Jun 1, 2012

KIT™ Day 7

We started our day today with our workout (love it when we stay at a place with exercise equipment) and then headed downtown Oklahoma City (OKC) to Robinson and 4th street.  We parked and walked over to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building Memorial site.  This is where 168 people lost their lives, and thousands more were impacted beyond words, on April 19, 1995.  Seeing the chairs and the reflecting pool was very moving.  The tree that you see pictured is dubbed the "Survivor Tree", an American Elm, that survived the blast.  There were 16 structures in the surrounding area that had to be demolished and rebuilt due to the strength of the blast.  You can see how strong that tree really is.  

The Gates of Time, marking the entrances from both ends of the memorial were also very poignant.  The closest one is "901" representing the minute before the blast and the innocence of those near by (especially the children in the daycare area), and the farthest one is "903" representing innocence lost...  The message on the wall was painted by one of the first to respond.

Next we moved on to Yukon (the home of Garth Brooks) where we saw these grain elevators.  Grain elevators are one of the items that have been highlighted in our guidebook, so I felt I would be remiss if not having at least one picture (especially as we head to the SouthWest).  This one with the neon sign on top seemed like an excellent choice.  

Yukon is also one of the main points on the old Chisholm Trail, so the opportunity to get the Standard sign in front of this old station building, and also the marker for the Chisholm trail was photo opportunity I just could not pass up.

We were able to do some pretty long runs of the original (1930's) Portland Concrete road today, and this stretch was some of the earliest and most spectacular, outside of El Reno.  The buzzard you see sitting in the road was disturbed by a passing truck and we spent 5-10 minutes watching it fly in the strong winds we had today (25 to 35 mph), trying to get back to what ever it was that was so interesting on the road.  The buzzard would get airborne and try and fly toward the road, and then get swept by a gust backwards, and it would then seek an updraft to get back over the road, and when trying to land would get gusted backward again.  It was quite humorous to watch.

As we were headed to Hinton, and took one of the side spurs of older road, we came to an intersection and had to sit there as three oversize trucks went by along with their escorts.  Each truck had a windmill blade, and they were longer than two normal sized semi-trailers.  We then passed over the Pony Bridge, built in 1933, consisting of 38 "pony" trusses (pony in this context meaning small).  I was even lucky enough to get a shot of a Mustang going over the Pony Bridge :o)

At the far side, we saw a sign that we were entering the Wichita-Caddo-Delaware Tribal Jurisdiction.

A bit further on our journey today we stopped at Lucille's just outside of Hydro, OK.  Built in 1929, it was purchased in 1941 by Lucille and Carl Hamons.  The raised three children in the rooms behind the station, and Lucille ran the business for 59 years.  She must have been an amazing person.

Between Weatherford and Clinton, we came across the point where those large windmill blades must have been destined for.  We had seen a huge wind farm in Illinois, and were even closer to the machines than previously.  Here are a couple of shots to put it in perspective.  The towers are several hundred feet tall, so you do not realize how big the blades are.  The wind had died down just enough that most of the machines were in operation, it was a sight to see (if the wind is to strong, the blades will be locked out to protect the bearings and the windings from excessive speed).

Our next adventure, and one of my favorites for the day was finding the ruins of Kobel's Place.  The station was abandoned, and I loved seeing where the pumps used to be, the concrete getting broken up by the huge oak tree roots, and the remains of the gas station, cafe, and bus station inside the buildings (sink, fridge, cash register, etc.).  What the bed springs had to do with the original business I cannot say, but I am sure there are stories to be told.

We ended our day in Elk City where the National Route 66 museum is located.  We arrived late in the day but were able to squeeze in a tour.  Based on some of the other things we saw on the road, we were a little disappointed with the displays and the lack of passion from the people working there.  Just goes to show that doing what you love, with passion, is remarkable and memorable.  Lessons there for all of us, and I know we will be focused on finding that passion for our remaining stops.


  1. Another fun day...and another late night! :/

  2. Those are POWERFUL images out of OKC. I can only imagine the impact of seeing the chairs, reflecting pool and "Survivor Tree" in person. A touching tribute, indeed. Thank you for the moment to reflect on this tragedy. We have several WIND FARMS near us. My hubby and I watched the windmills being built from the ground up. took hundreds of pics too. You're right, they're HUGE. But unless you see them up close and personal their size is distorted. Like you said, seeing them running is quite a sight. But what's really awesome is seeing them at night. Their red lights blinking on and off, dot the landscape like Christmas. OMG, the irony of getting a MUSTANG going over PONY BRIDGE. It wasn't your car, was it? How cool was that, says this former mustang owner. LUCILLE'S looks like just the place for a pit stop after a lONG drive. I see that picture and it reminds me of being a small child. And last but not least, Beth looks pretty in pink. Sorry to hear you guys were a little disappointed in today. People aren't passionate about history these days and that's sad when there are those of us who are curious to know MORE about it. TAKE care. this is a FANTASTIC Travelogue.

  3. Wow, you guys are really having a great time! I really get the feel as if I was riding with you of what traveling Route 66 is like!!

    Enjoy yourselves!!

  4. If you lived in Elk City would you have any passion? You're close to my own territory now - Norman and OKC, but going west out of OKC there is really nothing of interest to me. The worst motel I have ever stayed in was the one in Elk City. I almost went out to my car to sleep because of the smell of urine. I think it is from the rats. Not joking. Anyway, once you're past Amarillo the going gets beautiful all the way into California. But you probably already know that. :)

  5. Of course I am loving to tag along. As I read hoping to 'Do the Road' one day. We have touched on parts, but not the way y'all are taking it in. OKC brings back a lot of memories. We were that just after the blast, and again just after the striking monument was finished.

    I have found some folk can dampen my enthusiasm, with a 'this is my job' attitude. Then thank goodness you run into someone who will make you forget the 'WET BLANKET!". We have traveled way over a million miles, I have yet to see the 'boring' drive. I guess it is sorta like watching the Buzzard, when you can be entertained by the small things, LIFE IS ALWAYS GOOD!.
    Thanks for your day.


Tell Me What You Think, Don't Make me go Rogue on you :o)