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Day Five

It is never a question of if my stomach will betray me, it is always, when will it happen? This morning was that day, causing us to get off to a later start than planned. Then too, the heat is so extreme, driving only a few hundred miles is enough to wear anyone out. Further, Baxter may be tiring of his cozy spot, so landing in our hotel room by 3 in the afternoon was just fine by him.

In an effort to stay more current, I set up the computer once again, this time on the floor with a newspaper as my mouse pad! This may be the only time I do this as my old knees are not nearly as happy being curled up on the floor as they were when I was a youngster.

But I digress. I told you that Oklahoma City is beautiful, and I'm not kidding. Despite the 100 degree temperature,  I took a stroll around a few of the downtown blocks, finding something to delight me at every turn.
Tons of public art, including a gorgeous red sculpture in front of the Bank of America building.
It is really hard to convey how cool this piece is....the tentacles continue inside the building which is a stairway to the underground.
There are all sorts of neighborhoods, including one called Bricktown, where we walked for dinner. Imagine our surprise to see this lovely scene.
Because we had Baxter with us, we sat outside at the Bourbon Street restaurant pictured on the right, however, there weren't a whole lot of folks beside us braving the heat which was still in the high 90's at 7PM. In the upper right corner, behind the trees, there is a mini-golf spot, as well as all manner of play equipment for children. We learned the boat tour runs about two miles to the Oklahoman River and back. Just lovely.

I would go back to Oklahoma City in a heartbeat, especially if we were lucky enough to stay at the Skirven again as there was so much to do within walking distance. The lobby was magnificent, as were the rooms.
Our destination today took us through much of the Oklahoma panhandle, eventually heading North into Dodge City. Only 260 miles away, but finding pet friendly hotels, has at times, informed our route. I'd been warned that it was boring, but I found it anything but. Should you be wondering, although Bruce is doing all of the driving so far,
I am not slacking, taking on the role of chief navigator, dog walker, as well as entertainment director. You would be amazed at how often you have to find a radio station! We have plugged in our phones for music but for something new we look to the radio. I read newspaper articles aloud, as well as all manner of trivia we are curious about as we see it. An atlas rests in my lap allowing me to give Bruce the directions as we come to stuff. Everyone relies on technology but I'm hear to tell you that the routes they often suggest you take are not eh most efficient. Plus an atlas has all sorts of info that I can get Bruce to guess, such as where does Oklahoma rank in size amongst all of the states. I bet you like that kind of thing as well.

One thing that has been so amazing is to think of super small towns producing super stars. We rode by Carrie Underwood's high school. Imagine, she is from a very small town in Oklahoma, which we learned from the sign at the city limit, however, when we drove by the high school, I went to Google to see if that is where she went, and indeed it was. Turns out she was super smart, and was the salutatorian, among other achievements.

So yesterday we drove through Woody Guthrie's birthplace, well today we stopped for a rest in the only shade available in Kingfisher, OK, the birthplace of Sam Walton. Isn't it hard to believe that a man who basically changed the world came from here?
That would be Will Rogers Blvd. btw. So Oklahoma was a super pleasant surprise as to the landscape and what we saw. A whole bunch of huge grain elevators.
Clay soil....
along with wind turbines gone mad. I mean seriously, we could not count them they were so numerous. Bruce stopped alongside the road to make a business call which is the vantage point from which I took the photo below. More wind turbines, as well as a flag for the high school (yellow one). Did you watch the series, Friday Night Lights? If so, you will understand why I took this photo.
Further, we've seen Sonic all over the place. Very few people traveled on the state roads today which was very nice for us. It is no wonder there are turbines everywhere because the wind blows like mad out on the Plains! I've been wearing my customary dresses and I have to constantly watch that they don't blow up in an indecent manner when I get out with Baxter.

From our trusty iPad, which is great when we get a connection, we confirmed that these are indeed Natural Gas derricks as we thought.
Driving through this part of Oklahoma you can't help but think of the misery of the Dust Bowl, caused apparently by farming practices, compounded by years of drought. From what we learned today, the farmers of the 30's removed all of the native grasses in order to feed their families. Little did they know how disastrous that would prove to be. So, I'm imagining these are those native grasses that keep the dust from flying around.
I mentioned it was crazy hot right? Most all of the cows we saw were huddled under the few trees available to keep out of the 104 degree heat!
Then again, once we arrived in Kansas, they were just out in the open!
The topography ranged from the native grasses, to plowed fields, to corn fields, and then again, I'm not sure. Here's my lame attempt to get the "Welcome to Kansas" sign...
Yeah, it's behind the window frame. Clouds, a few clouds appeared! None, however, when we stopped at May's Country Store for ice. Can you just feel the heat looking at this photo? Both Bruce and I cannot even believe that we once drove across the country in a car without air conditioning. Unreal! I do remember wetting towels and hanging them on the window frames as we drove through Palm Springs on that trip. Thank God we are past that part of our life!!
Inside there were locals having lunch and apparently keeping their trucks cool in the gas pump lanes.
Both Bruce and I cannot even believe that we once drove across the country in a car without air conditioning. Unreal! I do remember wetting towels and hanging them on the window frames as we drove through Palm Springs on that trip. Thank God we are past that part of our life!!

Here's the downtown in a tiny town in Kansas.
So there were some tiny hills that I'm thinking will be precursors of things to come the further West we travel.
In Kansas the onslaught of wind turbines continued; at one point we were literally surrounded by hundreds of them. Some folks might find the landscape boring, but not your favorite blogger who loved all the shades of green. Eye candy to me.
Plus, the clouds appeared as if they were suspended in the sky, which you may, or may not, feel from looking at the photograph. Trust me on this one.

Here we go...Dodge City...
We drove by the "re-creation" area, and onto a few streets..
continuing on to our hotel. I loved the hotel sign in this scene, but now that I've actually seen the photo, I'm dying over the small sign in the foreground.
Our hotel is outside of town, fortunately on the road we will take to Colorado Springs in the morning. That said, it is on this huge piece of land with the Boot Hill Casino sharing the property. A bus full of gamers arrived after us. Super weird really, however, they do allow Baxter so there's that.
Did I really type gamers? Get real Gail....gamblers. Because there is not much else out where we are we ate in the casino restaurant, and it was actually one of our best meals yet. How about that? Plus they let Baxter in. He surprised us once again by not making a peep while lying under the table while we ate.

I wish I could say that Colorado is cooler, but that is merely wishful thinking. I'll let you know if the wind blows as hard in Colorado once we've been there....

yours truly,

Gail


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