother-in-law, Sophie Pitchlynn. Peter Pitchlynn, son of Sophie and John Pitchlynn, was chief 1864 — 66. Garland migrated from Mississippi during Choctaw removal in 1830s, opened and operated large plantation in vicinity with black slave labor. Cemetery is the only remaining evidence of Garland occupation. Headstone of Sophie Pitchlynn bears birthdate of December 27, 1773, believed to be earliest in Oklahoma.

To get there you plug these GPS coordinates into your system or click the download link below the map:

GPS Coordinates for Garland Cemetery: 33.747340, -94.498117

Sophie Pitchlynn lived to be nearly 98 years old and was born before the United States declared independence from Britain!

The graveyard is about 13/4 mile north of Highway 3 on N4815 graveled county road – one mile west of the OK/AR state line. You will see a long driveway going west back into the woods. Follow it about 200 yards and you will see the graveyard. Any bike can make the trip, even a heavily loaded street bike, as long as you don’t mind just a bit of hard packed gravel.

Garland Cemetary is home to the oldest known gravestone in Oklahoma.
Garland Cemetary is home to the oldest known gravestone in Oklahoma.
The grave of Sophia Pitchlynn is the oldest known gravestone in Oklahoma. She was born in 1773, well before American declared independence from Britain.
The grave of Sophia Pitchlynn is the oldest known gravestone in Oklahoma. She was born in 1773, well before American declared independence from Britain.

Garland Family Cemetery

Garland Family Cemetery

Garland Family Cemetery

Garland Family Cemetery

Garland Family Cemetery

Garland Family Cemetery

Adventurer Bill Dragoo will be teaching a two day class in Lexington, OK on how to ride big dual sport bikes off-road. Slotted for April 21-22 2015, this class will focus on helping aspiring adventure riders learn to manage big, heavy dual sport motorcycles over rough terrain safely and efficiently.

Bill Dragoo launching out of  deep sand at the 2008 BMW GS Trophy competition in Spartanburg, SC.
Bill Dragoo launching out of deep sand at the 2008 BMW GS Trophy competition in Spartanburg, SC.

Skill training will include but not be limited to:

Balance and control
Proper body position
Proper use of brakes where traction is marginal
Skid turns
Obstacle Crossing
Tight turns
Hill Fail Turnaround
Towing
Trailside Emergency Including Flat Repair (time permitting)
Negotiating Deep Sand
Sand Extraction
Group Ride Trail Etiquette
Riding Gear Selection (What works and what to avoid)

Bill is an experienced off-road racer and rider. He won the 2009 Adventure Rider Challenge in California, was runner-up on the BMW GS Trophy Team in 2008, and was a member of the BMW GS Trophy Team in 2010, where he competed in South Africa against teams from all over the world. Bill has ridden dual sport motorcycles in far off places such as Africa, South America, the American southwest, and many other places. Bill is an MSF advanced rider instructor and teaches beginning and advanced street riding courses in Oklahoma City.

If you always wanted to ride your big dual sport off-road but was nervous on how to handle such a challenge, or you just want to sharpen your existing off-road skills and learn a few tricks on riding big bikes off-road, this class is for you.

Cost is $235 for the two day class and will be held at Sundog Trails ORV area in Lexington.

Listen to the podcast to hear Bill talk about what is needed for the class and the skills that will be learned during the class.


Bill Dragoo will be hosting a motorcycle camping seminar at Backwoods outdoor store in Norman (I-35 & Robinson) on Tuesday, June 7 at 7 pm. He will be showing how to pack everything you need, yet still pack light and tight. He will show his kit for traveling the Trans America Trail on his dirt bike, and his kit for traveling to Mexico on his BMW GS-1200. Bill is the master at packing light with just the gear you need. He traveled across the USA – unsupported – on a bicycle, so he knows a thing or two about packing and camping light. Join us for a great time.

The fourth annual Winter Dual Sport ride is scheduled for January 21-23 in Talihina, Oklahoma. For this hard core three day ride each participant must be self-contained, with winter camping equipment, food, fuel for a fire, and warm clothes and sleeping gear. Riders will camp out each night regardless of the temperature, and ride dirt roads, logging trails and some rugged 2-track trails. This year the ride starts in the Talimena State Park and goes off-road over into Arkansas, then returning Sunday to the park. For more details click here.

Norman resident Ricky Brooks will be at the Ride Oklahoma/Adventure Rider Magazine offices on Saturday, March 13 at 4 pm to present a slide show and video of his recent trip to Tierra del Fuego on his Suzuki DR-650. This should be a fun and interesting presentation, as Ricky outlines his challenges with border crossings, camping, food and language. Bring a lawn chair and kick back and listen to Ricky tell some interesting tales of his travels.

Where: Ride Oklahoma/Adventure Rider Magazine offices
6976 Highwater Circle
Suite D
Edmond, OK 73034
1 mile west of I-35 on Waterloo in Highwater Business Park

When: 4-6 PM March 13, 2010
What to bring: Lawn chair, refreshments
Cost: Free

Adventure Rider Magazine Where's Ricky
Ricky Brooks story in Adventure Rider Magazine