Oklahoma!

For those of us born early enough to experience the musical and the movie, it has an almost magical name. As a nine year old in 1955, we had no TV, and movies were a very rare treat. But I do remember getting to go to this everybody’s-talking-about-it-movie. I’m sure it must have been on a “buck night” (whole family for a dollar at the Drive In) or some such enticement or else it wouldn’t have happened.

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This marque shows the “big story” for today in Oklahoma. I put on all the clothes I have in the biking wardrobe that would allow me to actually pedal the bike and headed on down the road. None too early, mind you, hoping there would be SOME warm-up. Didn’t happen. My hands were cold. My feet were cold. Torso hot! So, body should be average. 20190311_134438

Elk City, OK, was a real “surprise town”. It’s not celebrated in any of the songs or lore of Route 66, but as a one-time center of Oklahoma’s “Oil Patch”, it retains a great deal of vigor and fortitude for building a future along with celebrating its storied past. This gigantic ” oil well drilling rig” sits right at the edge of town to remind all of that history which flooded the this part of the state with new-found riches in that liquid gold that could be pumped from the ground.

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As a life-long farmer and cattle feeder, I felt a real kinship with this nice-looking bronze of two ranchers “sealing a deal” with a handshake. Eyeball to eyeball, and sittin’ a horseback is the closest thing to a meticulously written legal contract that exists. The “fine print” doesn’t exist. “I will if I agreed to.” 20190310_165522-1

Advertised as “The world’s Largest Route 66 Road Sign”, and I’m in no position to argue with it. It is without doubt the largest that I’ve seen. The museum is very well done, and not a roadside grab at your billfold for buying even more souvenirs and knickknacks.

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The days when the Model A Coupe’s were the “King of the Road” are long gone, but it was their ability to take anyone on this long-distance journey is what created the lore of the Mother Road. This 1928 version of the first year of production of these classic machines looked right at home with the Oil Patch back drop.

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Any museum that incorporates some interaction with the youngsters is going to get high marks from Gramma and Grampa. To Colin’s delight, this old fire engine even allowed bell ringing and steering! It predates the Model A days, and it mounted on a Model T chassis and reportedly was still used in the 1940s!

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More of those items that defy any explanation. Tiny little town of Canute proudly displays their Route 66 “Knight in Shining Armor”. No. I don’t know why. The only thing we had in common was that we both looked cold this morning.

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A few more cold miles down the road and we come upon another Gem of a Museum find: The General Thomas Stafford Space and Air Museum at Weatherford, OK. We fortuitously found out about it when we checked into the Wonderlust RV Park at the edge of town. (It also had not been mentioned in the library of Route 66 books). This actual airframe of an F-104 was flown many times by the sponsor of this museum, LtGen Thomas Stafford. Gen Stafford was an Astronaut and test pilot for the US Air Force, flying on nine different space missions. The museum is of the most impeccable standards, with many items on loan from the USAirForce Museum and the NASA Museum. Whoever in in charge of governance, presentation, and maintenance are  consummate professionals. 20190311_144857

I had to include this shot of the A10, Warthog, as it was the plane my bestest Amigo, Ken Brust flew before he retired from the Air Force. All “ground pounders”, such as myself, love the sight of these ugly flybirds as they come in close and stay close to keep the bad guys at bay. 20190311_154811

From old fire engines to trainer simulators, interactive displays with the young’uns is a good thing.20190311_151118

Gen Stafford looks a bit like Caesar as he is portrayed here in his Space Flight Suit. I’m just glad this Oklahoman was on our side!

Forecast for the morrow looks wetter, by far, and maybe a little warmer. Not riding in the rain or snow, now you know.

Thanks for coming along. We love it out here, and love it more that you’re here with us.

 

9 thoughts on “Oklahoma!”

  1. Welcome to the Sooner state, amigo! Sorry our welcome doesn’t include better biking weather. Guess it must be party time. Tomorrow at Hubie’s and the next couple of days here paddling around in Tulsa! ☂️🌨🚣‍♂️🎉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh NO NO NO! It’s not supposed to be that cold. I bet it wasn’tt a fun day with cold feet and hands. I’ve always maintained that I’d rather be too hot than too cold any day.

    There was another cold front that swooped in on us last night. It was in the 70’s and pleasant yesterday. We woke to drizzle and falling temps today. The only thing predictable is the unpredictable weather. And I’m sorry it’s not cooperating for you. It’s Spring Break down here for lots of schools (including Grace and Hannah) so we’re all cheering for much warmer temperatures!

    You did come across some great surprises today. The museum looked like fun and kid friendly. You can’t beat that! Very interesting about the space and air museum! Who knew?! Loved the pictures.

    And finally I’m singing OKLAHOMA in my head!! Thanks for that!!

    I’m gonna keep sending warm thoughts and hopes that the danged weather is gonna warm up, too!! Lots of prayers and hugs, too!!

    Ride on Cousin!!!

    Love you lots,
    Cindy Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The WX doesn’t look good but the fire is roaring and the cork has been pulled on the Edradour! But no wee bit of necter if the Devil Dog is gonna wa wa wa about not being in shape for party time! Where’s that gyrine spirit we all know and love!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love following your progress on R66! Sorry to tell you its been raining all afternoon and that is just a prelude for Wednesday. Will be warmer but more wind Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

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