Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Route 66 and Family Reunions in Oklahoma

Hello friends!  I was so busy with our travel and two family reunions that I didn't have time to post and we also did not have wi-fi at our cabins.  So, here are a few photos from our road trip.  After our visit to the Grand Canyon - we visited Williams, Arizona to gas up before hitting the highway.  Below are some wonderful rock formations as we passed through New Mexico.

Williams is on Historic Route 66 and the whole town celebrates it.  What a fun place!

They had this awesome red 1957 Chevy on display.  What a beauty!

Here is an old steam train engine sitting on the track and a newer (old) engine that was actually pulling a train heading to the Grand Canyon!!

We spent the night in Santa Rosa, New Mexico and found a delightful 50's era diner and had a super good dinner, the place was called Joseph's.  I loved this clock on the wall.  We ate at 50's formica tables.

I think these huge wind generators were when we entered Texas as we crossed the top panhandle section of this huge state.

We finally reached our destination on Thursday July 18th.  Here is Chief Roman nose for whom the park was named.

All four of my siblings arrived at our rented cabins and several of us headed out to look about the land of our birth.  This is where we lived in a tiny house when I was 6 weeks old and while we were readying for bed a tornado hit us and rolled the house over and it splintered into pieces.  Had my dad not grabbed me from mom I would likely have perished as mom was buried in debris and he had to dig her out.  

All over the state were wild sunflowers and these were growing in the hedgerows of the red dirt road of our past.

This old barn is on the property of our lifelong friends, the Knisleys who lived just down the road from our grandparent's farm.

I am in love with the old windmills on the farms here and all over the midwest.

Below is a photo of the oil and gas well that we are part owner of - our dad left each of us children mineral rights and just recently they drilled and hit oil and gas.  This is not far from our grandparents farm where my father and his 5 siblings were born.  

On Friday we drove to a special place for lunch.  We watch Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri on the Food Network and he did a segment here at Eischen's Bar in Okarche, Oklahoma and pronounced it the Best Fried Chicken in Oklahoma.  It's a fun place - you don't get plates, just paper to eat on and it really is the best fried chicken.

Back in Watonga, it's an old downtown here and we just love coming back to visit.

Here is the last house we lived in before we moved to Oregon when I was 4.

My brother Robert showed us the hospital where we were all born!  It is now something besides a hospital.

On Saturday we visited the local museum.  I'm so glad there is a group of people raising money to fix this great old house up.  It's the T.B. Ferguson house, home of Oklahoma's Sixth Territorial Governor, built in 1901.

The parlour.

The dining room- I love the windows, the bay window and the built in china cabinet.

A wonderful old carved pump organ.

The kitchen is great in it's simplicity with a big farm sink, wood stove and kitchen cupboards.

A more ornate version of a curved glass china cabinet like our oak one at home.

Back in Roman Nose State Park, I love the mesas of white gypsum rock and red dirt.  When I was a young teenager my sister and I spent a summer in OK with our aunts, uncles, cousins, grandfather and grandmother.  Our uncle Harlan Tomlinson and our aunt Florence were the park managers.  One fine day my uncle saddled up his Palomino horse with his fancy silver decorated parade saddle and let me ride all over the park on my own.  I actually rode up on top of this mesa to look around at one point.  Great memories.

There are several Indian teepees in the park that you can stay in.  I love them.

This is Watonga Lake in the park.

I organized the Saturday Shaklee Family photo - there were 32 at our reunion and dinner in the Roman Nose Lodge banquet room.

On Sunday we invited all of our Mother's Woldridge relatives to our cabins - we had 4 in a row in the park - and had another great reunion.  We provided the cabins and plates, napkins and utensils and our fabulous cousins brought all kinds of things, chicken, ribs, salads and desserts.  Becky even made home made cherry ice cream, yum!  On the left is our aunt Susie, the last remaining of our 12 aunts and uncles.  

Yesterday before we checked out of our cabins, the 4 siblings drove to get a photo of ourselves by Chief Roman Nose.  From left is my brother Robert, his twin Roberta, myself and the youngest, Denise.  :-)

I loved this lone teepee in this meadow.

Some history.

They remodeled the lodge and it looks so much different, but still pretty.

This sculpture is on the wall as you walk into the lodge.

A big chunk of sparkly gypsum rock and some pretty flowers by the lodge.

