Tulsa Elks Lodge
Tulsa Elks Lodge
Where are we now?
Uh oh, I feel another song coming on!
When I hear "Oklahoma", this is what I really hear...
(turn up your speakers)
After crossing the border we noticed even higher water levels in the rivers and many flooded fields. The Arkansas River is quite flooded.
Crossing the Arkansas River
The shady side of the rig had a huge lawn that Hurley enjoyed. $20 a night with a pool.
Me, Steve, Ronley & Alberto.
Sapulpa is the Crossroads of America, where Routes 66 and 75 cross.
Need a tornado shelter? They gotcha covered.
The roadside art is everywhere as you drive.
Rt. 66 Interpretive Center in Chandler, Ok.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
After a couple of hours of driving we pulled into the Elks Lodge that was just a few miles from the Oklahoma City Memorial. I didn't get a picture of this lodge but we almost didn't stay here as it could, as they say, use a little TLC. We didn't even notice it from the road. We thought it would be more in the city, but even though it was just on the outskirts, it was more country. Bonus(?), it was across the street from the railroad tracks and at the end of the runway of Tinker Air Force Base. Actually watching the AWACS and B52s take off and land just over the tree line was pretty cool. Both the trains and planes were busy during the day but stopped around 11pm. There was room for 4 rigs, 30a, $15. You parked on grass. You need to be careful if it rained heavily the days before you arrive or when you wanted to leave as you could sink in and get stuck. Still no rain in the forecast, but still hot.
After unhitching I noticed one of the tires was wobbly. Steve looked underneath and we weren't all that surprised to see a problem with one of the leafspring hangers on the trailer. You'd think being in OKC it would be easy to find a welder that could help us out. No one that could get us in in less than a couple of weeks or worked on RV trailers. The nearest was in Edmond, 30 minutes north. No problem as we'd be heading that way next and there just happen to be another Elks Lodge 2 miles away! More on this later.
We were living in Upstate NY when the bombing happened. We drove through OKC in 1998 while moving back to California but the Memorial wasn't completed yet. I had always wanted to come here after it was finished.
We were not able to visit the museum before it closed but we'd like to see it another time. Since Steve was working and it was very hot out we decided to visit just before sunset so we could walk around at dusk then see it lit up after sundown.
The entrances at each end of the Reflecting Pond, The Gates of Time, frame the moment of destruction and tragedy. At one end above the gate is the time 9:01 which is a symbolic reference to the last minute of innocence before the bomb went off. The opposite end has 9:03 and represents to first moment of recovery from pain and grief to healing. The long minute in between represents the tragic time citizens were killed, survived and changed forever.
The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was located where the grass holds the 168 empty chairs. In front are nine Loblolly Pines. Like most memorials, all aspects of the memorial represent something. This line of trees represents the front of the building where the assailant parked the Ryder truck filled with explosives.
This was the childrens play yard. It was fenced off and no one has been on it since.
Outside each Gate is the above inscription.
The Field of Empty Chairs is a tribute to the 168 Americans who were killed on April 19, 1995. The nine rows represent the nine floors of the former building. Each person's chair is positioned in the row that corresponds to the floor on which they worked or were visiting. The five Empty Chairs on the west end are to honor those who were killed outside of the Murrah Building.
There were few people around. Maybe it was because it was mid-week or maybe it was the heat. There is 24 hour security. We talked with one of the officers. A young guy who's Dad was a policeman and at the bombing site. He grew up hearing all about it and it inspired him to work at the grounds. He gave us a lot of personal experience that really added to our visit.
The Survivor Tree and Museum behind it.
On our way out we noticed someone had left this message using the times in the memorial.
It seemed very appropriate.
We walked around the city and were impressed with how nicely laid out it is and clean. Many cute statues and murals. It looked like a nice city to be in but strangely, like others, fairly empty.
And back to our trailer issue.
We moved the 30 miles north to the Elks Lodge in Edmond. They had 8 FHU sites for $20. It's out in the country and very quiet. #8. Nice place.
This is what we saw when we looked under the trailer back in OKC. The hanger didn't actually break, the weld just didn't "take". We took it to Dyess Customs. They do welding, fabricating and custom steel work. We worked with one of the young owners and he really knew his stuff. Honest and hardworking. He told us that the previous weld job wasn't bad it was probably just that the weld and the metal weren't the same temperature which led to the separation. He was very polite and got us in first thing the next day.
I was impressed that he painted it also which makes sense to help keep rust away. If you're in this area and you need welding, please look them up! Dyess Customs, Edmond, OK.
This is the 4th time we've had hanger issues. Three different ones that had to be replaced and one that had to only be rewelded. Luckily it's a cheap and quick repair. We get weighed every other year and are not grossly overweight. I'm sure it's also that we go offroad more often than most but it just seems like these parts could be beefier.
First known as a railroad station stop, after the Land Run of 1889, Guthrie instantly gained 10,000 new residents, who began to develop the town. It was designated as the territorial capital, and in 1907 as the first state capital of Oklahoma. In 1910 until it was changed to larger Oklahoma City.
It's has beautiful Victorian architecture and a Wild West past. It was known as The Queen of the Prairie made from brick and stone. Even the streets were made with bricks. Some are still visible.
Cute but why are they always picking on the short people?
The original track leaving town on the brick road. I just loved this town. It's the kind of place I'd love to own a business if I ever wanted to work again.
Filling up the tank at this crazy gas pump. We weren't sure what was going to happen.