Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oklahoma Postscript

Wow - I've done a lot in Oklahoma! Here's a look-see of my last day or so there.

Canning! I helped my hostess can her pickles and apple butter. I also helped myself to a jar of each, to add to my own collection of preserved goodies.

The Chihuly Exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is the largest collection of Dale Chihuly glass anywhere in the world. It's stunning, and the video showing the makings of his work is truly amazing. I couldn't choose just one picture...

After seeing the exhibit I was craving Italian food. Maybe it was from hearing all the Italian in the Chihuly video, much of which took place it the glass blowing capital of the world, Murano. It's tough, finding a place to eat in the great unknown. It's too easy to be let down. We had a few recommendations and although my head said to go to Cheever's Cafe, my heart wanted Italian. Trattoria Il Centro looked promising, but was closed for Sunday evening. That left Flips, whose menu looked a bit "spaghetti and meatballs" Italian, so I was prepared to be disappointed. I'm pleased to report I was wrong. Dumpling appetizer (aka gnocchi) with pesto. Surprise! Good! Lentil vegetable soup. Nice! Green salad - surprisingly tasty! (In my opinion, making a good simple green salad is harder than it looks.) Dinner rolls - cold. With cold butter. One thumb down. Pasta with seafood - the homemade vermicelli had just the right amount of chew. I love that. (Admittedly, the seafood was a bit past perfect, but I forgave them, since the pasta and its wine sauce were both delicious.) It's a shame we couldn't fit in just one more course. I was hoping for some of that molten chocolate dessert, but there was just no way. Next time, we'll give Cheever's Cafe a try.

You might notice that the prevailing pronoun for this visit is "we", especially in my prior post. Yes, I was a passenger for the riding in Oklahoma and I'll talk more about that next time.

But for now, one more picture of that Ducati 696. Because I still want one. Now.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Sometimes life takes you somewhere you might not expect. Although Oklahoma isn't known as a motorcycle destination, it shouldn't stop anyone from riding (or eating!) there.

Here are a few pictures of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, honoring "those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City."

The fence where people place their own memorials.

One chair for each of the 168 people killed.

The reflecting pool.

We took a nice ride through the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Reserve, and hiked to the top of Elk Mountain.

Bison and Texas Longhorn abound. Both were close to extinction when this park was created for them 1901.

The top of Elk Mountain. It was a short hike, and low in elevation. It should have been a piece of cake, as I've been hiking at high elevations (some hikes as long as 12 miles and change) all summer. I was wrong. It kicked my butt. I think I was suffering from a touch of heat exhaustion, actually. Even so, the view was lovely.

The generous portion of lemonade at the Meers Store and Restaurant was the perfect cure.

The "Seismic Burger" didn't hurt either. It's one pound of pure Texas Longhorn beef, from their own herd of cattle. (We split the burger.) There's a reason for the name other than it's size. There's a seismograph on location, monitoring the nearby Meers Fault. They also sell Meers Gold Beer, from a traditional Choctaw Indian Nation recipe. Intriguing, but the 22 oz. bottle isn't exactly riding fare. Another time.

The road up to the top of Mount Scott is the only twisty one for miles and miles. We were glad we happened to be near it.

Just by chance, we passed by the Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy main plant, near Tuttle, OK. They only sell their products within 300 miles of here, to maintain freshness. We didn't get a tour, but we did have a nice milkshake at one of their local stores.

Yesterday was spent motorcycle shopping (aka "dreaming"). Performance Cycle of Oklahoma City has an expansive array of antique motorcycles. They hope to open a museum next year.

I particularly liked this 1930's Moto Guzzi.

The real find was a bike that was faster (by far) than mine (not hard to find), yet not any heavier or taller (nearly impossible to find unless I want a cruiser, which I emphatically do not). This Ducati Monster 696 is the first bike I've ever seen that fits the bill. It just happens to be a LOT faster than mine. A LOT. It is also quite a bit lighter and even a bit lower. I want one. Now. I'll have to find $10,000 or so under the couch cushions before I can buy it, though.