I hope it wasn't too many photos for you!  Yesterday we drove from Watonga into Oklahoma City and visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  Wow, that was something.  I will share those photos next time I post.  Afterwards we went to dinner in the infamous Cattlemen's Cafe in the famous stockyard area of Oklahoma City.  Today we have driven to Pryor, Oklahoma, checked into our hotel and are meeting Dayle's brother Allen and his wife for dinner.  Tomorrow we head to the Lake of the Ozarks and our daughter and granddaughters will join us.  I hope you're having a fun summer!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Oh my dear Teresa your trip sounds like the experience of a lifetime, so many relatives to see, so many beautiful places to visit. Glad you are having a fantastic time.
    Hugs and stay safe,

  2. Love, love, love this! Ah--the red Chevy. the rocks of NM, etc. Love! You are a walking miracle Teresa--not everyone can say that. SO glad none of your family was lost in the tornado. Love the old windmill--I always enjoy when I see one! That historic organ is wonderful...and I adore teepees! Awesome that you were able to make your family reunion and relive some of your past:)
    Blessings, Aimee

  3. Three tries and my comments keep disappearing! I love your photos!

  4. What a wonderful vacation, getting to spend it with so many of your family members. And to take a trip down memory lane. I'm sure glad your daddy grabbed you from your mama! Wow!! I especially love the pics of the museum house. I love seeing inside houses like that! As always, I thank you for sharing! Oh, and I love the pic of you and your siblings! :)

  5. I enjoyed all of these photos! What a wonderful trip! We have been to the Grand Canyon and spent some time on Route 66. Great fun! Looking forward to hearing more from you!

  6. Teresa, I was relieved to see this post. It had been several days and I was a little concerned about you, like real family. Your trip has been wonderful and varied. Keep on "funning". ;-)

  7. Fun to see all the relatives. I hope you keep all their names straight!. (I never can).

  8. Well. I so enjoyed this post Teresa. I always enjoy your posts, but being a Midwest girl myself, born and raised, it made me a bit homesick. I remember watching cows and a grain silo fly through the air when I was 11 years old and never want to repeat the tornado experience again. I am so thankful that your family was okay. I bet your parents were terrified. What fun to be with all of those relatives. And your girls tomorrow!!! I'll bet you're so excited you can't stand it. Your grandgirls!!!!! I know how much you've missed them. I'm praying that you'll have a simply amazing time in the Ozarks with them. Take care my sweet friend and tell Dayle howdy for me.

  9. So glad you could post and catch us up on your latest! I love seeing places you have told me about and being reminded of of some of the stories that go along with them. Interesting and beautiful sights including your family :) It has cooled to the 70'sF this week. We are in shock, but welcoming the change. The black berries are ripe on the canes around the ponds. Hoping you thoroughly enjoy your time with Amy and the Grand Girls!!! xx

  10. A great post Teresa.I loved reading about your family history too x

  11. I enjoyed reading this post and seeing the pictures (never too many!) of the places you have been. So interesting to hear about your family and where you used to live, seeing the home you lived in, and the landscape and windmill (and red barn). You big family reunion looks like great fun. Wishing you a lovely time with your daughter and grand daughters next :) Happy trails!
    Helen xox

  12. What a wonderful time you are having. Never too many photos! Hugs Anne x

  13. I loved EACH photo. You are a great take along photographer for those of us in our armchairs. I LOVE your top in the Family photo...blues and greens! You all look wonderful. Fireman and I want to go to New Mexico soon. I'll take your tips! Thanks for a great post

  14. I'm really enjoying your trip Teresa and your pictures are wonderful. I thought I picked you out straight away in the first family group pic - I spotted the lady second from left (think it might be Roberta?) but then I saw you in the middle. You're very much alike. I guess you would have been too young to actually remember that tornado but how scary was that? Just as well your Dad grabbed you. I loved the white house you lived in - so different to what we see over here. Look forward to your next post. xox

  15. Looks like wonderful memories being made in addition to revisiting old ones. Thanks for sharing your trip....and wonderful pictures as always.

  16. Hello my dear traveler!! What a fantastic, family filled trip this is! I am enjoying
    Your newsy information and family history . Your sweet little house that you lived in until you were 4 is darling! Looking forward to more!

  17. It looks and sounds as though you have been having a wonderful time!! So glad for you!!!! I hope that the rest of your travels are just as good! xx

  18. Looks like you had a fantastic time. Some great to see your family. I remember playing one of those old pump organs many years ago!

  19. Just catching up with the news of your trip ... it looks like you all had the best time!


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