October 26 – 31, 2016:
Our last new camping state for this season will be Oklahoma. We added Georgia, South Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and now Oklahoma this year. We have just 6 states left to complete all 50 states now!
|Before adding the three new states|
|and after adding. This time next year this should be completely full.|
We stopped in 2 places in Oklahoma, Oak Lake Trail Campground in Depew and then on to the Council Road RV Park in Oklahoma City. Our first stop in Depew was to visit with friends Dave and Alice. Dave and Alice winter at the same place we do in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.
|Our site at Oak Lake Campground in Depew OK.|
|Dinner out with Dave and Alice.|
|Great hosts and good friends, Dave and Alice.|
The Oak Lake Park just outside Depew is Dave and Alice’s summer residence. They are in the process of building a beautiful new stick built house that overlooks a vast valley. The view from their new back porch will be wonderful! We spent 2 nights with Dave and Alice to see their park and their new home there. We topped it off with a nice dinner out in the town of Depew. Many thanks to Dave and Alice for your hospitality!
Now we are off to visit Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City campground was just 45 miles southwest of where we were in Depew OK. So this was just about an hour and a half drive to the Council Road RV Park. Since we have such a short drive today we didn’t leave Dave and Alice’s place until about 1:30pm. It was great weather in the low 70s with full on sun. It is absolutely great to travel and to just be outside.
|Oklahoma City skyline as we whizzed by.|
|We passed under the SkyDance Pedestrian Bridge over I40.|
The Council Road RV Park is in Oklahoma City’s west side just off of I 40. Council Road RV Park gets its name from, wait for it, it’s actually on Council Road! Not sure if was ever called anything else but is just seems some people just don’t have any imagination! This RV Park is located right beside a bunch of trucker places like Travel America, truck and trailer repair places, and storage yards. Yea, this is not a destination park, it’s a place to park and go somewhere else, perfect for us!
|Our site at the Council Road Park.|
We have 2 full days or 3 nights to visit Oklahoma City. The only thing we wanted to really see was the bombing memorial downtown. As it is with most places, we may have just a thing or 2 we want to see which turns into more after we are actually there. Oklahoma City didn’t turn out have more for us to see but we did see more than we thought we would see.
|We passed this on our way to lunch before the memorial so we stopped to check it out first.|
|Loads of stuff inside!|
|Patty trying on hats. None were purchased!|
Oklahoma City (OKC) is really a large small city. With its population of about 650,000 it is not really a very big city but it is the largest city in Oklahoma and its capital city. Because OKC is the largest city in Oklahoma and the state capital it has a feel of a city much larger.
OKC, like many US cities, is trying to bring back the downtown area. And by the looks of things, it is well on its way! One of OKCs old city areas known as Bricktown has become very trendy. We decided to visit Bricktown as well as the OKC bombing memorial for our 2 day visit.
Bricktown now has a canal area that is trying to fashion its self after San Antonio’s River Walk. They have a long way to go as the canal is very small at this time, but they have ambitions of making it larger. Unlike San Antonio who needed the canals for flood protection, OKC made there canal solely for tourism. They took a couple of streets and dug them out, filled them with water, and they have a canal!
|One of many Bricktown murals.|
On our first full day in OKC we went to the bombing memorial in downtown. But before getting to the memorial, we went for lunch. We found out that the Oklahoma sandwich to have is the onion burger. The sandwich was developed during the depression when beef was hard to get. To make the beef go farther onion was added to the beef while it cooked. Basically smashing the onion into the beef patty while it was grilling. The taste was something similar to a large White Castle burger.
|Several restaurants sell the onion burger. Tucker's specializes in the onion burger though.|
|Local humor on the walls in Tucker's.|
|Our beer choice for today with the burgers|
The memorial is on the grounds of what was the Murrah Federal building that was destroyed in the bombing. We went on a Saturday afternoon in mid-October and the city was pretty much empty. We could cross a street with no cars and could hear our echo as we walked. So there wasn’t any problem finding a place to park right on the street. We paid $3 for 4 hours which we thought was way too long, we ended up being wrong about that! Interesting is that there are many, many, parking lots with very few cars asking $10-15 for the day to park near the memorial. We are thinking that maybe during the summer months these are needed but they certainly not needed in October on a Saturday though!
|Downtown OKC on a Saturday just after noon.|
|Where the Alfred R. Murrah building one stood.|
The memorial is mostly free! The memorial consists of a reflection pool with permanently mounted chairs on one side. The chairs have the name of the person who was killed inscribed on them. The chairs are on a small slope that rises above the reflective pool. The chairs are located in a manner that represents where they were in the building when bomb went off. Also, the chairs of the many children who were killed are smaller than the adult chairs. This area is free and is very moving.
|People put notes and memorabilia on the fence outside the memorial.|
|Pictures of the reflection pool and monuments.|
|The survivor tree. This tree survived the bombing.|
|This was the daycare play ground that survived the bombing|
|Entrance to the museum.|
|Kids sent tiles from around the country and some are placed here.|
|The chairs and reflection pool as seen from the museum.|
On our next and last day in OKC we went to the Bricktown area for a ride on a water taxi in the new canal and dinner. Since the canal is sort of new and below street level is was sort of hard to find. Also, unknown to us, it is sort of small at just a mile long. We finally got place to park for $5 in a large parking lot near the canal behind the Bricktown baseball field.
|Horse carriage ride in front of the ball field.|
|The canal with the water taxi in the background.|
The ride starts in the middle so it goes to one end, turns around, and then back to the other end and then back again to where you started. There are shops and restaurants along the canal sort of like in San Antonio, but mostly they are above you at street level. There is a start to put some shops and restaurants below the street but that is still a work in progress. The canal still has a long way to go to be a destination instead of just a curiosity as it is now.
|Views from the water taxi|
|Our guide on the water taxi|
|A statue depiction of the land rush here in Oklahoma.|
After the canal ride we found a nice restaurant in one of the old meat packing buildings called the Bricktown Brewery.
|Our dinner choice|
|The Sky Dance at night on our way back to our RV.|
That pretty much sums up our OKC visit! We are glad we visited OKC because we probably won’t be back in our lifetimes. OKC is just on in our travel path to anywhere for us. So going to and stopping in OKC just won’t be on our future itinerary.
Next up, Texas for the winter!