Friday, July 4, 2014

Road Trip Day 3: Amarillo to Fort Smith

Day three of driving is done. We made it from Amarillo, Texas to Fort Smith, Arkansas, a distance of 441 miles. So far we have driven 1,498 miles total, and we have about 1,000 miles left to go.

We started off the day with a giant cross on the side of the freeway. I looked it up, and this is 190 feet tall.
Apparently this leaning water tower is famous.

Zelda in the back of the car for a diaper change:

A couple hours out of Amarillo, we stopped in Elk City, Oklahoma to visit the National Route 66 Museum. It was really cool! They actually had the museum broken up into different categories in multiple buildings, all built around the original old town Elk City.

We started in the "transportation museum." They had some old cars we could sit in and Ellie could pretend to drive (when you got it and pressed the accelerator, it started playing a video in front of the car of driving down Route 66). Ellie really liked all the cars.

Zelda got to drive the fire truck.
We all went down a fire pole, too.
Then they had the "Route 66" museum, which was all about the route (it had this great, huge map of the original route) and its history. It was neat and would have been cool to spend more time in, but they didn't really have anything interactive in there and Ellie kept trying to sneak under the rope to touch stuff, so we moved on to the fountain and pretty grounds outside.

After that, we went to the Farm and Ranch Museum. This one was big, and cool! They had tons of old farm equipment, super super old tractors and cars, and lots of old household items from the old frontier. And, crazily enough, inside we ran into a family (the only other people there) from the very same town in North Carolina that we're moving to! They're on exactly the opposite road trip as us - they're driving to southern California! But they're just on vacation, and will be back. The mom actually teaches at the school Jason will be going to. It's a small world. :)

They had lots of windmills outside. Texas and Oklahoma sure do like windmills. 
This Christmas tree was made entirely out of horseshoes!
And this gate is made of tools.
Walking around all the old buildings - they had a lot!
One of Ellie's favorite things at the whole museum was being able to ring the bell. She loved it.

So Elk City was definitely a fun stop. :) Afterwards we got back in the car and drove to Oklahoma City. When we got there we had lunch at Iron Star BBQ. Ellie was a bit difficult when we first got there - Jason and I had to take turns taking her outside because she wasn't calming down. But she eventually did relax (we bribed her with the free peppermints they have at the hostess stand) and we were able to eat our meal.

The food was really good - I have to say that I think I like Oklahoma BBQ better than Texas BBQ. Granted, this is based on one meal in each state, so that obviously could change if I tried more things. Both states were yummy, but these ribs were just delicious!

After lunch we went to a splashpad for Ellie to play at. At least, they were called splashpads when we had them in St. George. Here in Oklahoma City they're called "spraygrounds." :) Both are clever names. I wish they had these more everywhere! Ellie had a lot of fun playing and we stayed there for probably 45 minutes/and hour.

This cute little girl made friends with Ellie on the sprayground. They played together for a lot of the time we were there.

One thing that was funny when we were at the sprayground was that Ellie kept (purposely) backing into the water. She didn't want go into the sprinklers face first, so she'd run up to them, turn around, and then walk backwards until she could feel the water on her back.

Driving out of Oklahoma City we passed Tinker Air Force Base, which was really cool. They had all these cool vintage planes lining the edge of the base, where you could easily see them from the freeway.

The rest of our day was spent driving through eastern Oklahoma to reach our hotel in Fort Smith. And wow - Oklahoma is beautiful. And not at all like I was expecting it to be. I thought the whole state was just flat. Flat, and made of cornfields. Which, don't get me wrong, can be really pretty. But all along the freeway from Oklahoma City all the way to Arkansas, Oklahoma was filled with hills and some of the prettiest forest I've ever seen. This might sound dumb, but I never realized that Oklahoma had so many trees! It had so many! And they were gorgeous!

Funnily enough, there was a lot of water at this exit. A big lake.
The Arkansas River

Some other funny things from today: We saw a billboard just outside of Amarillo that made us laugh. It said: "Rent a combine. Own your future." Another thing: somehow we drove over the "North Canadian River." What is that doing in Oklahoma? And somehow we drove over it twice? And we also learned that the Cherokee Nation has license plates. We never knew that.

When we got to our hotel we ate cereal for dinner, then walked over to a McDonalds for some ice cream. Then we came back and got everyone to bed. And that was day 3 of our road trip. We're excited for Independence Day today.

Happy Fourth of July! Have fun today!

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