This memorial was interesting because I remember when the bombing happened. I was in third grade in the spring of 1995, my best friend’s birthday was in just a couple of days. We saw the pictures and knew it was horrible but that’s about all my 9 year old brain could comprehend. I was really curious to visit the museum and help bring all the pieces together.
As we stepped through the gates on the west side of the memorial, we were greeted with the giant reflecting pool on what had been Oklahoma City’s 5th Street. This now decommissioned street was where Timothy McVeigh had parked the now infamous Ryder truck.
Stacia, Andrea and I all agreed to start in the museum to give context to the memorial. This is one of the best museums I have ever been to. I have a low threshold of patience for museums with lots of video content and while I still felt there could be fewer videos (or at least shorter ones), the exhibits were put together excellently.
Back outside, we visited the survivor tree and then wandered over to the site of the federal building and saw the chairs representing those who died in the bombing.
We wandered around the grounds for awhile taking it all in. The memorial was really well done. If you’re in OKC, you can’t miss it, it’s hard but you must go.
Albuquerque, New Mexico is famous for its balloon festival but it is also home to the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum. Admission to the museum is $4 but on the 1st Friday of the month (except October) and on Sundays from 9am to 1pm (except during the balloon festival) it’s free!
F and Karen’s last day of riding took them from Indian Creek to Moab via Lockhart Basin and Kane Creek. Sprocket and I headed directly for town, expecting them to move quickly. When we arrived and found we had some extra time to kill, I stopped in at Back of Beyond Books and picked up the latest issue of High Country News. We retreated to the yard of the Manti-La Sal National Forest ranger station (a great place to relax!) and enjoyed the shade.
When our motorcycle riders arrived, we transferred gear around and said our goodbyes to Karen and headed north. When we got to Salt Lake City we decided to head to Wendover and camp above town and watch the pretty lights.
In the morning, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the Salt Flats and downtown Wendover. The light on the rocks behind our campsite was pretty fantastic too.
After we packed up camp (and I was done taking pictures), we headed west on I-80. I’d never been on this stretch of highway which I always find exciting. In Winnemucca, we headed north across the lonely desert towards Oregon.
We spent the night in Klamath Falls before heading onwards. We stopped at the Collier Logging Museum near Chiloquin, Oregon. They had lots of cool old machinery including this sweet early Caterpiller Tractor. After a brief stop at Diamond Lake, we were on our way to Salem.
After we played in the river, we visited the historic Savanac Tree Nursery. Located in Haugan, Montana. Starting in 1907, the Forest Service used this nursery to grow trees to replant the forest after harvest. In 1910, the nursery burned (just like the rest of the Bitterroots) but was quickly rebuilt. The nursery went through several rounds of expansion and remodeling culminating in a CCC construction period from 1933 to about 1939. The nursery ceased operation in 1969 but the grounds are open to the public along with a museum and several cabins that can be rented.
The museum housed in the Administration Building (which was free) was really cute. I love going and visiting some of the classic Forest Service buildings. Most of them have such beautiful classic wood interiors (with gorgeous furniture to match) and this was no exception. There were also some really cool old scrapbooks of photos and lookout logs from the area. We also wondered around the grounds some but didn’t fully explore all the old planting terraces and the arboretum.
After a lazy Saturday morning in Meg’s apartment, Meg, Forrest, Sprocket, and I headed for City Park. Due to Jazz Fest traffic we abandoned those plans and headed for “The Fly”–which is a walk along the Mississippi Levee. It was fun to just be outside with the Sprocket-meister. We went to the Parkway for lunch and had Po-boys. Forrest had a gravy smothered roast beef one while I had grilled alligator sausage.
After our po-boys, we dropped Sprocket off at Meg’s and went to the National World War II Museum. It was a nice museum, although even I found it a little heavy on the reading. From the museum we headed to Bacchanal for their free Saturday wine tasting. The shop was cute, although the owner wasn’t too excited about talking about wine. Meg also drove us through the lower 9th ward where much of the damage the levee breaches during Hurricane Katrina took place.
We made dinner at her house and then walked down to Cajun Creamery for ice cream. I’m up finishing a load of laundry and tomorrow we set out for Mississippi and Alabama!