If you haven't read Part 1 on Route 66 Oklahoma do it here!
Oklahoma City is the state capital for Oklahoma. It's the biggest city in the whole state. As a person from the UK Oklahoma has one thing in my memory which is the tragic bombing of 20+ years ago. We paid a visit to the site which I'll talk about below. Before we got there as we came into the City you see the State Capital building appear on the horizon.
With a big towering dome very similar to the one from Illinois State Capitol building it's really imposing as you come into the city. It was built in 1917 and contains a number of key war memorials as a tribute to the fallen soldiers to the World Wars, Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Having seeing the state Capitol building in Illinois we didn't go in on this occasion as we felt a lot would be similar. Sadly another downside to doing the trip in 2 weeks.
We also then drove past "The Gold Dome" which was the fifth geodesic dome constructed in the world and the first to be used as a bank. It's now being renovated into a farmers market.
Although officially off the Route 66 drag we made our way to the site to the Oklahoma Bombing.
Taken from Wiki: The bombing was a domestic terrorist truck bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, on Wednesday, April 19, 1995. Perpetrated by anti-government extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing happened at 9:02 am and killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, and destroyed more than one-third of the building, which had to be demolished. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, and destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated $652 million worth of damage.
As we made our way to the site you got a sense of the enormity of the bombing but also the sense of that peace of the site as well. Much in the same way that I found the World Trade Centre site in New York. On the site there are two large structures that frame a large stretch of water. One side is an open park where the building stood. On the other is a set of chairs. These chairs are set out in the floor and place arrangement to where people lost their lives. The saddest part was the smallest chairs of the children who lost their lives as well.
Oklahoma Bombing Museum
There is a an outstanding museum on the site which talks you through the whole day, the fall out, and the stories behind it. It cost $15 for an adult to enter the museum and we can highly recommended it. I was old enough to sort of remember the coverage of the event in the UK. However it's not until you see around the museum and also the site that you can feel what it means to the whole city.
Past Oklahoma City
After a few towns outside of Oklahoma City you come to the small town of El Reno. El Reno has a number of great murals. Not to the scale of earlier in the route but still some great photo opportunities. Heading onwards there is a little petrol station at Hydro. Although we saw plenty of service stations this one was different because of there being accommodation as part of it.
Heading toward Clinton we came to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. This for us was one of the best (non car) Museums on the whole route. With a great documenting of the whole route not just the Oklahoma region. Its admission of only $7 felt really great value. There's a great gift shop (as in most museums) as well. It was just the right mix of details and fun things to look at!
On the other end of the museum scale sadly is the National Route 66 Museum. This museum has a transport section which was great - but the other half which was buildings and "set ups" through the ages felt just a bit tired and old fashioned. This was a shame given the other museums we had seen.
Heading out of Route 66 Oklahoma
As we come to the end of Route 66 Oklahoma and make our way towards Texus there is one last little thing to see. That's in the place of Texola and it's a single person jail! It was built in 1910 and has just a single room with a single door. You can image back in the day the local rebel being locked up in here whilst they work out what to do with him!
Anyway that's the end of Route 66 Oklahoma. It was a state with some great things to see and then tinged with the sadness of the Oklahoma City bombing site.
Lets see what Texas has to offer!