Thursday September 24, 2009
Located in the south central region of the U.S., OKLAHOMA has a land area of 68,667 square miles. and is the 20th largest state. The name Oklahoma is derived from the Choctow words okla and homma, meaning "Red People". Known informally by its nickname, the Sooner State. Its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
Hans and I mostly drove through Oklahoma, going east from Arkansas and heading west on the I-40 towards Texas.
The main pic is from the Oklahoma Welcome Center.
If Texas is number one in state highways then Oklahoma could easily be number two but when it comes to bridges it would appear to me to have the best currently in use. For instance:
Tarrant County (Fort Worth) has 237 bridges that inspection reveals to be obsolete or defficient the exact same number for the STATE of Oklahoma. In fact the U. S. 66 / U. S. 281 bridge over the Canadian River North of Hinton, or South of Geary was built about 1952. At least it is built using the same technique as the U. S. 281 bridge over the Nescatungua (Salt Fork of Medicine River) a mile North of Alva. Saw that bridge started in construction. Neither of the two bridges made the onerious list. The portion of U. S. 66 near the Canadian bridge is still in use to this day carrying traffic on U. S. 281. I had the dubius distinction of driving on a portion of U. S. 66 that was replaced with an asphalt highwy short cut only a week or so before 4 (if memory serves) of the concrete sections were removed and trucked to the Smithsonian as part of a National transportation museum.
Fondest memory: The Oklahoma state flag honors over 60 groups of Native Americans and their ancestors. The blue field comes from a flag that had been carried by the Choctaw soldiers during the American Civil War. The center shield is the battle shield of an Osage warrior. It is made of buffalo hide and decorated with eagle feathers. Two symbols of peace lie across the shield. One is the calumet, or peace pipe. The other is an olive branch. Crosses on the shield are Native American signs for stars, representing high ideals.
Fondest memory: Oklahoma is nicknamed the "Sooner State." This is because in 1889, the Indian Territory was opened to settlers. Thousands of people lined up on the border and, when the signal was given, they raced into the territory to claim their land. Some people went in early to claim their land. They became known as Sooners.
2007 marks the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma's admittance to the United States. Many activities, festivals, craft shows, and the like are all planned for this year. Go to the link below to find out more.
In it's brief history, as the 46th state, Oklahoma has had 14 official state flags. The current one has flown for the longest period of time, being adopted by the State Legislature in 1925, with a minor change made in 1988.
The Oklahoma Flag has a sky blue field. In the center is an Indian war shield of tan buckskin showing small crosses on the face -- the Indian design for stars -- and seven eagle feathers hanging from the edges of the shield. An Indian calumet or peace pipe with a pipestone bowl and a tassel at the end of the pipestem lies diagonally across the shield. Over the Indian peace pipe is an olive branch, the white man's emblem of peace. Underneath the shield is the word "Oklahoma" in white letters.
Oklahoma State Flag
Ok, I have not been to Oklahoma yet. But I want to in the future. I just wanted to point out to people that look Oklahoma up - and who like to read - that there are two little novels that are set in Oklahoma.
They are "Where the heart is" and "The Honk and Holler opening soon", both by Billie Letts who is from Oklahoma.
Both novels are set in Sequoyah, Oklahoma, and deal with small-town people, strange characters, hardship, funny little incidents etc.
"Where the heart is" is about a pregnant seventeen-year-old teenager who happens to end up in Oklahoma by chance. She has her baby in a Wal-Mart and later becomes a citizen - and very fond of - Sequoyah.
"The Honk and Holler opening soon" is about a little, run-down cafe in Sequoyah. The owner is a thirty-something Vietnam returnee who is in a wheelchair. There are a lot of quirky characters also here.
A young American-Indian girl happens to end up in the cafe as a waitress bringing some life into it again.
Ok, the novels might not be Nobel-Prize winning literature and I'm not sure in how far they really represent Oklahoma. However, they are fun and written in a warm, touching way. Not as good as Annie Proulx's books about strange little places in America, but definitely a fun read!
