Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sulphur, OK and Oklahoma City

After leaving Fort Worth, we headed north to Sulphur, OK. I love the area around Sulphur. Years ago it was Platt National Park, but in the late 1960s they created Arbuckle Lake, and in 1976 merged the Lake with Platt National Park and it is now Chickasaw National Recreation Area. We camped at Rock Creek Campground in the Platt Historic District area. But there are also other things to see in the region as well. We headed south one day to Gene Autry (yes, it is a town). And of course there is a museum dedicated to the namesake of the town.
Here I am standing in front of a replica of Gene Autry's horse and that is his actual saddle. Athough Gene Autry was born in Texas, he was raised in this area. After his fame in the movies as a singing cowboy, he returned to Oklahoma and bought a ranch. But he went to war (WWII) and upon his return, sold the ranch and lived in California and Arizona. But the area he was raised and where he had his ranch honored in by changing the name of their town to Gene Autry.
It was a good museum, covering not only Gene Autry, but all of the singing cowboys and their sidekicks and other cowboy movie stars of this era.

Platt Historic District is located in the town of Sulphur. The town grew up in the late 1800s and early 1900s because of the many mineral springs located in this area. It was a real resort area at one time with 12 trains arriving daily and home to several resort hotels. There are now six of the original springs left, but over the years there have been times with they go dry. Back during the dust bowl (1930s) they went dry for 7 years. Three of the springs are currently dry, having dried up this past January. With a lot of rain this spring they say they may start up again. Above is Buffalo Springs as it is today.

This is how Buffalo Springs should look.

This is Antelope Springs as it should look.

This is how is looks today.

There is a bridge, Lincoln Bridge, which celebrated its 100th birthday this year. It was built so that 4 horses drawing a carriage or cart could cross.

Another one of the springs which is not completely dry.

This is Rock Creek and one of the many falls and how it should look.

This is how the creek looks today.

Another area close by is Turner Falls. Along Honey Creek they have created a few small dams and this is one of the premier natural swimming holes. Managed by the town of Davis, OK, this place is packed during the summer with people coming out to swim, hike and camp.

The area has several caves like this one above, many hiking trails and .....

the "Castle". Built in the 1930s by a professor it was the main house for his ranch. Although it has not been in use for many years, it is fun to climb through. There are actually about 4 different buildings. Maybe he had several guest homes as well, or maybe they were for his ranch hands. It even looks like one building might have been a garage.

These stairs go up 3 flights. They are so narrow, you have to turn sideways to get in and out of them.

This is the turrent which house the stairs.

A natural arch.

After leaving Sulphur we headed to Oklahoma City. We stayed at the Elks in Midwest City, next to Tinker AFB. We were located at the end of their runway. But we ventured into downtown OKC to Bricktown, OKCs version of San Antonio's Riverwalk. Here is one of the decorated Buffalo located in the area.

Part of the canal running in front of Toby Keith's. We had lunch their on the patio. They have live music every Friday and Saturday and Toby Keith is known for dropping by.

North of OKC on Route 66 is this Round Barn. It is the only round barn found along Rt. 66. The original barn was falling down and even burnt, and was supposed to be torn down when local residents decided to save it. It was rebuilt in 1988.

The downstairs is a museum and gift shop and the upstairs is rented out for parties, dances, etc. They say the acoustics are so good you can stand on one side and whisper and can be heard across the barn. See how high the ceiling is?

Just a few blocks away is a place called Pops. When I grew up in this area and even my kids remember this place being a dumpy gas station and bait shop. It has been rebuilt and is now a gas station and restaurant serving over 500 flavors of pop.

The walls are glass and lined with shelves displaying the 500 varieties. I had a cream soda, my son had a root beer, but Max had some type of bug juice. It was green, looked nasty and in my opinion, tasted as nasty as it looked. It guess he liked it because he drank it all.

We had planes flying directly over us all day long and some evenings.

AWACs is headquarted at Tinker AFB, and so is a large naval contingent. Plus the air reserve fly out of Tinker and they manage and repair the KC-135s, A-10s and A-7s.

1 comment:

Barbara and Ron said...

I guess all the flooding in Arkansas last year didn't affect Oklahoma. I had to Google AWAC and came up with about 15 choices of its meaning. I guess you mean Airborne Warning and Control, not Animal Welfare Advisory Council.