Saturday, June 29th, 2019 (cont.) Meno, Oklahoma Northeast Oklahoma had been a pleasure. Northwest Oklahoma was incredible. As Oklahoma is mentioned in my song, it felt like a requirement to investigate the other two quadrants, as well as the capital city. General route for the day: Perhaps the Oklahoma Legislature had gotten word that there was a wild Nebraskan roaming around in its state, as it seemed like Oklahoma was making sure that I would not travel unsupervised for very long. I do sow chaos and discord throughout most of the places I visit, so I can’t say that I really blame them. The Oklahoman chaperone responsible for keeping me out of trouble in SW Oklahoma, would be local inmate @interceptor1972 , AKA Manoj. My schedule had conspired to bring me to Oklahoma City on a Saturday, which worked out perfectly for him. We met in the place where rowdy bikers normally meet: The parking lot of an Indian grocery store. He was ready to greet me with a cold almond drink which was surprisingly crunchy and surprisingly refreshing. He rides an F800 GS named "Gerda Sue." Solid name. It was my second consecutive day riding with one of these bikes and I was pretty impressed by them. They seem well balanced in terms of power, efficiency and off road capabilities. No frunk though, so I don't know if I could ever own one. First up on our tour was the state capitol. Famously, there is an oil well right on the mall: Manoj is a photographer and he did a great job helping me capture the views of OKC. He even had them move a crane for me! Before: After: The capitol was closed, so we moved on to our next stop: The Oklahoma City bombing memorial. This isn’t a place that one necessarily wants to go, but it is definitely a place one should go. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in 1995 claimed the lives of 168 people. Each one is represented by a chair, positioned according to the floor they were on when the blast occurred. There was a daycare on the second floor, resulting in the death of 19 children. They are represented by child-size chairs. The person responsible for the bombings (whose name will not be typed here) was executed in 2001. People are still bringing items to the memorial fence near the site: Learning about a tragedy like this can evoke a range of reactions. Personally, I hope that visiting a site like this further motivates me to be a person who adds light and love to the world. There is no way to expunge all of the evil from this world, but that should not lead us to apathy. It should motivate us to examine how we are impacting this world. Some other stuff got skipped, I'm struggling with my connection a bit. I'll paste it in here: Up next on our tour were a couple of Route 66 attractions. First was the 66 foot tall bottle at Pop’s in Arcadia. They have a veritable smorgasbord of beverage choices. Manoj bought me a cream soda and we had some fun conversations with other travelers. Then, you could say, my Dream came true! As this local guy (Mike, I believe) pulled up, I walked over with my arms raised in victory. Intrepid ingesters of this quality publication will know that I always stop for a Honda Dream. This is perhaps the best one I have ever seen. I’m used to people peppering me with questions before I even get my helmet removed, so it was nice to be on the other side of it for once. A little ways down the road is the famed Round Barn. Up next was the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. We arrived pretty close to closing time, but there was just one thing I really wanted to see: The End of the Trail sculpture. James Earle Fraser made his first model for this sculpture in 1894. This plaster version was cast in 1915. Fraser had great sympathy and respect for the plight of Native Americans. The sculpture presents a weary rider reaching the Pacific Ocean, having finally been pushed to the limit by the westward expansion of Euro-Americans. Great art should cause the observer to feel something. That is definitely the case with this piece. If you don’t feel something while looking at it, check your pulse! There was one more thing I wanted to see in the OKC area….or perhaps at least one more picture that I wanted. The Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry is truly legendary, having played 86 times beginning in 1912. Unfortunately, it effectively ended with the expansion of the Big 8 conference. There are now games scheduled for 2021, 2022, 2029 and 2030; so I will hopefully get some good mileage out of this picture. Go Big Red! I had thought about continuing east after OKC, but I decided to take Manoj up on his offer to stay at his home in Lawton. We had a nice ride, taking back roads to his place. I got to meet his family and was eventually able to capture his Chihuahua, Lucy, for a quick selfie. Manoj made a rice dish which was absolutely delectable. He uses many traditional Indian spices in his cooking, which adds a lot of flavor. It was fun talking to him about the artistic elements of making food. I got my laundry done and had a great night of sleep.