Weather Woes in Kansas and Oklahoma – 10 7/14 – 10/14/14

Site of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing.

Site of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing.  The reflection pool is where the road was and to the left (where the chairs are) is where the building stood.  The 5th tree in is where the truck with the bomb was parked.

The past week has been a bit uneventful and definitely hindered by the horrible weather. We didn’t have a lot of must-see’s planned and we had a hard time finding decent RV campgrounds in the area. I am looking at this time as a transition period, trying to hit the last of our states and watching a lot of football and baseball! Our first stop was Wichita, Kansas. The Air Capital RV Park was mostly full of long-term residents but it was a newer park and in a good location. We only booked 2 nights here and that was all that we needed. We drove by the Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems area and wow, there were some huge buildings and complexes that just seemed to go on and on — a huge aviation presence here. In town, we stopped along the river walk where the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers merge into one. The Keeper of the Plains statue watches over this area in tribute to the Native American tribes who consider this a sacred site. A pretty neat spot to walk around. We also visited Old Town and stopped at a brewery for lunch. This seemed like a fun part of town, but fairly deserted on a Wed. afternoon.

Confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers

Confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers, Keeper of the Plains statue in the background

Keeper of the Plains statue, Wichita

Keeper of the Plains statue, Wichita

Next up was Stillwater, Oklahoma, a very short drive south. Stillwater is home to the OSU Cowboys and we thought it would be fun to stay in a college town. The problem was that there weren’t a lot of RV Parks to choose from and we ended up at Cedar Crest RV Park, which was a bit sketchy. When we called, they only had one spot open, as the rest were full time residents who work in the oil production industry or fans who leave their rigs parked full time for football games (no home game while we were there). The park was probably the worst we have stayed at in my opinion.   We got set up in 90-degree hot/humid weather then headed into town. It reminded me a bit of Pullman, a true college town (population 45,000; enrollment 22,000) and it just popped up out of nowhere. Everything in town was orange/black with an OSU tie-in, which was fun to see. We went to Eskimo Joes for lunch. Back in the day when I worked at Holland America, I got a care package from someone in OK who I helped with a cruise and it was full of Eskimo Joe’s stuff, which I thought was so random at the time. Now I get it, because this place is such an iconic spot. That night the heat and humidity turned into one of the worst storms we have been in. The lightning flashed and lit up the inside of the MoHo every 10 seconds complemented by crashing thunder and rain as hard as we have ever felt.  This went on most of the night, which made for a pretty sleepless night as we can feel everything in the MoHo!

Cedar Crest RV Park

Cedar Crest RV Park, hookups underwater

The next morning, the rain stopped but the park was flooded and muddy and our hookups were fully submerged underwater. We drove an hour south to Oklahoma City for the day. First stop was at the ASA Softball Hall of Fame/Stadium where they hold the World Series of Softball every year. It was under a bit of construction so we weren’t really supposed to be there, but a very nice worker took us up to the stadium and let us take some pics. Next, we drove about 15 minutes south of downtown to Norman where the Univ. of Oklahoma is. I am still bitter at that darn Sooner Buggy from the 2003 Rose Bowl. But, I must say the campus was very cool and looked to be a great place to go to college. Next, we headed to the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, site of the bombing at the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. We thought it was very well done and I found the empty chairs for all of the 168 victims to be very impactful. They were placed in 9 rows, signifying which floor the victim was on when they were killed. Large chairs for adults; small chairs for children. As we walked back to the car, the skies opened up and the rain just unloaded. We just don’t get rain like this in Seattle.   We headed down to the Bricktown area, which seemed like the fun entertainment district with stadiums and bars/restaurants. We ended up at Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar and bellied up for a delicious Linner as the rain continued outside. We headed back to the MoHo and watched the Cougs lose to Stanford. Saturday morning, it was college game day, so we thought it would be fun to head back into Stillwater and find a place to watch a few games. We ended up at Buffalo Wild Wings and were shocked to find that they allowed smoking in the bar.  We opted for a seat in the restaurant and enjoyed the action on a gazillion big screens and joined the hometown crowd rooting for OSU.

Site of the Softball World Series

Site of the World Series of Softball

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, OK


Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Site

Looking back at the site of the Murrah Building. The chairs represent the 168 victims.

Looking back at the site of the Murrah Building. The chairs represent the 168 victims.

Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman

Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman

The next morning we were ready to get on the road and move on to a better spot. Our drive to Tulsa was only about 75 miles, which is always nice. We opted to stay at the Tulsa Fairgrounds/Expo Park. We have done this in other cities and the tradeoff is that you are basically in an asphalt parking lot, but the location always seems to be perfect. Our stay was only 2 nights, so not a problem. As we got set up, we had a few issues come up. The jacks were acting up again, one of the rear slides was having trouble and our water hose broke; the joys of a traveling home. We hit the grocery store and decided to stay in to watch the Hawks. The bad weather was following us, so an afternoon in sounded good. Unfortunately, the Hawks didn’t play well and lost to Dallas. We watched a few movies and listened to the wind and rain all night.

The Golden Driller statue, Tulsa, OK

The Golden Driller statue, Tulsa, OK

We had a full day to explore Tulsa, but the weather just wasn’t cooperating. And, the MDX battery was dead. We knew this was coming because lately when starting the car, it just didn’t sound very good. We had a neighbor jump us, then Mike was off to Sears to replace it. We got a late start, but with the monsooning rain, there wasn’t really much to see. I learned that one of my favorite movies, The Outsiders, was filmed in Tulsa, so we drove out to the Admiral Twin Drive-In where some of the scenes were shot. Then, we drove through the downtown area, which looked like it could be interesting with all of the different districts, but with the rain, just didn’t seem inviting to be out walking around. We decided to just take care of some errands and head back to the campground. The wind was rocking the MoHo most of the evening. Good news is that it looks like the weather is past us, and the sun will hopefully be shining in the morning for our trip to Branson, Missouri!

Admiral Twin Drive-In, scenes from the Outsiders filmed here (stay gold Johnny!)

Admiral Twin Drive-In, scenes from the Outsiders filmed here (stay gold Ponyboy!)

p.s. As I reread this post, I realized I sounded a bit like a negative Nelly. I guess this just shows that this adventure isn’t always perfect. There are good stops and bad stops and we try to make the most of each one, but not always ideal, especially when the weather is as bad as it has been.

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