After paying our respects to “The Tall Chief”, we hit the open road. We headed south in Oklahoma and weren’t really sure what we would find.
Several miles down the road we saw a sign for Muskogee. While I am personally devoid of musical talent, I do love music. I wanted to visit the town from the Merle Haggard classic.
Unfortunately, the signs indicated that we needed to make about a 60 mile detour to visit Muskogee. Nothing against Merle Haggard, but we aren’t talking about Johnny Cash here.
However, the signs seemed to be wrong. Not seemed to be wrong. The sign was wrong. We headed straight when it told us to turn. Yet, we drove right into Muskogee, Oklahoma. Where we were able to observe many an Okie. From Muskogee. Many of them seemed to be livin’ right. We didn’t see any that had let their hair grow long and shaggy. Unfortunately I can’t say I saw any Okies holding hands and pitchin’ woo. That being said, it definitely seemed like the kind of place where even squares can have a ball.
Since we had hit the mythical Haggard town, I was hoping to find a statue of Merle Haggard or at least a plaque that bragged up the only reason anybody has ever heard of Muskogee, Oklahoma, USA. But my mad googling didn’t come up with any information on a Merle Haggard statue or even a plaque indicating where kids still respect the college dean or even a store that sells white lightning.
The biggest tourist attraction in Muskogee… Oklahoma… USA.. according to the googles was a park that had a submarine in it.
A park with a submarine in it?
Muskogee is a good 10 hour drive from the nearest ocean, gulf, or sea. So a submarine… in the middle of a park? This is something we had to see.
We put in the GPS coordinates into the phone and before you knew it, we had paid $7 and were staring at a submarine.
This is what we saw:
The submarine is the USS Batfish. It was launched in 1943 and decommissioned in 1969. It is known primarily for sinking three Japanese submarines in a 76 hour period in 1945.
It was definitely one of the surprise bonuses of the road trip. It also confirmed my belief that I would never make it in a submarine. In addition to never wanting to me submerged underwater at a depth of any more than a few feet, submarines are definitely not made for the talls.
Average height for people serving on the USS Batfish was 5 foot 8 inches. I believe anything below 5 foot 10 inches is considered a midget. Some of them preferred to be called dwarves. None of them enjoy being tossed.
We bid a fond adieu to the USS Batfish and got back on the open road. Let the tones of Merle Haggard take us from Muskogee.
“We still wave Old Glory down at the court house…”
As we meandered down to Texas we enjoyed a beautiful Oklahoma sunset on an unknown lake:
When we hit Atoka, Oklahoma we stopped for gas, snacks, and a restroom break at a Pilot Travel Center. It was here that I made the most wonderful discovery! You could call it an Alamo Bowl miracle!
As an aficionado of sweet tea of some note, Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea is kind of like my holy grail. While southerners cling to their racist past and try to denigrate us yankees incorrectly for not knowing sweet tea, there is one thing they do have. Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea. I have never been able to find it up north. This makes me melancholy. It is a fact that I have even tried to order it online, with nothing but failure greeting my every step.
I was beginning to think Gold Peak Extra Sweet Tea was something that I had imagined. But it isn’t.
I picked up a few bottles and we hit the open road, more than a little bit happier than before we had met the magical place known as Pilot Travel Center in Atoka, Oklahoma.
Our next stop was for supper. We got a little ways past Dallas and pulled in to the first Whataburger we could find.
Who has two thumbs and LOVES Whataburger?
I realize now, that would work better with a picture.
Enjoy these pictures instead:
Whataburger is the #1 franchise we don’t have in Iowa that I wish we had in Iowa. There isn’t even a close second. And not just because as a general rule I can’t stand corporate eateries.
We made the rest of the journey and found a cheap hotel in Waco and bedded down for the night.
It was a Motel 6. They don’t have breakfast, but it is still relatively nice compared to some of the other places that Jesse and I have stayed.
I slept like a baby. Like an angel. Like a baby angel. I woke up in the morning ready to take on the world.
To be continued…
This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is MACRO!
But what is a MACRO photo? There is a technical definition that involves the ration of the real life object being a 1:1 ratio for reproduction blah, blah, blah.
All you need to know is that it is close-up photography. Get close to your subject. Very close. Very, very, very close.
Happy photo harvesting!