One of the most difficult tasks for us out here is keeping track of the day of the week and day of the month. They truly all blend together. I can pretty much remember the biking legs that I’ve completed, and then try to go from that to where we are now. And the time thing is just bonkers now, as we go from DSMTZ to Arizona Time to CDSTZ and then back again a time or two. Not worth the hassle, since I only ride in daylight anyway. The weather, well that’s a whole nother thing! It’s the Big Kahuna, The Top Dog, The Decision Maker: Ride or Don’t Ride. So, today is Thursday, and the last day on the bike was Monday. That’s a LONG TIME! Muscles get soft and relax, butt calluses soften up, Focus gets unfocused. And it’s all at the whim of this crazy weather. It was so windy Wednesday that it wasn’t even safe to drive Bridget! She was rolling port and starboard like a drunken sailor when exposed to those 50 plus MPH Oklahoma gusts. What to do? Why, seek out all the Route 66 Sights we can find, that’s what!
The Heartland Museum of Route 66 introduced us to Isabel (celebrating her 91st birthday on our visit!) and Nedra, chief volunteer. A very nice roadside museum covering the developing years of Route 66 through Weatherford, OK. The 1931 Model A Coupe was a real jewell, and was owned by a local businessman. The kids saw innumerable items from farm and shop that were totally foreign to them, but easily remembered by me.
Isabel insisted that Izzy, sporting her “Iowa Girl” shirt, get on the stuffed buffalo for an “official” picture.
In the recreated one-room schoolhouse Izzy tries her hand (and feet!) at the pump organ that supplied whatever live music the students would have been exposed to while getting educated here. She was reluctant to believe that Grandma Cathy had actually attended a very similar “one room” schoolhouse for her first three years of schooling.
Driving conditions east from Weatherford towards Oklahoma City. The blurry object barely visible is one of hundreds of generating windmills that fill the skyline along the Route. Slow going, but not as slow as it would have been on my bike. Or as wet.
Seeking shelter in a storm is made easier by having long, true friends who will take you (along with two thirteen year olds!!) in for the night, even if you’re driving a 20 foot long RV that won’t even fit in their driveway. Garnett and Marsha Haubelt did that for us and made us feel like we were the most welcome guests in the world. That’s even with Marsha still wearing a foot boot and preparing for surgery to correct the tendon problem. We all SLEPT IN REAL BEDS for the first time since leaving cousin Jennifer’s in California. I tried to warn our hosts not to treat the kids too well or there might be a chance they would stay there!! “Hubie” even shared some of his prized and precious 22 year old single malt brewed-in-Scotland Scotch. Now THERE’S real friendship. 🙂
The enormously impressive and heart-rending Oklahoma Memorial at the site of the former Murrah Federal Office Building, destroyed by a home-grown terrorist’s bomb on 19 April, 1995. One hundred ninety-six innocent victims lost their lives. Hundreds more were injured. At one end of the reflecting pool is the “9:01” wall, and the other end, the “9:03” wall. The moment of explosion precisely at 9:02, the walls representing life before and after the unforgettable event. The nearby museum walks the visitor through the moments before and the seconds, hours, days and weeks following the explosion. The emphasis throughout all the exposition was the city and state’s ability to recover .and rebuild and still forever remember all that had taken place on that tragic day.
The area where the evergreen trees are growing over the “symbolic” marker chairs of all the victims on the sidehill where the actual building stood. The childsize chairs representing the 19 children who died in the daycare there are particularly poignant, especially after seeing their individual pictures inside the museum.
A much more bucolic setting a few miles down the Mother Road at Arcadia, OK. A wonderfully built and restored Round Barn is a Highly Recommended stop. It was originally constructed in 1879 by a German Immigrant farmer using timbers harvested and sawed on his farm.
The roof had totally collapsed and was rebuilt by a local carpenter, again using locally sourced trees. They even went to the extent of having a custom made circular saw blade made so the saw marks would match the ones in the rest of the barn. The lumber was soaked in the nearby creek for several weeks to allow them to be inserted into the forms and jigs to create the correct shape for the dome roof. There were 33,000 wooden cedar shingles used to recover the roof.
A concession demanded by the reconstruction carpenter was that the upper floor be made available for dances and musical venues. The acoustics are excellent, and the ambience unbeatable!
This geometrically mesmerizing cantilever construction, along with the 25 feet tall “pop bottle” drew us off the road. Winds were at their maximum at about this time and I wondered how the structure would handle these gusts had it been facing into the wind instead of away from it. The whole place is known as “Pops”, and boasts the biggest variety and quantity of “pop” in the USA.
Since all four walls looked like this, I wasn’t going to try to contradict their claim!
Weather forecasts have not improved much, so we don’t know yet what tomorrow holds. Tulsa awaits.
Thanks for staying with us!