The nice people are at the top of the list. I love the thunderstorms and the gorgeous sunsets. Spring time when the redbud and dogwood trees are blooming is beautiful - long growing season there. There are several nice lakes for boating, skiing, sailing, jetskiing, swimming and fishing: Grand Lake of the Cherokees, Tenkiller, Texoma are my favorites. Also, there is Eufala, Keystone and Lake of the Arbuckles. The lakes near OKC are too muddy looking (the red mud). Also, near the Arbuckle mountains is Turner Falls, nice for a hike, a swim and a picnic. The falls have a large swimming pool at the bottom and a bubbling clear creek with more small falls down the trail. Near Tallequah is the Illinois river, great for camping and canoe trips. Talimena drive and the Ouachita National forest gorgeous especially during the fall. Nice lakes down there too. Ft. Sill is cool if you like historical stuff, like Geronimo and the Cavalry. Near there is Mt. Scott and Wichita mountains wildlife reserve, where you can get up close and personal with free buffalo, but I wouldn't recommend getting too close. Bricktown in OKC is fun. Lots of shops, pubs and restaurants, live music, the new baseball stadium and a canal dinner/boat ride.
The mountain ranges in Oklahoma are not the Rockies (where I am) but they are the oldest mountain ranges in North America. They have become smaller with time - ask a geologist - they love these little mountains.
Anyone who says Oklahoma is just flat and full of red dirt, the typcial response from someone who has to be a Ft. Sill when they don't want to be or lands at Altus AFB, or comes for a week-end conference; have not seen Oklahoma. Sometimes you have to venture outside of your hotel or barracks and break out of the stereotypes in order to experience a place. And that is for anyplace not just Oklahoma.
Fondest memory: At Lake Texoma on a sailboat with good friends. On a warm summer night, we'd been sailing all day and when the wind died we went in the water with our noodles and a brew. As the sun set the sky transformed in a blaze of orange, blue and lavender, reflecting on the calm clear water. We grilled fresh fish and listened to Jimmy Buffet and the locust chirping on the distant shore. My kids had fun catching fireflies on the sails. Then we were rocked to sleep by the lapping waves against the boat. Can life get any better than that!
The beautiful scenery in the Ouachita Mountains, located in the southeastern part of the state. Although the fall leaf season had just passed its peak, it did not matter because the scenery was still fantastic! Photo of the Red River which marks the border with Texas, taken as we were leaving Oklahoma, near Idabel as the sun was getting low.
Fondest memory: We were very impressed with the friendliness of everyone that we met. It seemed very natural for everyone to strike up a casual conversation and be of whatever help they could be if we had any questions. My wife and I have done a lot of travelling and this extra friendliness was noticeable!
Check out Lake Tenkiller, one of the clearest lakes in the state, so clear scuba diving is frequenly done. There is trout fishing below the dam, Plenty of Lake activities, and up north, canoe float trips, besides an 18 hole golf course.
Fondest memory: When you live here, everyday is a vacation, life is what you make it ;-)
Oklahoma City, downtown is nice. I didn't get to see it but this is where the Alfred P Murray building was, now a memorial, it was the site of the bombing by Timothy McVeigh in 1995.
Fondest memory: I visited the state capital
Oklahoma is derived from Choctaw words meaning 'redman' or 'red person' I always wondered why when I was a kid until I visited central Oklahoma. The dirt there is red clay!
Now this might be a strange fond memory but... I enjoied the severe weather in Oklahoma. Of course I was a little frightened when tornado warnings were issued to our county but I often slept better in the spring and summer when there was a nice thunderstorm outside. Something I just don't get anymore now that we are in Germany.
Visit Bricktown.In about a year sega will be building a gameworkds arcade which will showcase the newest in game technology.Until then enjoy good restaurants and a laid back atmoshere.
Fondest memory: the good weather
Fondest memory: 2001 has brought so many fond memories and most of them in Tulsa have been with my good friend Allison! This pic from St. Patrick's Day was loads of fun, even though we went the non-traditional celebratory route and went clubbing. I will always have fond memories from The id! I will always laugh at our silly predicaments that we get ourselves in...and how could I forget 'taking one for the team' and sleeping on the couch with 2 dogs--long story!
When people visit Oklahoma, obviously I take them to TU's campus! But great places to check out as well are Cherry Street and the Brookside area--both have great restaurants and unique bars. In the warmer months, everyone eats at restaurants with patios, and just soaks up the atmosphere...
Fondest memory: My fondest memories all revert back to college...
When I was young, the Skirvin was considered “the place to stay” in Oklahoma City, but I traveled...more
Hampton Inn is part of the Hilton network, so if you are member of those, you can continue to earn...more
2901 Bankers Ave., Directly behind Riverwind Casino, Norman, Oklahoma, 73072, United States
Good for: Business