77 County Seats on a Motorcycle Seat

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by vt700guy, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    563
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    Roger Mills County: Cheyenne Population: 3,647 1,146 sq. miles

    I have wanted to visit the Washita Battlefield for a couple years now, and it worked out that my brother and I both had a Saturday free to go check it out. I figured that would be as good of a time as any to stop by the courthouse at the county seat so here we go.

    I certainly am not setting out to document Native American history with this thread, but Oklahoma is chock full of Native American history and events, and Cheyenne Oklahoma (as if the name doesn't give it away) is no exception.

    It's a short one hour ride to my brother's house, and after spending a few minutes visiting we hit the road looking for a place to eat. Like an unexpected Oasis, the Kaddidlehoppers Kafe popped up just south of Leedey and begged us to come inside and try their food. We were both quite happy with the decision and chose the rib special. For $15 we each got salad, ribs, 2 sides, and a desert. To say we were full is an understatement. If you find yourself in the area I would highly recommend you stop in for some good food.

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    From here we continued west and hit some dirt roads and discovered a couple lakes that we did not know existed. This was my favorite, and has free camp sites right on the water. You can find it between Leedey and Roll, it's called the Spring Creek Lake. I'm hoping to go back out with my pickup and a couple kayaks to try out the fishing this summer.

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    As we headed south from Spring Creek Lake we found several desolate county roads to cruise. The scenery is very unique with small outcroppings everywhere, too bad most of it is on private property, but we did get a nice picture along this mound.

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    We had made it almost to Texas and needed to head back East in order to see Cheyenne, and the Washita Battlefield National Historic Site. As I'm sure most of you have a fully functional Google, I'm not going to go in to lots of details here, but I will give you a quick overview.

    General Custer led his men in to Chief Black Kettle's Cheyenne Village on Nov. 27th 1868. Chief Black Kettle had an agreement with the government that he would not be attacked at this site, but this agreement didn't last and 13 Cheyenne men, 16 women, and 9 children lost their lives. The most jaw dropping number for me was that General Custer's troops, in an attempt to limit the Cheyenne abilities to mount a counter attack killed all their horses as well.....over 700 of them.

    Here's a couple pictures from the actual site where the Cheyenne's had set up their camp and were attacked. There is a small museum that you can walk through on site that tells many of the details of that day and the days that follow, as well as a 1 mile walking trail that takes you through where the battles actually happened.
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    Next we made our way in to Cheyenne so I could get my picture at the courthouse. This is another fairly new courthouse, but I was lucky enough to find a small building tucked away near the front entrance with an interesting story to tell.

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    I'll let the plaque tell the story for me.

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    Finally, before leaving town and making tracks home I stopped in front of an old theater for one last picture in town. Based on the marquee, at least one person would like to see it restored.

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    That's my visit to Roger Mills county. If you want some remote riding mixed in with a little history and free camp sites you could certainly do worse.
    #21
    jay547, MapMaster, rvsparky and 6 others like this.
  2. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    563
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    Blaine County - Population 9.556 Total Area 939 Square Miles

    I took this ride a few weeks ago but life and riding have got in the way of me writing the report.

    Alright, I'm not going to lie, my expectations of the county seat of Blaine County (Watonga) were not high. I've been through Watonga dozens of times, but have never been "to" Watonga. On the day of my visit my daughter had a track meet and I had several hours to kill so I figured it would be a good time to see if I could find something interesting to write about. Well, as Forrest says, "Life is Like a Box of Chocolates..."

    Let's start with the courthouse its self. I love the dome and it's my 2nd favorite courthouse so far, behind the one in Osage County.

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    I found a neat mural...

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    If you have been in Oklahoma in the last 20 years or so you will know there are "Indian Casinos" popping up everywhere. I'm not a gambler myself (well, I did ask my wife for permission to have a mistress recently, some would call that gambling :-). She said no :() but I don't have any moral objections to gambling. I did find the next two pictures amusing however. The first is the original casino that was built probably 20 years ago, right next door is the new casino. One has to wonder where the money came from to build the new casino :dunno.
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    To be honest with you, at this point I was headed back up to the track meet satisfied enough that along with Roman Nose State Park ( I never made it there as you will read here), and the few pictures I have here I could at least tell enough about Blaine County and Watonga that people would know what it's all about. Then something magical happened...

    Driving down an ordinary street in an ordinary Oklahoma town I see a house with a sign out front. Here's the picture I took as I pulled up...

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    I thought maybe I would walk in and take a look around for a few minutes, read some interesting history and then head out as I was running low on time. I ended up visiting for a few minutes, leaving to watch my daughter run and returning to visit some more. I couldn't get enough.

    The house was the home of T.B. Ferguson, the 6th territorial governor of Oklahoma. It's also where I met Louise and heard the full story about the house. The gentleman painting is Clay, he is from OKC and volunteering to repaint the house free of charge. They are both amazing people and helped remind me why I'm doing this project. It's not just about the ride or the scenery as much as it's about the people we meet and these two are some of the best.


    The house is set up as a museum now with period correct pieces and a few items that were owned by the Ferguson family.

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    Does anyone reading this know anything about an old ATV park in the area? I've never heard of one.
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    I talked Louise and Clay in to taking a quick picture in front of the house with the sign. Their website tells the story better than I could ever tell it.

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    So far this has been my favorite stop, and I hope to do a better job of meeting someone local at future stops going forward.

    Oh, and just for a quick brag, my daughter took first overall in the 300m hurdles a the track meet.
    #22
  3. vt700guy

    vt700guy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    563
    Location:
    NW Oklahoma
    Real Time Update/Rambling.

    I have not officially made a new county since the trip to Watonga as I got busy with a Mississippi trip, and I'm planning a trip out west as well. I have a feeling this project is going to take much longer than I may have originally imagined, and I'm ok with that. I realize I could blast through it and take a couple pictures at each place and move on, but I really want to try and make each stop memorable.
    #23
    villageidiot and rufus like this.
  4. okiegtrider

    okiegtrider Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,818
    Location:
    Indian Territory
    Great report, and congrats to the hurdler.
    #24
    vt700guy and villageidiot like this.
  5. MapMaster

    MapMaster Human Compass

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,786
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    No rush, long term riding goals take a long time to achieve. :D
    I'm enjoying the tales, especially the history.

    And congrats to Lauren!
    #25