Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cruise to Great Salt Plains

Picture January and a day that feels like April or early May, good friends and classic cars. It's a day that screams ROAD TRIP! Friends from nearby Woodward OK joined us and one other local couple and we headed east.

First stop was for food, (remember early on I told you to never pass up food!) and we found the Nifty Fifties restaurant in Carmen Oklahoma the perfect place to cruise into for a tasty hamburger and fries while we enjoyed the retro decor of the small building. Black & white tiled floor, posters of rock n' roll stars of the past and most important, music to fit the era kept us entertained while we ate. Lots of story telling time while we enjoyed ice cream cones as well.

Then we were on the road again, further east to the Great Salt Plains Lake. We stopped at several of the landing places along the road around the lake to check out the water level and the many varieties of birds hanging out around the lake. The scenic area around the lake begged for camera use and we all took our share of memory shots.

Of course, most people will tell you that summer is the time to go to the lake, but I can tell you that this group of classic car lovers enjoyed a day at the lake as much as anyone who goes in July!

Fishing season has started now and the park is packed with boaters and campers and those who just enjoy a weekend away from home. Check out the Great Salt Plains and remember the crystal digging area (see April post on Crystal Digging) is now open again!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Waynoka Station; It’s About Trains!

· April 30, 2009.
· Waynoka Oklahoma.
· Santa Fe Depot ribbon cutting.

I received an invitation to lunch (never turn down food!) and to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony in my home town. The historic Harvey House sits along the tracks of the main line of the Burlington/Northern/Santa Fe Railroad and next to it an old depot building.

Sandie Olson and friends who make up the local Historical Society have worked many years and successfully completed the restoration of the Harvey House. It now houses an El Charro restaurant on the main floor and a wonderful museum upstairs. But that’s not all! Across the street are a fully restored section house, a weigh station and a log cabin that was moved in from the country and reassembled. The first phase of restoration on the depot building is just finished, thus the reason for the party. Oklahoma’s Executive Director for Tourism & Recreation Hardy Watkins came to talk to us about tourism.

The best part of the event was the opportunity to tour the museum! Waynoka was a destination for famous early flight leaders such as Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart and you can almost feel their presence as you walk among early train and plane history in the museum. A scale model train makes its way past recognizable landmarks in one room. Another looks just like an original sleeping room for one of the hard working Harvey House Girls.
This is not your typical small town dusty museum filled with cast off old items. The Harvey House Museum is a class act; the guides really know the railroad history and are passionate about what they do. Carol King was our guide and was quick to point out all of the interesting details told on the walls. While this was not my first trip to the museum, it was the first in several years. Sometimes we forget what we have at home and while traveling is one of my biggest enjoyments, sharing what is in my backyard seems important too.
So if you ever get the opportunity to visit Waynoka, make the Harey House Museum Complex a "must see"!