Friday, July 11:Ponca City, Oklahoma --> Joplin, Missouri
Thursday night in a fleabag motel in Ponca City
As if staying in a motel weren't bad enough (compared to staying with an inmate or camping), I tried to "save a buck" by selecting a "lower-budget" accommodation. Thus I was subject to (1) screaming kids, (2) the THUD THUD THUD
of someone stomping on the ceiling (even though I was on the top floor), and (3) I forgot the other annoyance. But somehow I slept thru the night...pretty well, actually.
Soon after hitting the road, I had to scramble to get my camera out, cuz I was crossing a sizeable river! Being from arid country, I have this thing about loving any running water. I believer this was the Arkansas River (correct?):
I think this is the Arkansas River.
And---as is becoming the norm for this trip---another beautiful day in north-central Oklahoma. And it seemed like the country was becoming somewhat greener...as should be the case as I go east.
Another beautiful day, and getting a little greener?
Bartlesville, Oklahoma --- a nice surprise!
I was hoping that Bartlesville, Oklahoma would have something interesting---what an understatement (IMHO of course). I followed the signs to the "Visitor Center"...
A logical place to find out about Bartlesville.
I parked Wotan in front of a little city park, near the Visitor Center:
Wotan biding his time while Dr. Greg looks around.
There were two museums of interest: (1) the History Museum, and (2) the Phillips Petroleum Museum.
The Bartlesville History Museum.
Turns out the History Museum is on the 5th floor of a city office building.
The first "exhibit" is a well-done likeness of an early Bartlesville photographer. I pushed a button on the exhibit, and turns out it was "animatronic!" And very well done, IMHO
. I listened his spiel, fascinated...
This "animatronic" exhibit was VERY WELL DONE!
Turns out the Osage Indians did very well from the oil discovered on their land, unlike many tribes. That made me feel good.
Kinda neat to hear about the Osage.
I love "old-timey" portraits like this...some early businessman. They just don't make people like they used to...
Some early businessman---what a great countenance!
And I simply fell in love
with this pastel of an early Santa Fe railroad station in Oklahoma. What I wouldn't give to have that artwork up in my living room...
A lovely pastel painting, IMHO.
Any of you guys heard of "steam-powered farming." I guess it makes sense...
I guess steam ran the early Industrial Revolution, so why not farming?
This is whom "Bartlesville" is named after...
This guy put the "Bartles" in Bartlesville...
And I believe this is Mr. Bartles hisself...
Love those old mustaches...
An early Bartlesville building...like the people, they don't make 'em like this anymore.
They don't make buildings like this anymore...maybe a good thing.
And---before Title IX---the ladies were into sports!
The Bartlesville Women's Basketball Team!
And who hasn't heard of the "Dictaphone?" Forerunner to a tape recorder?
The legendary Dictaphone.
And who woulda guessed the composer of the "12th Street Rag" (one of my favorite piano pieces to play) was from Bartlesville? Amazing.
Who woulda known Bartlesville had any culture?
Anybody remember "Tom Mix" --- an early cowboy film star?
Good ol' Tom Mix...
And there's the proverbial "one room school" --- alive and well in B'ville. BTW, the sign on the wall says "never draw attention to your APPEARANCE or BEHAVIOR" --- boy, have we come a long way since then.
What would the NEA think of this?
Well, that's it for the Bartlesville History Museum. As with most museums, I could've spent the whole day in there. And it was FREE
The Phillips Petroleum Museum.
You've heard of "Phillips 66?" Well, they started near B'ville, and their headquarters is still there. And there is another FREE
museum...gotta check this one out. I tried to restrain myself taking pictures of "old stuff," but took some pics of informational posters, etc.
Another museum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
Turns out there were five "Phillips" brothers --- here are two of them (I have a later pic of all five):
A couple of the Phillips brothers.
I hadn't realized Phillips had quite a place in aviation:
Some info about Phillips aviation stuff.
These comments on "crude" crude made me think of, say, the Alberta Tar Sands. Oil is getting MUCH
more difficult to obtain.
Oil is getting harder to get!
OK, here's ALL FIVE
of the Phillips brothers...
A pretty good-looking bunch of guys, I'd say...
Phillips branches out into the world...ominous, perhaps?
Much of unrest in the world revolves around oil.
Had to insert this pic --- one of Dr. Greg's boyhood loves was CHEMISTRY
...and an Erlenmayer flask was just too good to pass up...
This glassware brings back memories from Dr. Greg's misspent youth...
A memorable lunch at "Frank & Lola's"...
I got two separate recommendations for this cafe. So I walked over, and---being a good New Mexican---ordered the "Green Chile Cheeseburger." When it arrived, I got so excited I ate half before I remembered to photograph it...
Turns out eating this much was a big mistake...tell you why later.
Picher, Oklahoma and the Lead and Zinc mines...
I mentioned earlier that my paternal grandfather and my father both worked in the Eagle Picher "lead and zinc" mines in NE Oklahoma for decades. My grandfather was a foreman, and had a scrapbook of glossy 8x10 mining pictures that just captivated me as a kid...all the Ingersoll-Rand pneumatic machinery, etc.
The legacy of that period was one of toxic lead poisoning to many (most?) of the area workers and residents, and eventual "Superfund" site that finally was completely depopulated.
The tailing ("chat") piles are still there, and are still toxic. At one time they were up to 1/4 mile in height!!
They look almost like sand dunes, but are coarser, and still contain lots of lead. Kids used to drive their ATVs on them for fun. Shudder.
Nothing like that team spirit!
Eventually lead will even shut down a gorilla...
Let this be a fitting exclamation point to the tragedy that was Picher, Oklahoma. Much of the bullets in World War I and II came from Picher, Oklahoma.
I'm sure that museum would have been interesting, but I'm about 30 years too late.
End of the day...
Must admit I was kinda down after going through Picher. But I perked up when I met my hosts for the evening: Steve & Kathy and their lovely place in Joplin, Missouri. We went out to visit their friends and had a wonderful potluck (and THAT'S
the reason I shouldn't have eaten so much for lunch).
Steve and Kathy, my hosts for Friday evening.
Anyway, had a great evening and did nothing on the ride report. I'm making up tonight---while staying with inmate "luckychucky" (Chuck & Melissa) in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
The plan for Saturday was to ride from Joplin, Missouri to Poplar Bluff, Missouri --- which I did. Some great roads, more hot weather, but a wonderful day. I'll get that written up ASAP, but not tonight.