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Daniel Tours America
Bank of OK, Tulsa, OK
5th Aug 2008
Tulsa, OK; Wichita, KS; Kansas Cities (KS and MO)

My standard speech, which I had given many many times to new friends, details how I am visiting the outer states and ignoring "the crap ones in the middle."  In Washington Erin scolded me for such a description and at that point I decided to extend me trip to cover four of the five central states that I was omitting:  Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri.

From the Oklahoma/Arkansas border I basically dashed through the remaining states at break-neck speed. All I wanted to do was to dip my toe into each state.  Not just drive through, that would not satisfy me, but to actually see a city, however briefly.

My first stop was Tulsa, Oklahoma.  It's a reasonable-sized city towards the east of the state, made famous to me by the Gene Pitney song.  I stopped downtown and walked through the 105-degree (41 C) dry heat (ah! dryness, what a relief!) to eat lunch in a park while chatting to a local worker on a cigarette break.  Tulsa is OK. 

I saw no sunflower fields in Oklahoma.


From there I went north to Wichita, Kansas, made famous to me by the White Stripes song, Seven Nation Army.  By this point it was tea time and I was anxious to get to Missouri before dark, so my stop was even more brief.  I visited Old Town, but this was crap, and then went straight to the river to snap The Keeper of the Plains, a large statue of a Native American (perhaps a Kiowa-Comanche?), set at the confluence of the Big and Arkansas rivers. 


I then went all the way to the Kansas Cities, crossing endless rolling prairie.  I expected Kansas to be arid and brown, which is how I pictured it after reading The Wizard of Oz, but it's actually very green.

I saw no sunflower fields in Kansas, either.


The city (or cities) of Kansas City is strange. Legally there are two distinct cities:  Kansas City, Kansas; and Kansas City, Missouri; and I imaged that these would be separated by a river and would face each other as rivals, very much like Buda and Pest, but in fact it's just one continuous metropolis.  You can't even tell when you cross the state line.  Cody in Albuquerque explained that there was a rivalry but I could not detect any in my flying visit.

I stayed with a surfer, Kimberley, in the Missouri side, where I had an entire floor to myself. 


Next: St Louis, Missouri, and the LONG drive back to Georgia
Previous: Graceland, Gibson, Clinton and Hot Springs

Diary Photos

Bank of OK, Tulsa, OK

Downtown Tulsa, OK

Downtown Tulsa, OK

Church, Tulsa, OK

Tin Man poster, Kansas

Douglas St, Wichita, KS

Bridge and Keeper, Wichita, KS

Funky building on the riverfront, Wichita, KS

Waterfront, Wichita, KS

The Keeper of the Plains, Wichita, KS

Prairie, Kansas

What I spent 320 hours looking at

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