As you can probably determine from the title of this post, I finally made it to Oklahoma. It was a good thing I stayed in Dallas the extra day because, according to some folks I talked to, it was a mess here. It was overcast and kinda dreary when I left Dallas but the weather cleared as I headed north and by the time I reached Oklahoma City, it was a perfect day. Low 70’s, light breeze and not a cloud (or tornado) in the sky. The only thing is I didn’t get the “Welcome to Oklahoma” sign on the highway. You are driving for so long in Texas and then, all of a sudden, you’re in Oklahoma. I thought about turning around and going back to get the pic but I felt I spent enough time driving thru TX. So these pix of the state flag and map – taken at the rest stop just after the border – will have to suffice.
I have to admit that I didn’t have high expectations for Oklahoma. So I was pleasantly surprised to find so many things to do when I got to OKC. My first stop was the Oklahoma City Memorial. It is quite moving, with a reflecting pool down the middle and two bronze “gates” on either side – one reads 9:01 and the other 9:03. The explosion happened at 9:02. Each person who died in the explosion is represented by an empty chair on the lawn. You can still see the destruction on the top of the building (now the museum) next to the pool. And the survivor tree is also a sight to behold – the name says it all.
But what’s really special about this memorial is when you visit at night. The gates and the chairs are all lit up and the entire place glows. I made a special trip back last night to get these pictures – and I’m so glad I did. Very few people were there and it’s quite peaceful.
I also visited the Myriad Botanical Gardens, made two trips to the Paseo Arts District (there was this huge Tour de Beer festival going on so hundreds and hundreds of people on bikes at pubs throughout the area) and of course checked out the capital. I forgot to include the pic of the Texas capital building in my previous post so I’m including it here (not a great pic as I took it while driving):
Regarding my visit to Paseo, I ended up finding a painting I really liked in a gallery on Sat. I went back yesterday to meet and speak to the artist about the piece and she ended up inviting me to park in her driveway last night and have breakfast with her this morning in her yard. She also told me to check out Louie’s on Lake Hefner as they have a big patio and it’s a great place to watch the sunset. So I did that as well and ended up sharing a table with a terrific local couple. Virginia is a real gem and I cannot thank her enough for her hospitality. Actually, pretty much everyone I’ve met in Oklahoma has been nice as pie. Here’s a great pic of Virginia from this morning (I look rather unkempt) and a pic of the painting I am getting:
The other thing I did in OKC was visit the Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. This was the perfect complement to my visit to the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth and I have stickers from both on the MoHo fridge. The Cowgirl Museum had lots of info on Annie Oakley but also a great deal about the stunts that women could do. The pic in the middle shows a depiction of a woman jumping into the water on her horse. What you don’t know is that this is a stunt she did from a platform 35-50 ft up, into a pool of water 10 ft deep. Totally amazing. The saddle seats in the auditorium were a nice touch too. The Cowboy Museum had a bigger emphasis on western art though there was a good section on the different events at a rodeo which I particularly enjoyed. Am I the only one that noticed that the mural of the cowgirls shows them simply riding while the all the cowboys depicted have guns (fyi – the solo statue is Buffalo Bill).
Juno and I spent some time at the vet this morning. He got into something last week when we were in Austin and he’s been licking his paws incessantly since then. A shot of steroids and some antibiotics and we left OKC late this morning for Tulsa. Juno is still licking his hind paw so now I put a sock on him. If he keeps shaking it off, I’ll have to get a cone which would really suck since the MoHo isn’t very wide. Right now he’s taking a nap next to me.
Tulsa has some cool street art in the downtown area:
But my favorite thing in Tulsa (so far) was visiting the Center of the Universe:
I know, it just looks like a pic of my shoes. But when you stand in this spot on a pedestrian bridge in downtown Tulsa, your voice echoes. There were some other girls there who clued me in. And yeah, your voice really does echo. But here’s the crazy part – only YOU can hear the echo. No one else can hear the echo. Like I said, crazy!!!
I’m really tired today as yesterday was insanely busy and I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I’m at an RV park right next to the Tulsa airport so the airplanes flying overhead aren’t making for the most restful afternoon but I’ll manage. Most likely heading to Arkansas tomorrow. Until then, that’s all for now.
State count: 35
p.s. Plains States vs plain states. Apparently I should have capitalized this in my last post. But these states are kinda plain so maybe my spelling works too?