Oklahoma is a lot greener than we thought
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
19Trip End Oct 07, 2012
However, we did drive through a large swath of Oklahoma. It is a very green state from what we can tell. In fact, almost immediately upon crossing the border from Texas into OK, the grass was green. There are also trees! Yay. The soil is very red there too which I think some of our pictures show.
We didn't spend much time in Oklahoma City. We missed out on several things, but the one that I was most regretful of was the new Cowboy Museum (Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum) which is supposed to be excellent. We are learning to accept that we are seeing a ton of things, but that some things might have to be sacrificed
We drove to this town in northeast Oklahoma called Talequah which is where the "Trail of Tears" ended for several Native American tribes who were displaced from their land in the early- to mid-nineteenth century. Talequah is the capital of Cherokee Nation. It is a very large reservation with many nontraditional houses and a number of stores. Our visit was to a recreation of their original village settlements which were located in an area encompassing parts of Kentucky, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia. It wasn't the best tour ever, but it was fairly informative. They were a farming culture in the 18th century and were not nomadic
Their removal from these lands was pretty horrific. They had partially assimilated into American culture by the early 19th century, but they were treated essentially like cattle. Even though the US Government was officially somewhat sympathetic to their plight, the soldiers who herded them out did not allow them to take many, if any, of their possessions and the remainder were pillaged by new settlers. They managed to create a new life in Talequah and the entire downtown is comprised of buildings that are the first in Oklahoma, including a college (now a state school) which they founded. See here for more:
Anyway, in summary, I would say that Oklahoma exceeded our expectations. The drivers are good; their speed limits are high (75 in places) and the landscape was very pretty throughout. It reminded me of New England at times (although not as many trees).
Mike wants me to recount the fact that a few days ago he tried to get us killed. Not really, but, according to Mike, it makes a better story that way. So, Mike wanted us to see the Rio Grande Gorge (the pictures of which you may have noticed in my previous entry)