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Snapshots of the Greatest Trip to Oklahoma that Andy and I Ever Made
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Snapshots of the Greatest Trip to Oklahoma that Andy and I Ever Made

Well, when I was trying to decide on which of the excellent Meteorology graduate schools I ought to attend, Andy offered to ride out with me on a visiting trip to the University of Oklahoma. And the rest, they say, is history...

On the Road Out West...

Andy gives the final exclamatory "Hey!" at the end of Burlap to Cashmere's "Basic Instructions". We listened to a wide variety of music and nearly exhausted both CD collections on the lengthy seven-day journey.

While camping, our portable (battery operated) NOAA weather radio was our only link to the weather status. I felt so helpless during a particular thunderstorm warning our during our first night in OK! But I was glad to know a little bit. Do you have a weather radio? It could save your life--tornadoes and severe wx don't just happen in the daytime... I could go on about what wonderful things NWS could do with it, but I won't. Anyway, this picture was shot at our campground on Tuesday morning in Illinois. At this moment, the weather radio just told us the highs were going to be in the low 90's today.

Here is a picture of the St. Louis Arch as seen from the highway driving into the city from the East.

Missouri certainly is a big state! There is so much to see and do in the Ozark Mountains. We stopped for an hour or so at Meramec Caverns, and enjoyed the gift shop and museum in the cave's entrance without having to pay the $7.50 (or so) entrance fee.

Did you know that Missouri, according to Rand McNally, contains the population center of the United States? Since it was so near I-44, we decided to take a little detour to find it! Hoping to find a little marker or something, the countryside was all there was to see...

That adventure behind us, we realized how close our trip came to Kansas, and decided to take a little side-trip. Now we will be able to claim seven states on this trip!

Did you know that the speed limit on the Oklahoma turnpike is 75 miles per hour! Go, Beverly, go!
(Beverly is the name of my '96 Cavalier)

Well, after an exciting and long day of driving in the heat, we pulled into Norman, OK around 10:45 Tuesday evening. We drove around until we found the University of Oklahoma campus and Sarkey's Energy Center, then purchased grocies and headed towards Lake Thunderbird. On this trip we realized the value in having a local map, as we had to drive around the entire lake area until we found the park and the campground. (As it turns out, it's right off of Rt. 9)

And at the campsite...

Unknowingly, we set up camp at 12:30 A.M. in a campsite with electricity, which costs $15/night. Oops. So I had to make use of it at least once:

At the University of Oklahoma...

Our first meeting was at 8:30 Wednesday morning with Celia Jones, wonder-worker (among several) of the School of Meteorology. After that, we took a tour of the beautiful OU campus. Among the many sites we saw were:
The OU Bell Tower and the OU Library

The darker interior pictures didn't turn out so well when placed online.

Did we mention how red the dirt is in Oklahoma?

This was taken on Main Street in Norman where a Walgreen's is going up. There is a red brick building behind the site. Note that is an entirely unedited photograph!

And visiting the Oklahoma City Memorial...

Visiting on June 13, two days after the execution of Timothy McVeigh, the memorial was particularly touching.
Words seem an inadequate description of the memorial.

The text under this statue is inscribed with John 11:35, NIV: "Jesus Wept."

And now back in Pike County, Illinois...

After a successful and enjoyable visit to OU's School of Meteorology (especially the party at Al Shapiro's on Thursday evening), Andy and I left for Illinois after my Friday morning meetings. We were both very impressed with the school and the quality of people working in and with the Meteorology program (not to mention the high standards and reputation it holds). Celia called me on road between Tulsa and Joplin to offer me an additional fellowship that sealed my fate here in the books.

Andy and I were both looking forward to seeing family in Pike County, Illinois for a few days.

This is 'Grandma Great's' house, located in El Dara, Illinois. Although she has gone home, it is still a family gathering place. Cousin Bobbi and her children, Luke and Jesse, can be seen on the porch.

Andy captured these shots of our Great Aunt Phyllis driving us by the El Dara Church:

While in the area, we stopped in remembrance of Grandma Great and Pappaw at Taylor Martin Cemetary...

(That is Aunt Phyllis, Uncle John, and myself in that last photograph)

Andy always enjoys playing with the farm pets when we go back...

That's Max, sleeping under Uncle John's truck
I'll put the kittens pictures up soon

Lastly, here is the Carney house where Mom used to live before she and Dad married...

From there it was only a 'short' 400-mile trip home to Cincinnati...

What a great travelling experience! Come make the trip sometime! I'd love to see you and will take you to all the sights!