After empty Kansas, we entered Oklahoma with a hope of a fresh breath of air with some noise and nature sights to visit.
As soon as we entered Oklahoma, we were greeted by cheap gas (less than $2/gallon) and correspondingly poor roads with frequent tolls. On the other hand, gas is about twice as expensive in Oakland and the roads are even worse so more tax collected does not always mean better infrastructure.
Tulsa city was fairly interesting. It saw explosive growth in the roaring 20s because of newly discovered massive oil fields. As a result, it had plenty of architecture to offer from the Art Deco period even if the downtown streets were fairly empty.
After Tulsa, we decided to splurge on what we thought was one of the best short-term rentals in Oklahoma near Turner Falls. We have been living exclusively in the RV since the beginning of the trip so it was time to spread our legs and enjoy a real bath. I thought the privacy offered at the location was unmatched - in the middle of nowhere at the end of a roadway with grass fields, forests and armadillos around us. It made me think about the balance of living in a densely populated location with all the services versus a far away location where anything goes. Personally (Lukas), I prefer living in a city where I can walk everywhere, not own a car and not care about house maintenance myself - I value my time more than privacy and comfort. However, not worrying about walking outside in my underwear is appealing.
Oklahoma City was yet another city where we could barely find a living creature on Sunday morning. Here we learned about the founding of the Oklahoma state and the land rush of 1889 when on a single day 50,000 people ran free to occupy a piece of land. It is spectacular how in only just over a hundred years Oklahoma went through rapid growth and entered the state of decay we see today. What makes certain locations attractive to certain industries? Why did Silicon Valley and not Oklahoma City attract most of the technological talent? Is it something the location itself has to offer or is the process purely random? Would I have stayed so long in Oklahoma City myself as I did in SF Bay Area? Probably not. Why do I even bother myself with these rhetorical questions?
To sum up, Oklahoma is OK (get it?), people are friendly (they tend to think of themselves as extremely friendly compared to the northern states), but I feel like we are coming out of a sensory deprivation tank as we enter Texas. Sayonara Oklahoma, thank you for the good weather and beautiful sunsets, but we are excited for the next part of our trip.