A good day for a trip to somewhere. Hmmmm........Bad Water, (sounds horrid) Foul Water, (probably smells like it sounds) how about Stillwater (that sounds nice).
Stillwater is a town about an hour north of Oklahoma City so it's a little over 2 hours north from here. Oklahoma State University is located there and it was founded in 1889. We loaded up and headed out around 10, making sure we had some change for the toll on the highway. There are other secondary roads to take one there, but the fastest and most direct route is the toll freeway which costs about $3.50.
Travel is also effected at 75mph or a little better, so the miles fly by. Soon enough we were in the city.
One of the unusual things about travel in the center of the Union is that directions are not always certain. Having grown up on the Wet Coast one is always sure of your bearing. The ocean is west, the mountains east, California's south and to the north are bugs which bite!!!!
Upon our arrival in the city, I knew where we were going, but got turned around pretty rapidly and had to backtrack 2 exits, and find a wifi signal to consult Google Maps. Found one, and looking at the picture you can see where. Here is my queen, looking regal as always whereas I had to settle for a milkshake and some onion rings.
We stopped at an antique store and had a nice browse, leaving without having spent a sou! As we were driving along the street in the direction of the highway, I saw this shining metal golf ball. This is the Gold Dome. It was originally a bank and is now used as a center for events.
We left OKC and headed north. Along the way we saw signs for Guthrie OK, with it's Victorian downtown. It was now about 100F. so we didn't do to much walking but did take a couple pictures.
Guthrie became the original state capital of Oklahoma in 1907, but Oklahoma City eclipsed Guthrie in business, transportation and population and the capital was moved to OKC in 1910.
Many of the old buildings have been preserved and the downtown core is full of photo opportunities. Perhaps we could spend more time there when the temperature drops into the 80's
A lot of the buildings erected in the late 80's were masterpieces of construction and showpieces of the art of design. It is a testament to the construction techniques of the day that the buildings remain solid and complete today over 100 years later.
Many of the buildings in downtown Guthrie were designed by Joseph Foucart, an architect born in Belgium. His designs in Guthrie represented the height of his career.
The architectural flavor of the area is continued for 2-3 blocks either side of Division which is the Main Street in Guthrie. Although many are empty, due to the state of the economy many are experiencing a resurgence with new tenants and new vigor.
The time has come for us to leave Guthrie, and head up the highway. We enjoyed our time here but we're ready to check into our hotel.
We turned off the freeway and headed east on Hwy 58. After several miles we came to Stillwater. This was our destination for the evening, and it's my first time here.
We had been given a gift certificate for a free night at the Best Western so we pulled in to check in.
This feels like a fairly new hotel, and is located very close to the downtown district. Keep in mind it was around 97F so we were ready to relax in air conditioned comfort.
This was the lobby....comfortable no? Yes it was, and we looked forward to seeing what our room would be like. We didn't have long to wait.
When we entered the room the first thing we saw was a small butler's kitchen with microwave and fridge and coffee maker. Granite counters were here and in the bathroom.
Ah yes, the bathroom. Well appointed, well stocked with neccesitos and one more surprise awaited us behind the door.
The shower was tiled, large and had a shower head of sufficient height. When one is over 6' tall a showerhead of appropriate height is always a pleasant surprise. Upon trying the shower....I pronounce it good!
The bed was firm, king size and had nice linens and good pillows.
There was also a nice desk and a flatscreen TV.
Part of the gift was a gift card for Eskimo Joe's. This is a well known local hangout which has also generated other Joe-like enterprises both in town and elsewhere, such as Joseppi's and Mexico Joe's.
There are numerous big screens all showing one sporting event or another. A balcony hangs over the main floor, and there were many college aged kids who would peer down on the patrons below to see if anything of note was transpiring, or to check who the latest arrivals were.
The menu describes the founding of Eskimo Joe's and how much it is beloved by the local community.
Scooterchick decided to have the local version of Poutine. This iteration has cheese, chunks of blackened chicken and Ranch Dressing....yum!
I opted for a club sandwich which had bacon, smoked turkey, guacamole and toasted rye bread with cottage cheese on the side.
One of the things we planned for our visit here was a performance of the local theater. They were mounting a production of "Radio Gals", a musical set in the 1920's.
We both enjoyed the performance very much, and should you happen to be in Stillwater, we can recommend it to you as they do a very creditable job. The theater is produced in the round so you are a lot closer to the stage, no more than 4 rows away from the action.
The following morning after breakfast we stopped in at Hobby Lobby to see if we could find more garden decor. Here is Scooterchick among the glassware.
We left Stillwater and headed down Hwy 177. After we turned right on Hwy 33 we saw a place to stop and look around. There was a lot of garden statuary and decor items. Did we find anything? You shall see in due time.
They also do monuments for graves. Headstones and such. An unusual combination but it works.
It was starting to spit as we left the Station, and as we headed west the sky grew darker and the rain got a little more convincing.
I switched the wipers on high speed as the rain drove and the lightning started to crash nearby.
The rain continued with increased ferocity. The wind lashed the car, the rain beat an angry tattoo on the sheet metal and glass, and the lightning and thunder crashed concurrently around us. Scooterchick was starting to get worried, as I slowed to about 20mph and drove with my four way flashers on. The traffic dwindled to a trickle but we plowed bravely on.
The rain was really spectacular in it's determination but I could see the sky lightening ahead so we continued on and soon the rain stopped. it is often this way. Tremendous weather that arrives then clears up in 15 minutes or so.
The rain having stopped, the roads dried up in 10 minutes or so. We traveled forward into the afternoon. The temperature had gone from low 90's down to a bare 70F in the space of 8 miles or so with the passage of the storm .
We stopped in OKC at a place we have been known to habituate. Bass Pro Shops and Outdoor World.
If you have an interest in anything to do with the outdoors, this is akin to Mecca. They have everything, including boats. I always take the helm of a pontoon boat while we are there. Maybe some day. You can see the waterfall and pond they have outside.
Scooterchick renewed her acquaintance with this furry fellow. Everywhere around the store they have taxidermy animals. If you can name it, and it walks swims slithers or flies in North America they probably have one somewhere on display, as well as an aquarium of at least 10,000 gallons with many sport fish from this area.
They seem to have something for every type of sport fish as well. This unusual fella seems to have taken the lure.
I promised you I would reveal if anything from the Station came home with us and I will not keep you in suspense any longer. Here is item one, carefully handpicked by my beloved. Being a Scooterchick she naturally felt an affinity.
Somehow the lady in question (and concrete) would be lonely without a riding companion, and my darling felt this unruly looking character would do nicely. They look nice in the garden.
We also found some Tiki torches to add to our decor. They look nice and we will probably end up getting several more. We lost no time putting them in.
Here is Scooterchick having planted a row of the torches, which forms a colonnade of light for guests visiting the Oasis (backyard) in the evenings.
We also found a plant stand which can sit against the back of the house. As you can see the windows in the laundry room are lined with foil to cut the heat. It actually results in a reduction of 30F. or so when the afternoon sun beats on the back of the house.
As you can see the garden is really starting to take shape. All the work, sweat and effort we have put in is starting to pay off, and we enjoy sitting in the cool of the evening, after it drops below 90F and the breeze comes up. Being from the NorthWet all I can say is thank God for air conditioning as we spend the heat of the day indoors!
And so it seems we have come to the close of another day and also a close to this blog entry. I hope you had fun going to Stillwater with us and we'll look forward to seeing you next time.