Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 9 - Home Again, Home Again

From Guymon we came straight home across US 412. After a long week of sight seeing we have had a wonderful time but are ready to get home. Today was all drive, no side trips. Driving east from Guymon we went through Woodward, then Enid, and then a long stretch to Tulsa. By the time we got to Woodward the terrain began to roll again after the dead flat panhandle.

Between Woodward and Enid are a few rough hills, but nothing like New Mexico.

Back in about 1988 I was one of a group of bicycle riders who did an annual bicycle tour called Freewheel. It crossed the state of Oklahoma in a week, usually from south to north. In 1988 it went from west to east and began in Woodward. It was a little longer than usual but the understanding was that it would be easier because the western part of Oklahoma was flat with no hills, and the prevailing wind is from the southwest. What could be easier than a flat ride with a tail wind. The reality was that the terrain was rolling hill after rolling hill, and for the first 3 days we had severe thunderstorms and strong winds out of the north and east. Never try to predict the weather in Oklahoma. Since then the route as returned to some variation of the south to north formula. For a laugh click HERE. The dog's name is Tootsie.

As we approached Tulsa we are back in the hilly wooded part of Oklahoma called "Green Country". This is where I call home.

Back to Tulsa - there's no place like home. Not a good photo but it looks good to me.

To those of you who have followed this journey with us all week , thank you for suffering through far too many photos. But these were only a fraction of the pictures I took. It was hard to choose from them. We packed a great deal into a small amount of time.

Retracing old Route 66 was an interesting experience. This was the road that carried many thousands of hopeful migrant workers to what seemed to them to be the promised land of work and opportunity. Many were from Oklahoma and were derisively called "Okies". As a matter of fact my father went out to California in the early 1930s to find work and found a job as a grocer. Mother came out later to join him and I was born in Long Beach, California in 1941.

It also was an opportunity for towns and businesses located along Route 66 to prosper from the many hungry weary travelers who drove it. The Interstate highways that replaced Route 66 provided safer faster travel that sped by the little towns and shortened the driving distance. In doing so it cut the economic lifelines for whole communities. It was sobering to see so many of these small towns reduced to skeletons. In most of them were rows of abandoned restaurants, motel, and garages that were built to serve the travelers who were channeled away by the new expressways. I took lots of pictures but decided not to depress you with them.

On the other hand some of these businesses have survived to become attractions of their own. Some of these communities have managed to sponsor events that draw people back. People are ingenious. The mystique of Route 66 remains.

As a destination Santa Fe is unique. The community is one big art and antique gallery, second only to New York City. It has an active performing arts program with resident opera and ballet companies. There are many schools for graphic and performing arts. Art of all description is the foundation of the Santa Fe economy. It is a fascinating place to visit or to live.

To the friends who left a comment, thank you very much. I apologize that I did not respond to you. I tried to edit and post the activites of the day and be then I was pooped. I appreciated that you were following the blog but was too tired to reply. Thank you Elleona, Micki, Anne, Driller, Renny, Laurel, Yogi, Zhu, Nancy, Catsynth, Sukhmandir, Snowcatcher, and Kathy. Finding a comment on a blog post is like finding a present under the Christmas tree. And a special thanks for Zhu whose wonderful trip through South America early this year served as a model to my little trip.

Susan and I had a great time. Thanks for coming along.


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

How true. I must confess I hadn't expected you home quite so quickly.


Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Thank you! I must admit you inspired me too. This is the America I want to see and experience. Sure, I'd love to pop to NY for a WE... but this is the "true" America that is fascinating to my European eyes.

"Home, home again
I like to be here where I can
When I come home cold and tired..."

Some Pink Floyd for you!

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

Hey you finished this trip. Where are you going on the next trip. I really enjoyed your jaunt west.

Cindy said... [Reply to comment]

I've enjoyed your trip log. The Husband and I are frequent visitors to NM and have seen most of the places you documented here. It's interesting seeing another person's take on what is familiar territory for us.

Nancy said... [Reply to comment]

Never too many photos! Glad you all made it back safely- what a whirlwind trip! Sure was fun going along for the ride- thanks!

TorAa said... [Reply to comment]

I just came by your blog via this weeks WW, and as usual I start scrolling down to see what more of interest this WW participant has written about on his/hers blog.

That's why I start commenting your journey backwards.

First of all, I've never been to these parts of US. First time I read about Okies was the book (Grapes of wreth) by John Steinbeck - I read it in the very early 1960'ies - , which seems to have been real enough for your Family.
Route 66 has a very special place in many Norwegian Bikers and Amcars
clubs. And each year there are several articles in different magazines and papers.

On my blog, you can, if interested, read about our Vacation from Norway to Southern France. It's not yet fullfilled, but more posts will come.
There are also posts from our travelling around in USA (2006-2008) and other countries like Argentina.

Well, I will no continue to read, bakcwards from your travel.