Oklahoma was another one of those states that I had never been in at all. So I was excited to see it, more so because our friends Dan and Sharon were living there. We met Dan and Sharon last year at our work kamping job and really hit it off. They were working RVers like us and had been on the road for over 7 years when there daughter had their first grandchild. For a variety of reasons they decided to take a break from traveling and settled into an RV park in OKC and got regular jobs. There really aren’t that many RV parks in town but luckily the Council Road RV Park had an opening. We were just glad to be close to our friends but it turned out to be an ok little park. Don’t get me wrong it was tight, but we have different standards for RV Parks in cities than we have for the country. It was also $36 a night with Good Sam discount, but we were happy to pay it to be close to our friends.
Initially we thought we would get there on Wednesday, but we ended up making good time and got in Tuesday. We let Dan and Sharon know and although they were working late they came over to see us for a little bit in the evening. We also made plans to see Sharon around 1:30pm the next day and have dinner with Dan and Sharon Weds night. For Wednesday morning we had a great plan. While I was researching OKC I learned about the National Cowboy and Western Heritage museum and then saw that it was free on Wednesdays. That was a no brainer so we headed over though in the morning. Jack stayed at home taking a well deserved day off, so we could really take our time and enjoy our free day.
Let me say it would have been well worth the $12.95 fee but we were thrilled to get in for free. There are multiple rooms and outdoor sculptures and it was really, really nice. The only downside was their wild west town, Prosperity Junction, was being renovated, but that just makes us want to go back and visit again the next time we pass through OKC. I’m going to be honest this place was a maze. I mean we had to really be careful that we didn’t miss anything and several times I ended up backtracking. That will tell you how good it was though, because I didn’t want to miss a thing. As we get into the pictures this isn’t really a good walk through. I’ll try to keep pictures groups as we saw things, but that may be tough. This pictures are both Lee’s and mine. I just picked the best ones. Enjoy!
(Here’s some of my favorite artwork from the galleries. I liked 87 of them enough to take careful pictures of them so I could use them as desktop wallpaper on my computer, these are just my very most favorites. – Lee)
(They had several rooms of galleries of vintage firearms. A really impressive, well displayed collection. An entire room devoted to just Colt, and another just for Winchester. – Lee)
(This room was very cool. I never knew there were so many types of barbed wire. Rack after rack of samples, each in a nice pull out drawer. Very impressive the effort that went into collecting all of these samples. – Lee)
(The brands were also very cool. There was also a copy of a period stockman’s book, which is essentially a yellow pages of brands, but I didn’t remember to get a picture of that. Brands were a huge deal. Changing them was an art form for rustlers, and in disputes sometimes a cow would be killed and the brand inspected from the backside where the healing rate would be a dead giveaway. And then a short drop and a sudden stop for the guilty man from the nearest tree. The only thing worse than stealing cattle was stealing a horse. A man could live without a gun, or a bedroll, or even water, but a man without a horse was a dead man. – Lee)
(There was also an excellent gallery of military history, uniforms and firearms from the period, including a beautiful 10 barrel Gatling gun. Invented in 1861 by a doctor after seeing hundreds of Union soldiers march through Indianapolis. Dr. Gatling was convinced that such a weapon would significantly reduce the number of soldiers needed for warfare, and thus save lives. The average soldier at the time using existing technology could fire one to two rounds per minute. The Gatling gun could fire 200 rounds per minute. After the Civil War, when brass cartridges replaced paper ones, the gun continued to be improved and eventually could fire 3000 rounds per minute before other companies took over and left Gatling in the dust. Needless to say, it did NOT reduce casualties. One of my few complaints about the entire museum is that this gun is displayed in a case against a wall, and you can’t walk all the way around it. Genuine Gatling guns are incredibly rare (they typically bring half a million at auction) and this is really excellent specimen, and as such you should be able to see it as close as the glass will allow, and from all sides. – Lee)
That was all just one wing. The other side had multiple meeting rooms, a movie theater that plays an old, free western once a day, a wonderful reading area, dining hall, and their prize winning art room. Every year they pick and award winners and I was glad to see modern artists get celebrated. Some of those were really good.
And they had wonderful outside gardens as well with huge sculptures. It was pretty hot when we walked outside so we kept it short, but really nice.
Finally we went into the gift shop. This had some really pricey items, but lots of nice stuff too. It was beautifully done and I got a great Oklahoma shirt for $20 which I thought was reasonably priced. We absolutely loved it and I said if I lived there I would probably become an annual member. Definitely would like to go back again and absolutely recommend it if you are passing through OKC.
This is what our map looks like now and I am really happy that we were able to fill in so many stickers. We have officially visited all the states in the west now, although as you can see we have several back east to get.
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