Trip Start Jul 11, 2008
14Trip End Jul 27, 2008
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We started today in Joplin, Missouri heading west once again. We were up and on the road early today. For most of yesterday and today we paralleled historic old Route 66. It was interesting to contrast the ups and downs of the old route into valleys and up hills, to the new highway where the hilltops were cut off and used to fill the valleys making a much straighter road. There were quite a lot of vintage shops still in business along route 66, and a lot of old closed/abandoned shacks along the way. An interesting left over prop was of an old leaning water tower (we got a pic of that). One old gas station had it's last gas price of $0.29 a gallon still painted on the weather-beaten sign. We crossed into Oklahoma (state #17), and paid the bargain price of $3.79 a gallon for our fill-up. The roads in western Oklahoma finally turned into the smooth western highways I appreciate so much, after the potholes of the northeast. We passed the "largest cross in the northern hemisphere", it certainly looked big! Our sightseeing stop today was Oklahoma City, OK. We snacked along the way planning a late lunch. We arrived in the city and found a parking spot near the Murrah Federal building memorial site. I expertly parked the RV right up against the curb (and a no parking sign) as you can see in the pic! Oh well, after scraping against numerous tree branches on narrow streets in the past 2 weeks, this was just another "minor flesh wound". No problem for the beast.
We walked to the memorial. The memorial has empty chair sculptures, one for each person that died in the explosion. Smaller chairs to represent the children in the day care facility that were killed that day. I remember when I visited the site after the building was razed, before the memorial was even planned. A Chain link fence surrounded the foundation. There on the fence people had placed mementos. Some were of their loved ones who had died, some were gifts (teddy bears, candles, flowers) some were just what they had on them when they visited (keychains, ribbons, hand written notes on scraps of paper). I was amazed at the need even then for people to express themselves and leave a mark that other Americans remembered them. There is still a piece of that fence on one side of the memorial, and is still a place that people leave mementos. The tree of life, a tree that survived the blast is also incorporated into the park.
Leaving the memorial, we walked down to bricktown. The area is called this because of the many brick buildings, old industrial and warehouses converted into restaurants. It was a hot, humid day and the 10 or so blocks that Cheryl insisted we walk was soon being called the Ok-city death march. We visited the canal area, which looked similar to the San Antonio river walk. But at 2:00 in the afternoon it was deserted. We found a nice air-conditioned restaurant for lunch. On the way back we hopped a ride on the trolley and were back at the RV in no time.
We pushed on to Amarillo, TX (state#18) for the night. The first campground we checked out was a no-go. Right by the airport and around the corner from the nude dancing bar, we just kept going. The next spot was much better. We pulled in and hooked up for the night. It would have been nice to stay in the air conditioned RV, but we got out the bikes and rode around the park for a little more exercise this evening.
Where I stayed