5. Oklahoma

Grand lake O’ the Cherokees camp-spot just across the Missouri border off I-44 in Northeast Oklahoma. They call it a lake when really it’s a man-lake on the Grand River. The Pensacola Dam was built in the late 30’s with depression labor as Roosevelt worked to alleviate the plummets of Hoover. Modern American humans insisted on living in the floodplain of the Grand River and when natural cycles continually flooded the banks, the grand river had to be curbed for comfort. The Dam created a 46,500 acre reservoir with 1300 miles of shoreline. It stands the largest multiple arch damn in the world. I’m not sure how the Cherokee fit in other than getting power from the hydroelectricity. Today it’s big on water sports, bass fishing, golfing, and car camping.

Hagleberg and I car-camped next to a nature center with rabbits roaming, a raccoon, and a caged skunk “with all her stink parts removed, of course,” the fellow in the john deer cart told us as he dropped off a bundle of wood. He sold wood bundles to accumulate funds for his 6-year-old daughter’s college.

A guy and wife and daughter camped across the way. He rev’d his car every half hour so he could keep his coldplay, dave mathews, and jack Johnson songs repeating without running the battery dumb. At 2am he fought with his wife then turned the music up full.

The Barbed wire room was the subtle highlight for the freshly built National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in OK city. They also had some stuffed animal heads, a western movie display, a rodeo room, countless cowboy exhibits, and a recreation of the early American western town that every early American museum and craft fair seem to utilize with the black smith shop, the stables, the steeple, etc. They had very little on the Native Americans.

Then came forth the home of Garth B.

And finally the free 72oz steak, Texas, the desert, and the Palo Duro Canyon.