Road Trip Day 4 – Onward Through Oklahoma

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After an overnight stay at the ultra-modern, somewhat-swanky Aloft Tulsa, we headed out into Oklahoma (where, yes, the wind really DOES come sweeping down the plains, as evidenced by the large numbers of windmills alongside the highway).


Our first stop of the day was in Oklahoma City. I had heard good things about the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum — which was put in place to remember the 168 people who died in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 — and decided we should check it out. Had I known how great and thorough this museum was, we would have been sure to allow for more time there.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

As it was, we spent about 15 minutes walking around the outdoor memorial itself, which sits on the former site of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building — the target of the April 1995 bombing. The most touching part of the memorial is the long rows of chairs that symbolize the victims of the attack.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

Because my sister and I were both quite young when the bombing happened (my sister wasn't even 4 yet), we didn't know very much about it. I knew more about the aftermath, but very little about the events of April 19, 1995. So we decided to pay the $8 entry fee to go into the museum.

Knowing what I know now about the museum experience, I would have gladly paid much more.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

The Oklahoma City National Museum is probably one of the most memorable museums I have ever visited. It's not very large, but it is very detailed. And very visual.

Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum
Notice the clock, salvaged from the rubble, that is stopped on 9:02 – the time of the bombing.

The museum experience takes you on a chronological, hour-by-hour journey through the events leading up to, during, and after the bombing. The museum's rooms are filled with things salvaged from the wreckage, photos, and video interviews with survivors, rescue workers, and others who talk about the attack and its aftermath. It's evident that a lot of care went into this museum, and I think that made it all the more impactful. I know I teared up quite a few times.

Oklahoma City

I think we've had our fill of sad, reflective spots for now, however. Between Joplin yesterday and Oklahoma City today, I think I've reached my quota for sobering experiences this week.

So what did we do next? Stop at a random rest area along I-40/Route 66 that advertised Cherokee artwork, Oklahoma souvenirs, and a real live buffalo, of course!

It did not disappoint, either, even if we never did see that live buffalo…

Cherokee Trading Post

Each day, I’ll be cutting together a quick video to show you what we’ve been up to. Here's Day 4:

Because we spent roughly 3 and a half hours in Oklahoma City and then another hour at the Cherokee Trading Post, we didn't arrive in Amarillo, Texas, until after dark. So all of our Amarillo adventures (and oh, there WILL be adventures!) will have to wait until tomorrow.

Then, it's on to Santa Fe!

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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11 Comments on “Road Trip Day 4 – Onward Through Oklahoma

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  1. […] I only vaguely remember the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. But Oklahoma City has never forgotten. This museum was kind of a last-minute decision to visit for my sister and I, […]

    […] DO stop at quirky roadside attractions. When you’re roadtripping across America, it’s okay to be a tourist. In fact, I’d say it should be encouraged! Especially if you’ll be driving along old Route 66 at some point, there will be no shortage of quirky roadside attractions on offer. These are often what makes the journey fun. Some of my favorites included the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, and random “Indian trading posts” in Oklahoma. […]

    […] an older memorial to a more recent one — the Oklahoma City National Memorial seeks to commemorate those lost during the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. […]

    How was driving through all of those windmillls? We have an area like that on the way to Palm Springs in California and I am always so scared my little hatchback is going to blow right over!!


      Haha, it actually wasn’t all that windy when we were driving through. But I can only imagine how windy it must sometimes get, with all those windmills around!

    The landscape is fantastic, makes me thirsty of travelling hehe. It seems that you have a great time and enjoy your trip, it’s great! Have fun!

      Oklahoma and Texas were quite flat, but both were pretty in their own way. Now we’re out West, though, and it’s gorgeous!

      Thanks for reading, Martin!

    It’s a remarkable museum. I am working on a post about it right now. I didn’t want to publish it too soon after my Auschwitz one… people might think I’m a tourist who hit on tragic spots.

    Oklahoma is more interesting than people give it credit for.

      It really is a fantastic museum. I was really surprised, yet really pleased to discover that. I will definitely be writing a more in-depth post about it once this trip is over. It’s worth visiting!

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