Friday, June 25, 2010
Since we left the Route 66 festival in the northern corner of Oklahoma, we have crossed 3 and half states in 4 days. 2 and half more to go! We picked up the pace in order to make an interview with the manager of The Grand Canyon Caverns. The caverns were set up by President Kennedy in 1961 as a bomb shelter during the Cold War. Today, there is a hotel room set up more than 200 feet below the surface in the underground labyrinth that you can stay in. Our interview is 11am Friday in that very room. I have to admit I wasn't crazy about Oklahoma once we got to Oklahoma City. For the most part, Oklahoma City wasn't that impressive. It was just another big city to me. There were a few nicely painted murals depicting the old west, and the role Oklahoma played in west ward expansion, and an artsy community called Bricktown which was trying to be a destination location, but wasn't quite there yet. There was also a solemn memorial to the victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, including 19 children, that is worth a visit. The memorial was built just 5-years after the tragedy. It does make me wonder why, after almost 9-years, the September 11th memorial in New York City is still not built. But despite these few things, I found the people were not as friendly as those we met before we reached this point in our trip. Which surprised me because I have met a many friendly people over the years who are from Oklahoma City and the surrounding area who are really nice. I may have just not stayed long enough to find the real Oklahoma hospitality. The driving was much easier prior to reaching Oklahoma City, too. Before that point, it was easier to navigate Route 66. Signs were posted frequently, and there was more to see along the way. Texas and New Mexico were about the same. It made it a challenge to keep on the old historic highway. The frequency of signs got better once we crossed into Arizona. I was struck by the amount of wind farms we saw driving through Oklahoma, and Texas. It was a curious juxtaposition of oil derricks and wind turbines. Fossil fuel vs. clean energy living side by side. Once we crossed into New Mexico the scenery changed. The views were just breathe taking! I also enjoyed seeing cargo trains running on the old Santa Fe rail road track. It brought me back to when I was a kid watching westerns. I've also enjoyed traveling through Arizona. Unfortunately, we've only been staying in key towns long enough to get enough broll to tell the story, but I will make a point to come back and stay longer in Flagstaff and Williams Arizona one day soon. They are just the cutest towns. They remind me of towns in Colorado. Old mining towns that have found their second life as relaxing little hamlets with cafes, themed restaurants, leather shops, and history. Great shopping if I had the time. Well, I'll sign off for now, but will be sure to post some more video of the trip so far in a day or two. As always, thanks for checking in!