Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Let me start off by apologizing for not having posted for a few days. We have an interminably slow internet connection at our campground (it's taken me over 4 hours to upload these pictures), but it's well worth it (more on that later).

We've had a wonderful few days so far in Oklahoma! Our drive up went really smoothly, which considering the fiasco that was The Drive Of Doom from Georgia to Houston, is a small miracle. Not even small, actually. It's HUGE. Thank you, RV gods, for letting us get here safely and with no new plumbing/tire/trailer problems.

Also, we saw a motorcycle with a sidecar. How fun is this?

Oklahoma is not what we were expecting. I guess I personally was thinking it would be (1) flat and (2) full of wheat. It does have some flatness happening, but it also has some lovely rolling hills and those hills are full of cows and horses, not wheat. Oh, and HUGE ranches with big farm houses and round bales of hay.

(Did you know that cows won't eat those round bales of hay? They don't feel like they're getting a square meal. Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week).

The colors on the trees are gorgeous, and we're both thrilled to actually see Autumn, something neither of us has seen in years. And the weather? OH! How I love 60 degrees. I had forgotten you, dear 60 degrees. So long have we been separated by the Cruel Bonds of Humidity. I actually got to wear a scarf yesterday! (For knitters, this is very exciting - bear with me).

Oklahoma is an interesting state - the Trail of Tears ended here, so there are quite a few Native American nations stationed around here. We've seen the Cherokee headquarters (more on that later) and a really nice medical center for the Creek/Muscogee nation. And a few casinos too! Oklahoma didn't become a state until 1907, and there are gorgeous Victorian homes that have historical society signs out front stating they were built in 1903, in Indian Territory. We both thought this was absolutely fascinating - to go to all that expense to build a big fancy house in what wasn't even a state at that time.

We went to a museum of the Five Civilized Tribes that was full of intriguing artifacts from the Trail of Tears era. What a cruel and horrible thing to do to a group of people - take them off of their sacred ancestral lands and force them to move somewhere else, particularly for a people that depended on farming. Can you imagine relying on farming, and being uprooted to a different ecosystem? And the earth being such an intergral part of daily religious life, and suddenly not being on that same land anymore? Horrible.

One interesting tidbit though: many Native Americans actually had black slaves. Huh.

We visited a town near our campground called Talequah, which is the headquarters of the Cherokee. One famous member of this nation is named Sequoyah (the tall trees were named in his honor). Sequoyah developed a written language from the spoken language of the Cherokee - this was the first Native American language to be developed into a written language. How cool is that? And even cooler? The street signs in Talequah are written in English AND Cherokee:

NEAT! I love the way it looks.

We're staying outside of Tulsa, a bigger city than either of us imagined. We originally planned to stay in a campground on the outskirts of Tulsa. It had a nice website, pretty pictures of the campground, and lots of amenities. And indeed, it did have some lovely amenities. The laundry room/game room was particularly nice:

(Not pictured, large fluffy cat on the sofa).

In true Oklahoma fashion, it even had a totem pole!

One thing it didn't have, however, was S-P-A-C-E between campsites.

UGH. We really don't like sites like this. You feel like you're sitting in your neighbor's living room.

And how scenic is this? This is the view from the living room:

And this is the view from my sewing table:

Yeah. Lovely.

So! We decided to do some campground exploring on the other side of Broken Arrow, where Noel will be working. Unfortunately Broken Arrow itself has no campgrounds - weird.

We found a gorgeous place in a little darling town called Wagoner (it has a little historic Main Street - so cute!) This campground was significantly cheaper, because (1) it doesn't have a fancy laundry room, (2) or a totem pole, (3) or cable. We subsequently went out and bought some inexpensive movies/tv shows on DVD so I wouldn't go out of my mind and start dressing the cats in little frilly outfits and having tea parties with them.

Being so far out in the country is also why we have a very slow internet connection, but hey. The sacrifice is worh it. How's THIS for a campsite?

Gorgeous, no? And for comparison's sake, here's the living room view:

And my sewing room view:

SO MUCH BETTER. We really like it here - it's so quiet and peaceful, and it frankly feels a lot safer than that crowded miserable parking lot of a campground we moved from. It's not too much farther from Noel's worksite, and it's a much prettier drive. Personally we'd both rather drive a little further through beautiful countryside than have a shorter drive through traffic and shopping malls.

Noel doesn't start work until next week, so we've basically had a week of vacation to check things out. We've done quite a bit of exploring so far - we've gone through Broken Arrow, Talequah, Muscogee, and a bunch of other little towns whose names I don't even know. It's lovely country to drive through. I'll try to get some good pictures of some of the countryside for you, and some of the big Victorian homes too.

We also had to check out some of the local shopping. This is always so fun when you go to a new place, to go to their stores and see what different things are there than you're used to. We went to a big store called Atwood's Ranch * Home.

Noel LOVED this store. They have tools! They have clothes! They have food! They have....

Sheep sox! I have no idea what these are used for. But I'm intrigued....

They also have horse tack!

And saddles! (Yes, Andrea, I took these pictures for you) (For those who don't know Andrea, she's a friend of ours who has horses, and who is jealous of the apparent horsiness of our destinations. Andrea: please come to visit whenever you want. We have horses next door).

In our driving, we came upon some fantastic ranch homes. Andrea, we found your future ranch:

Let me know if you want me to talk to the current owners for you. I'm sure we can make a deal. ;)

We've seen lots of neat old bridges:

And toured through the National Cemetery, which had some interesting stones in it. Also, it was HUGE.

It's rainy here today, but we need to do some cleaning in the house anyway. There's also a corn maze in Broken Arrow that's intriguing, and some pumpkin festivals and Halloween fun stuff to do this weekend. I'm excited! Must decorate! (Wait, isn't having 2 black cats enough decoration?)

Alright, I'm going to try to post this with this slow connection - wish me luck!

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