We’re off to see the Wizard

Our trip across America continues smoothly and we have now entered our fourth (of eight) states that we will be visiting – Oklahoma. Yesterday, we took one of only two planned detours we intend to make from the route, as we headed down to Branson, Missouri, to visit the Ripley’s Believe it or Not emporium that they have there. Basically a collection of oddities and strange things from various places in the world, which was a great way to spend a couple of hours. Whilst Scott was a fan of the tacky, Vegas-esque Branson, with its King Kong replica, its General Lee replicas and the Titanic display, I could very much take it or leave it (I wasn’t hugely fond of Vegas either when I visited). We had originally planned to stay in another Springfield, but with some spare time available and having found absolutely zero worth visiting in Springfield 2, we pressed on.

We soon entered Kansas, our third state. Route 66 only really clips the corner of Kansas, and in total only about 13 miles pass through the state. However , we probably did about 30 in total as we repeatedly failed to find the attraction we were looking for! In the end, we found it – a cool looking Rainbow Bridge that in all honesty probably wasn’t worth the numerous diversions. A few minutes later we crossed into Oklahoma, where like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz we could safely say that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. We checked into a motel in Miami (not THE Miami), Oklahoma. Also like Dorothy, we soon found our scarecrow needing a brain from the wizard as the guy on the desk first offered us a “five dollar discount” which bought our room down from $64.99 to $60.99 (hmm!) and then, after looking at a computer screen for a couple of minutes, asked me what country England was in! When we asked if the room had Wi-Fi, our Forest Gump replied yes, but then failed to tell us it needed a password so we had to go back and see him AGAIN to get this. It’s a good job we don’t have to tip desk clerks.

This evening we were treated to a very interesting and very comprehensive tour of Oklahoma City, courtesy of our good friend Jen who works in the English department but who was born and bred in OKC and who was out here visiting home for the Easter hols. Was lovely (and strange!) to see her and we also saw parts of OKC that we simply wouldn’t have dreamed of seeing by ourselves. The Oklahoma City Memorial was quite something: a tribute to those killed in the bombing of the Federal State building in 1995, it was a very serene, nicely done tribute where each person who died has an inscribed chair, situated in a position that represents where they would have been in the building at the time of the explosion. There are also some smaller chairs that represent the children who were in the nursery in the building at the time also.

We have now checked into our hotel with 1,109 miles clocked up so far, and somewhere in the region of 1,500 left to do. Amarillo is the next stop, and I’ll try and update again from the halfway point.