Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum


The Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum was quite impressive and very touching examination of a national tragedy.


The clock was frozen at 9:02 when the bombing occurred.

I drove from Springfield, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma today. I found a local Elks lodge that had RV electrical hookups available to members. After locating the lodge and confirming that the electrical connection was functioning correctly, I jumped back in the motorhome and drove downtown to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum. I have heard that it is excellent but was not able to put it on the agenda on previous trips through Oklahoma. So, today was the day.


The extent of the damage was unbelievable.


About one-third of the building was destroyed!


I remember this famous photo of a rescue worker carrying a child from the rubble.

Having only driven the motorhome for just over a week, I am still learning about maneuvering it in tight quarters. Thus, driving downtown would be a new learning opportunity for me. I am glad it was Sunday because there was less traffic downtown. After driving around, I located an empty parking for a group of attorneys and it looked like the perfect place to park the motorhome.


Well spoken words describing why the museum is so important to see and think about.

I thought the Memorial Museum was very moving. The bombing happened on April 19, 1995 at 9:02 am. The day after my birthday. I remember when it happened. I also remember thinking “Why Oklahoma City?”


Each chair has the name of a person who died in the bombing.

One of the first exhibits was about a water hearing that had started at 9:00 am in the Murrah Federal Building. They were recording the proceedings of the hearing. We walked into a reenactment room and they started playing the recording. A woman introduces herself as being in charge of the hearing and how it will be organized to allow both sides to speak. She talked about writing a report based on the hearing and the entity that would ultimately make the decision about the water hearing. She is going through this introductory information when suddenly there is an extremely loud explosion and you can hear people yelling, screaming, and trying to get out. It was an extremely shocking and powerful recording. This was not Hollywood. This was an actual home-grown terrorist attack. I was stunned listening to it.


Moving layout remember those who died.

There were powerful stories from different people buried in rubble. There were 168 deaths. Many survivors too. One of the most mind-shocking accounts was about a woman that had a huge heavy beam crushing one leg. They could not get her out. An interview with a physician described that they were either going to have to amputate her leg or they would have to leave her there. No anesthesia was possible. All they could do was give her a benzodiazepine injection (Versed), apply a tourniquet, and amputate her leg while she was awake. She was screaming during the procedure. With difficulty, they were finally able to free her body and she survived. Horrific!


A portion of the fence where people would place remembrances.

There were moving accounts of survivors and family members describing moving on after the tragedy. They talked about the tremendous loss. They described family members that were suddenly in charge of raising children because their parents were killed. There were heart-wrenching stories of parents losing children in the daycare facility housed in the building.


Beautiful setting to honor those who died.

The Gallery of Honor was a beautiful tribute to those people killed during the explosion.


I found myself reading through details provided in the Gallery of Honor. It really touched my heart.

The museum also covered the investigation of the bombing and how Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were found. McVeigh was ultimately executed and Nichols is serving life in prison.


I learned the meaning of home-grown terrorism.

Although this museum is focused on a massive tragedy, I thought it was extremely well done. They presented factual information and they honored the loss so many people have endured. I highly recommend the museum.


On a positive note, I will end this discussion of such an important national tragedy with a lighter photo of the great camping spot. Electrical hookups provided and I have the entire place to myself.


Whew! We finished the Southern Loop!


This is our trip to Southern Texas and then east to see the southern US.

We finished our loop through the Deep South and made it back to Amarillo, Texas! We were gone almost 7 weeks on this trip. We drove 2,157 miles to go from Amarillo, to the Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas, and then east to Savannah, Georgia. We next went to Gaffney, South Carolina so I could attend Camp Freightliner. I now have the t-shirt showing that I survived Camp Freightliner!



This is our return trip back through the Deep South!

We drove 1,593 miles to go from Savannah, Georgia back to Amarillo. We traveled through 11 different states! We did not spend much time in Arkansas or Oklahoma on the return trip. We put in some long driving days to get back to Texas. We saw some wonderful sights along the way, however, still have many more places we would like to visit!


Driving a total of 3,750 miles through 11 states is certainly a long trip. Next time, I would like to spend some extended time at many of the locations we visited. Now, I need to plan our next trip!

