Through Oklahoma

Oklahoma is the most desperate seeming place we passed through on our trip. Perhaps because of its history, or perhaps because it was 115 degrees fahrenheit at 6:45 pm while we were there. Perhaps both. Nevertheless, we were surprised to find Enid, OK so hopping on a Wednesday night that all hotels there were booked up. “What’s going on in town?” I asked the last hotel clerk I spoke with, “how come no rooms?” “Uh, oil boom?,” he cracked. Between Bartlesville and Ponca City we found Pawhuska, another of those places with a bunch of buildings but seemingly only one or two inhabitants.

After Pawhuska, we made it to Ponca City where lodging was plentiful and it was 115 degrees. In the supermarket next to our hotel that evening, this was revealed to us:

Wayne Thiebaud in Oklahoma

Next morning at the Ponca City Salvation Army:

Robin Hood silos, Ponca City

From Ponca City, on to (the booming) Enid, then Hennessey, the place with the wonderful pastries we blogged about earlier.

Someone in Hennessey’s got a sense of humor

This — not so funny

Also around Hennessey, we spotted a number of grazing herds off the highway, some real, and some made of iron “cut-outs.”

Real herd

Fake herd

After Hennessey, a six hour trek through the Texas Panhandle to Tucumcari, New Mexico, our destination for the evening. As a farewell to Oklahoma, we leave you with Ballad of Oklahoma, a “melodic folk-history in song, sound and story commemorating the golden anniversary of Oklahoma’s statehood (1907-1957).” An interesting document, but for a work of historical fiction that gives more than cursory mention of the Native American experience in Oklahoma, we recommend Linda Hogan’s Mean Spirit. (For best results with the audio player below, use Chrome or Safari.)