Today started out with a trip to the National Memorial on Oklahoma City. There is not much I can say that would convey the feeling of sorrow that comes over you as you view the rows of empty chairs that symbolize the senseless loss of each life. I saw two chairs inscribed with the names of children that I still recall from the news coverage. Their mother was totally bewildered and was asking what she was supposed to do with their rooms and their things. It still disturbs me.
After that, things could only get better. I stopped at a Braum's Dairy Bar for a milkshake since it was so hot. I asked if they had banana and when they didn't ordered vanilla and the lady asked if I'd like a banana blended into it. I did, it was delicious, and they didn't even charge for the banana! Gotta love American service.
Passing through El Reno there was a girl's baseball team running a fund raising car wash. Since the car was filthy and the girls were girls how could I refuse? They loved the carI still have not seen another MINI in the US on this trip. Just around the corner was another team doing the same thing and I was looking for a mud puddle! A short time later as I got out of the car to take a picture the whole grill was covered with grasshoppersit looked like I had driven through a plague!
Since I hadn't eaten since breakfast at Hillbillies in Arcadia (which is the home of the famous Round Barn), I was saving my appetite for Pop Hick's in Clinton that according to my travel guides had the best food around. Too bad I didn't read the whole paragraph or I would have realized it burned to the ground in 1999! Duh! So, I headed for Jiggs Smokehouse which is close by. I got there at 3 p.m. which is the time they close on Saturday but I was invited to stay and enjoy my meal while the cleaned upsouthern hospitality. I ordered the Mesquite Smoked Chopped Beef Brisket. It was mouth-wateringand it kept reminding me of the fact for hours afterwards. The place was real down-home and the tables are made from huge old cable reels. Worth a side trip.
There is a radio station in OKC (Oklahoma City for the uninitiated) called KOMA pronounced comaI think I'd be looking for a new call sign.
Next I headed to the Route 66 Museum in Clinton. Really worth the $4 for the self-guided audio tour and a quick scan of the day's guest book show visitors from the US, Germany, Holland, Spain and others. Turns out the Lincoln Motel I stayed in last night is on the postcard wall in the museum. It hasn't changed at all from the picture (circa 1940s?) except the colour is brown instead of white.
The last two towns in Oklahoma have certainly seen better days. Ericka only appears to have two functioning businesses but many more closed up or caved-in. Texola has a sign outside a bar that says "There's no place like Texola"apparently they don't get out much.
The people in Oklahoma are really friendly and helpful though. Several times as I was checking my maps people stopped and asked if I needed help and only one was a cop and many people wave to you from other vehicles.
Tonight I'm staying in Shamrock, Texas. I put in 418 km or 260 miles today and the temperature reached 37°C or 98.6°F.
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