Wednesday, September 18, 2013

OKC & Route 66

We moved Westward and spent a few days in Oklahoma City.  We have been here before and here are our blog entries about the National Cowboy and Heritage Museum and the OKC National Memorial and Museum.  This stay we toured the capitol and enjoyed the Bricktown area. 
On both visits we stayed at the Midwest City Elks lodge that is a great location with one exception, as you can see above.  The lodge is directly under the flight path for Tinker Air Force Base and when the wind is right there are planes landing for a good part of the day.  This is a KC 135 refueling plane that I got to fly in when I was teaching.  Very neat.  There were also AWAC, fighters and even a B-52 zooming overhead.  It was not really to bad as we were gone for most of the day and they do not fly very late into the night.
We did travel a bit of Route 66 in Oklahoma.  Here are a few old sights we saw along the way.  Most of these places don't have good spots to park an RV so we did not stop very often.
The Gold Dome Building in OKC on Route 66 was built in 1958 as a bank building.  It was designed by Buckminister Fuller whose work we have seen at other places on the road.  The geodesic dome creates a wide open interior where walls can be built without worrying about structural supports. Very neat and very innovative for the times.
Another old Route 66 icon is the Milk Bottle Building.  It was originally a small grocery.  Unfortunately both of these building are now empty.
This statue in the Bricktown area depicts the 1889 land rush when "unassigned land" in Indian Territory was opened to settlement.  Not only was the land supposed to belong to the Native Americans, but many people cheated and snuck into the area sooner then allowed to get the best land, thus the origin of the Oklahoma Sooners.
Some of the public art in the Bricktown area.  There is a short canal that has water taxis.  This is a very nice urban renewal area with restaurants, hotels, convention center, arena and ball park.
The ball park has statues of Oklahoma natives who played Major League Baseball including Mickey Mantle (left), Johnny Bench (right) and brothers Paul and Lloyd Waner who played on the 1927 Pirates World Series Champions team.  No I did not see the Waners play.
Unlike Branson there was free entertainment in Bricktown.
We did not start touring state capitol buildings when we went on the road, but we now try to do that anytime we are in a capital city.  The Oklahoma capitol was completed in 1917 without the planned dome because they ran out of money.  The dome was added in 2002 in time for the states 2007 centennial celebration. 
  The artwork in capitol complexes usually tells a lot about the state's history and that is true here.  Top are the flags of the Indian Nations, left is a cowboy breaking a horse, right is a Native American and center is an oil well.  There are still working wells pumping oil on the capitol grounds.
Portraits of a few famous Oklahomans that are in the capitol.  Left to right are Wiley Post, Jim Thorpe, Woody Guthrie and of course Will Rogers.  Visiting a capitol building is a great way to learn a bit of the state's history.  We are glad we returned to OKC to see a bit more of this city's history.

1 comment:

Bobbie and Jim said...

We have stayed at Midwest Elks Club before and will do it again mid-Oct. Yes, you have to time your conversations between the flyovers.