Oklahoma City Thunder

Fan welcome

We were excited to attend our first Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game!

Charlene 2

Charlene was very popular with the Thunder cheerleaders since it was her first game.

We drove for 5 hours today, going from Branson, Missouri to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We found that the Oklahoma City Thunder were playing a home game, so we decided to be spontaneous and buy two tickets way up in the nosebleed section. We were laughing that we had the opportunity to do something unexpected and spontaneous!


My first game!

Charlene received a button since it was her first NBA game!

Although we have driven through Oklahoma City on multiple occasions, this was the first time we actually stayed in the city. It is always fun to learn about a community, walk around different areas, and meet new people. We also like discovering new, independent restaurants. We looked online and talked to several people about where to eat and selected an Italian restaurant. We had fun talking to our waiter because he was a Kansas City Chief fan and I was wearing a Kansas City Royals t-shirt.


After eating, we headed to the arena for the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Atlanta Hawks. It was Charlene’s first NBA game, so it was extra fun. The Thunder gave Charlene a big button that announced it was her first game. A local group of “cheerleaders” was excited to meet Charlene since it was her first game.


Our seats in the arena were high up. We joked that we could not tell who the players were because they all looked the same from our height. I really enjoyed watching Kevin Durant play live and in-person. Everyone left happy because the Thunder won!



Checotah, Oklahoma and Lake Eufaula State Park

Charlene shows the length of the fish she caught!

Charlene shows the length of the fish she caught!

Today we woke to a soft rain that was nice and refreshing. We connected the Jeep and drove through the misty and foggy Ozarks into Oklahoma. It was beautiful to see the all the fall colors as we drove along. We stopped in Checotah and found a Mexican restaurant for lunch. The burro was great, but the beans were so-so.

The view from the camp site we found!

The view from the camp site we found!

After our stomachs were full, we drove to Lake Eufaula State Park. Hardly anyone was there, but it was a gorgeous lake with several different campgrounds and marinas. We found several camp sites with 50 amp electric and water that we would love. There might be too many trees to use the satellite dish, but the views of the lake were spectacular! Since this area is within a day’s drive of Texas, we may be coming here again in the future.

Gorgeous colors along the lake.

Gorgeous colors along the lake.

Beautiful Lake Eufaula!

Beautiful Lake Eufaula!

Tonight is the first game of the World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets. It was very fun to be in Missouri when the Royals won a trip to the final series. It reminded us of when we lived in Kansas City and the Royals also went to the World Series.

The path is from our campground down to a nearby lake.

The path is from our campground down to a nearby lake.


These guys are huge and powerful!

These guys are huge and powerful!

He has his eye on you!

He has his eye on you!

Charlene is planning to join Amy and Neil on a trip to Denver for a medical visit and I headed east to explore new frontiers. I stopped in Elk City, Oklahoma and had a chance to visit some fun places. It was smoking hot here today; Google says the high was 105. Fortunately, the RV park has many trees to shade the coach. It makes me grateful that we have 3 air conditioners. They are noisy, but it is nice to be cool.

Elk City, OK-2

After setting up the RV, I headed to nearby sites. Right next to the RV park is Clinton Lake and it was overflowing at the dam. It was an interesting contrast that Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana were so dry and here, Amarillo, Texas and Elk City, Oklahoma had water everywhere.

Elk City, OK-4

I next went to Foss State Park. It is an Oklahoma state park and it has full hookup sites for RVs. They had a heard of bison and I enjoyed the opportunity to take pictures of these huge animals. I definitely would not want them to be angry with me because they are immense and powerful.

Elk City, OK-1

My, my you have a big tongue.

My, my you have a big tongue.

This guy was doing a jig!

This guy was doing a jig!

Afterwards I went to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton, Oklahoma. Growing up in Flagstaff, I relate deeply to Route 66. However, here, I saw the Oklahoma perspective. There was emphasis on John Steinbeck and the Grapes of Wrath as people used Route 66 to migrate to California (and back). It was fun to watch how people celebrated traveling to the Big Texan in Amarillo and the Painted Desert and Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Elk City, OK-8

Elk City, OK-12

Elk City, OK-11

Elk City, OK-10

Elk City, OK-9