Part Eight: Oklahoma
Oklahoma is OK.
We're almost back to Texas!
This is Part Eight of my ten-part series. We're so close to the finale, but we're not there yet. So how was Oklahoma?
I hit the road from Wichita early, grabbing coffee at Reverie Coffee Roasters. I picked up not only a cold brew, but an espresso shot. Their badass branding really sold me - this shop looked like it walked the walk... but could it talk the talk?
Or, coffee the coffee?
I took my goods to go (of course) and sipped the espresso in my car. The notes were powerful, but not as acidic as it smelled. It was some damn good espresso.
I was back on the road before long, en route to Tulsa.
Knowing what we now know about the Tulsa Race Massacre - after history tried to erase it - it's kind of a brutal shock that the highway into Tulsa drops you off right at Greenwood Avenue. That side of town, the former Black Wall Street, has since been redeveloped over the last hundred years. However, whether due to COVID or not, the lack of vibrance it once had is apparent.
I only had a little time before I had to be in Oklahoma City later in the day, so I stopped for lunch. An open-air cafe at The Gathering Place provided my midday meal, free of other people under the Oklahoman sun. The Gathering Place is a gargantuan riverside park on the south side of Tulsa. Jungle gyms, paths, eateries, and beautiful views of the Arkansas River make this park a bustling urban gem. I would love to see it again post-COVID when we can be near people again.
As a storm rolled into town, I decided to take my leave. I peaced out of Tulsa as the deluge began.
You know, something I noticed about Oklahoma towns (and I'm sure it's not specific to Oklahoma at all) is that these small town marketing teams are on it. They will find anything to be the "capital of"!
In Oklahoma alone, I passed through the Home of Helium (Keyes, OK), Home of the First Cowboy (Gene Autry, OK), and of course the Pipeline Crossroads of the World (Cushing, OK).
Okay, not gonna lie, that's pretty cute. Go, travelers, and spend your money there in these small towns!
My apartment for the night was a first floor unit in a building as old as the city over in the Medical Community neighborhood, near Culbertson. It was a cute studio setup with another incredibly comfortable bed. What is with these apartments and their wonderful beds?
I had some writing to do, so I took a walk to a convenience store for some writer fuel (read: coffee and fruit). Along my walk up Culbertson Avenue toward the shops, the Oklahoma State Capitol poked its dome up above the houses of the neighborhood as the blazing sun set behind it. How elegant.
Ready to get to work for the evening upon my return to the apartment, perhaps I had two more squares of that mint chocolate from Denver. Man, that ish tastes just like an Andes mint.
Don't worry, I didn't leave myself any notes that night.
Knowing that Texas was the day to come, I slept easy.
- NOTICE -
COVID-19 TRAVEL PRECAUTIONS I IMPLEMENTED
Though this blog is written with a carefree, fun, and exploratory nature, please know that I took every precaution behind the scenes.
I tested negative for COVID-19 prior to taking this trip.
I avoided other people at all times.
If person-to-person contact was unavoidable (such as my accommodations in Part Six of this series), I was wearing a mask. That being said, person-to-person contact was a very rare occurrence.
I only booked accommodations where I could have the whole place to myself with no spaces shared with other people (except for Part Six).
I only booked accommodations where I could check myself in. Again: No person-to-person contact (except for Part Six).
I took sanitizing wipes with me and gave every accommodation a good wipe-down.
Though I talk about food and coffee here, I also brought a lot of non-perishable food with me which I ate in the car while driving. Any and all food that I did purchase was done so over the phone and picked up to-go.
Photos posted to this blog and my Instagram featuring me without a mask were only possible outdoors, distanced from other people - and the mask only came off for the photo.
If you are choosing to travel during this time, please be aware of all of the precautionary work that you must put into your trip to ensure that you do not contract the virus and do not spread it to other people.
If you cannot guarantee that, do not travel.