When I have previously driven to OKC, I’ve able to slowly adjust to the heat – usually as I make my way through Wyoming, Colorado and into New Mexico. By the time I make it to Oklahoma City, I’m relatively adjust to the blistering heat of the summer. But when I fly in, there is always a huge shock when I step out from the climate controlled airport and into the furnace otherwise known as Oklahoma.
It’s like a level of hell, or walking into an oven or just… Of course I’m here just in time for an excessive heat warning. In Seattle we have ‘heat advisories’ for the low-90s, telling people to stay indoors, drink water, etc. Through Saturday we’re under an ‘Excessive Heat Warning’ with a heat index (temp/humidity) up to 115. Gross.
But since I didn’t drive down, I rented a car for my stay. The Colcord Hotel (home away from home) does have a shuttle for Downtown/Bricktown, but with a few days to explore, I’d rather have a car at my disposal.
I arrived around dinner time on Tuesday. I found a liquor store to buy a bottle of wine (because you can’t get wine in a grocery store – nor can you buy a wine opener where they sell wine, had to find one elsewhere), ordered room service and crashed out early. I was up and out the door by 9:30 yesterday. Since I didn’t get to road trip down, and I have unlimited miles on my rental, I decided to try and put a few miles on. From OKC I drove 110 miles up to Tulsa to visit the Woody Guthrie Center. It’s not a big place to explore, but it holds several interesting pieces from his collection as well as a ton of history surrounding his songs and art work.
From Tulsa I headed 115 miles west to Enid, OK for an ‘old time museum’ that was supposed to be open. Except it wasn’t and I wasted 2.5 hours driving there and then back toward I-35S. Oh well, it was a pretty drive. From Enid it was another 100 miles back toward OKC. I made a stop in Guthrie, OK to visit the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum – wow, they had a ton of stuff on display. And I love how pretty much everything was cured with morphine and alcohol. Established in 1887, Guthrie was the original capital of Oklahoma and it’s beautiful downtown is considered a National Historic Landmark. I wanted to spent more time exploring the city, but at 105F, it just wasn’t worth the misery of strolling the old streets. I might try and head back up on Saturday, but we’ll see.
Once I got back to the hotel, I met up with some friends who arrived from various corners of the US (and one from England). We walked down to the pub for a bite to eat and ended up playing Trivia. We were doing great, but fumbled in the last minute to come in 4th (I think?) out of six. For the majority of the game we were in second place. Boo.
This morning I was up and out the door around 9am (already 85F). I headed south to Moore, OK where a massive Tornado hit in 2013 just prior to my visit/tornado dance. Cait and I had explored one of the neighborhoods and I returned in 2014 to the same block for progress photos. This year it was almost unrecognizable. There was still one empty lot, but otherwise life goes on, right?
From there I drove down some backroads (only other traffic I saw was a tractor) to El Reno where the tornado that put me in a shelter, touched down. There is a memorial for the three members of the TWISTEX team that died. I have to say, it was a little nerve-wracking being out in those fields, so far from anything. There weren’t any storm clouds in the distance or anything (I would’ve chickened out), but still… It didn’t help that the radio had played an ad for storm shelters on the drive out.
Tomorrow a few more friend arrive in the morning, Harmon’s charity event tomorrow evening. Since I opted out of the Saturday golf event, I hope to spend the day exploring a bit more. Sunday will be lazy until it’s time to say goodbye for another year and head home. In an airplane. Zoom Zoom.