We crossed the border into Oklahoma and blue skies dotted with puffy prairie clouds. The landscape held a subtle change – cottonwoods growing along curly streams and tufted bluffs appearing at irregular intervals. The temperature rose to 105 by 1pm, and we saw two roadside wildfires, one under control, one not. that was sobering.
We rolled into Oklahoma City among a passel of wild west drivers – even Boston has nothing on these folks. I gripped the wheel as we sped along the freeway system and were finally spat out into a corporate park beyond which lay our beautiful new hotel. A special rate through Booking.com landed us this great deal. To sleep in trusty crispy clean sheets and smell the newness of everything instead of the now familiar must of the super8 is a true delight. Tomorrow morning I shall swim in a clean pool!
We rested for a bit then set out to the National Monument for the terrorist attack of 1995. Sadly, OKC and NYC are cousins in this family of terror war survivors. The monument is a lovely and subtly striking tribute. A chair for each victim, by size, sits on the spot the Federal building occupied. There is a shallow reflecting pool ( you can appear to walk on water) set between two large, monolithic structures marked with the times the bombs were detonated: 9:01 and 9:03. The play area for the daycare remains fenced off and marked with a simple plaque. This, most moving piece, is stunning.
We then moved on to check out Bricktown, the happening new area along the canal that runs through this former industrial center. Restaurants line the canal and, despite the newness and mallish quality of the area, it’s really quite nice. A short walk down the canal brings you to a minor league stadium on Micky Mantle Drive. This also looks new and had a vibrant quality as the crowds were heading toward the July 4th celebrations at the park.
On the way back to our hotel we passed a beautiful park under renovation. This city is doing lots of things right – the memorial, the canal area, the parks all a model of city planning.
Tomorrow we head to Lawton, about an hour and a half away, to house #7. and then on to Cadillac Ranch!