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STOP #199

Today's two hundred mile travel day definitely had two entirely different looks.

The first one hundred miles was spent almost exclusively on Interstate Highways. First we had to get through the city of Norman, OK where the University of Oklahoma is located, home of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Next we headed north towards the capitol city, Oklahoma City, OK. We took the bypass Interstate 44 around the western edge of the downtown area, then headed west on Interstate 40. About 50 miles into the trip we planned to stop at a Blue Beacon Truck Wash just west of Oklahoma City.

While we waited in line for our truck and trailer wash, Tricia went inside THE POD and put together a couple of tuna fish sandwiches and we ate lunch.

Then it was back on Interstate 40 West for another 50 miles before we exited onto State Road 270 and began heading northwesterly. Once we left the Interstate behind the scenery changed dramatically.

Gone were the big cities and all the traffic on the 6-lane highways. We then found ourselves on 2 & 4-lane roads with nothing but pasture lands, rolling hills and large farms. Also we saw 300 foot tall wind tubines around every bend in the road. Every 15-20 miles we would pass through a small town and then it was back to nothing but wide open spaces.

Sadly just outside of the town of Seiling, OK (no that's not a typo) we saw emergency lights up ahead on the side of the road. Traffic slowed down to a crawl, like it usually does when there is an accident. Then when we got up close to the scene there was what appeared to be a single vehicle accident down in the ditch on the side of the road. There were police and rescue teams on scene and lots of people standing around with hands on their hips and shaking their heads.

There was already a very large tow truck trying to bring the truck and trailer upright and remove it from the ditch. Sadly there were also a couple of fatalities on the ground and many others who seemed to just be standing around in a daze from what they just went through.

I'm not sure they have a plan on how to remove those three dead 1,000 pound cows from the bottom of the ditch.

With only about three or four miles to go before reaching our campground, we saw this disturbing sign on the side of the highway.

This didn't exactly make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Then just around the next corner we saw another sign which explained the first sign, William S. Key Correctional Center, a minimum-security facility the capacity to house 1,105 inmates.

Anyway, we're not answering any knocks at THE POD's door after sunset this weekend.

Campsite #7 at Supply Park just outside of Fort Supply, OK

FRIDAY - Time for our 40th cave tour!

Alabaster Caverns is unique when it comes to caves in the United States. It is the only show cave where the rock is made of alabaster, all the other show caves are made of limestone.

Alabaster is very soft, soft enough you can scratch into it with your fingernail. For this reason it is also very brittle and in 2018 the cave entrance here collapsed and is now blocked by several tons of rock.

Today we entered the cave through the exit and followed along 75% of the original path before turning around and going back the way we came. All tours since the collapse have been done this way.

This cave was formed by underground rivers, just like most caves, but this one doesn't have any of the usual formations we've seen in the past. The rock is just to brittle to create formations. So while this cave can't be described as beautiful, it still has a lot to offer in it's uniqueness.

The winding pathway through the cave.

The ceiling was reinforced in several areas along the path.

We saw this furry little fellow just hanging around.

Also on our way back to the campsite we stopped to take this photo.

We just love old rusty trucks, especially FORD's!

SATURDAY - Today it is time for:


Today's soda of choice was the "Dang That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer" out of Milwaukee, WI.

When I saw this flavor combination on the shelf back at Pop's Soda Ranch I knew I was just going to have to try it. You can really taste both flavors when sipping this beverage.

I always used to make my Root Beer floats using Chocolate ice cream. I think the next one will be made with Butterscotch.

I rate this one 9 out of 10. Only because I want to leave room in case one of the other sodas is better!

SUNDAY - I've been sitting in and around THE POD most of this weekend wondering about the discoloration on the trunks of all the trees in the campground.

Today it dawned on me, that's a water stain on the tree trunks! I asked the campground host about it and sure enough, two years ago they had an unusual amount of rain in this area and the campground flooded.

The lake was estimated to be eight feet above normal for several months.

Once the water receded a huge cleanup effort was begun. Seeing as how this is an Army Corps of Engineers Park it was constructed to withstand just this kind of treatment.

All of the site markers and picnic tables are made of concrete. The fire rings, BBQ grills and picnic shelters are all made of metal, however all the hardware holding the shelters together has been replaced. It took a full year to reopen the campground.

I was told the only thing visible of the campground were a few of the picnic shelter roofs. Two months after the campground reopen COVID hit and closed it down once again. Six months later it reopened only to be shutdown two months later by a freak ice storm that hit the entire Southwestern United States. It was that ice storm that damaged all the trees you see cut down in pictures.

I can't imagine the water level all the way up to the roof of our picnic shelter! I'm just happy it is now open and we had a chance to visit.

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