Remember That Time I Rode to Oklahoma?

Remember That Time I Rode to Oklahoma?

In October of 2016, after completing the Void Rally 11 in Fredericksburg, Virginia I set off towards Oklahoma with the goal of seeing the Blue Whale of Catoosa. I know, I know. It’s ridiculous. But, that seems to be my specialty.


Straight as an arrow along Route 66 in Ok.

Swing and a Miss

With follow-through clearly being one of my shortcomings, I never did finish writing about and posting pics from that Oklahoma trip. On the heels of that, I didn’t finish posting photos and notes from my December 2016 California road trip. Hell, I don’t think I even finished up posting photos from my trip through Illinois in 2015. And then there is the little matter of finishing up my open Ask Me Anythings. I don’t even have a viable excuse.

Chances are you don’t care one way or the other so I’m not sure why I’m dancing around like this. I’m just going to shut up and post some pictures from Oklahoma.

Catoosa, Oklahoma

When you build something up in your mind as a pinnacle there is something of a coming down when you reach it. Because I was so focused on seeing the blue whale, I didn’t really have a plan for what I would do after that. Catoosa was the turnaround point of my trip, that much I knew. But there wasn’t anything penciled in after that. And so, I just stayed on Route 66 plugging away back towards Long Island.

Foyil, Oklahoma

Might big front yard turtle. They also had a “watermelon” propane tank back by the house but I couldn’t get a good snap of it. You’ll have to take my word for it and go see for yourself. This was a stones throw from Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park.

Chelsea, Oklahoma

Rush hour in Chelsea. Small towns like this are so far removed from my day to day reality. There is something about their spartan population that appeals to me. The life that I imagine is lived in such places tugs at my heart, every damned time.

Vinita, Oklahoma

This is a former Phillips 66 “batwing” station.

It’s been a minute since I’d seen one of these completely intact!

Commerce, Oklahoma

Another quiet town.

My interest in petroliana probably strikes some people as strange. Perhaps it is. I’m inclined to take a photo of an old gas pump or station more so than a tree. There is probably something psychologically telling in that. Perhaps we’d best leave it alone.

Afton, Oklahoma

The feeling of being far away from home was acute here, for some reason. When traveling on my own, there are times when my excitement is tempered by missing my family. Sharing photos is one thing but being able to turn to someone and speak about what you’re seeing is something else altogether.


The feeling that some of these smaller towns are kept afloat by Route 66 travelers is real. For me there was a mixture of wonder and melancholy. It was almost like, thank goodness you came to see it because it might not be around much longer. While that may not in fact be true, it was something that I came away with. They’re hanging on by the grace of nostalgia and hope.

Onward towards Kansas…

Posts from My October 2016 Oklahoma Road Trip

4 Replies to “Remember That Time I Rode to Oklahoma?”

  1. Better late than never. Just what I needed to see after snowblowing for 2 hours and shoveling heavy, wet snow.

    What does your license plate mean? Is it the sound you make? Your bike? Both? Neither?

  2. You certainly have a keen eye for detail and your pictures nicely capture that sense of nostalgia. Too many of us (me included) just blow through these little towns (or big cities for that matter) and never stop to truly get a feel for the place. I always promise myself to do better “next time”, largely as a result of posts like this. Thanks for sharing.

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