2023 · Days of The Week · Oklahoma · Travel Tuesday · USA

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: On Top of Mount Scott, Oklahoma, 2014

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After visiting The Holy City of the Wichitas, we drove up Mount Scott to the Outlook. Mount Scott has a flat top for people to drive up and park on the mount. At 2,464 feet (751 meters) it is the second tallest mountain within the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge boundary. From Mount Scott, we had a view of the whole Wichita Mountain Range and the lakes of the refuge, and Medicine Park. It was warm up there. The wind brought some relief from the heat.

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2023 · Days of The Week · Oklahoma · Travel Tuesday · USA

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge: The Holy City of The Wichitas, Oklahoma 2014

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Located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge just 22 miles northwest of Lawton, the Holy City of the Wichitas stands on aΒ 66-acre area that looks much like Israel during Biblical times. You’ll find numerous full-sized buildings and structures inside the city, including the temple court, the Lord’s Supper building, Herod’s Court, and Pilate’s judgment hall, all built with locally-quarried granite in the 1930s. You can also explore areas designated as Calvary’s Mount and the Garden of Gethsemane, in addition to watchtowers and perimeter walls.Β 

The site is also home to the nation’s longest-running annual Easter passion play, “The Prince of Peace.” American theaters showed newsreel footage, and in 1937 the U.S. government produced a full-length film of the pageant. Attendance reached an all-time high in 1939 when 225,000 visitors jammed Audience Hill for the sunrise performance.

Other on-site attractions include a memorial for the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, a Veterans Walkway, and the World Chapel, which has become a popular wedding locale. This modern-day chapel replicates Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and features ceiling and wall murals by artist Irene Malcolm.

https://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.3595

When we left Holy City, we had a couple of motorcyclists and a prairie dog in front of us. The riders honked at the prairie dog, which sat in the middle of the lane. The Prairie Dog ran over in the grass, turned around, and showed them its tongue. What a naughty little critter??!!!

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2023 · Days of The Week · Oklahoma · Travel Tuesday · USA

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge And The Meers Store & Restaurant, Oklahoma 2014

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When Kevin was about Katelynn’s age, his dad was stationed as a soldier at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. Since the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge is lining up with Fort Sill, my parents-in-law took their three boys and went camping and/or hiking in the mountains for the weekends. Many years later, Kevin always talked about going back hiking in the Wichita Mountains. At the Labor Day weekend in 2014, I said: β€œOkay, the girls are big enough. Let’s pack the camping gear and give it a shot!”

When we made it to Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, we went to the visitor center to get some information, before we drove to the campground. Once, Kevin had set up the tent we traveled to The Meers Store & Restaurant, which is located in Meers, one and a half miles north of the refuge. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I never had Longhorn burgers before. So, there was our chance. The restaurant opened as a burger joint in 1901 and is now known as its “Best Burger in Oklahoma”. Since the place is so famous, we had to wait about 2 hours in line to get a table. The experience was so worth waiting outside at 95℉.

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… to be continued …

2023 · Days of The Week · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Fair of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: Midway & The New Top 0′ Texas Tower 2013 πŸŽ‘

The focal point of the State Fair of Texas Midway was the newly completed Top o’ Texas Tower ride in 2013. The foundation for the super gyro tower was built in summer 2011 and the first two of six shaft components were stacked in mid-November 2012. The remaining shaft components were erected in December, followed by attachments of the gondola and carrier.

… to be continued …

2023 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Places · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Fair of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: Kroger Birds of The World Show ~ 2013 πŸŽ‘

Kevin, the girls, and I wanted to take a little break from walking around the fair. The Fair had the “Kroger Birds of The World Show” in the Band Shell. Katelynn and Sara enjoyed watching the big birds from different parts of the planet. One of the birds made a “guest” fall into the nearby pool. Well, it was a warm October day. I can imagine, it was very refreshing.

… to be continued …

2023 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Fair of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: The New Big Tex ~ 2013 πŸŽ‘

On the morning of October 19, 2012, (the final weekend of the 2012 State Fair of Texas, and on Big Tex’s 60th birthday) a fire started inside the framework of Big Tex. The figure’s clothing, face, and hat were completely destroyed in minutes as onlookers watched. An official investigation determined that the fire started in an electrical panel (fixed wiring) under the attraction’s right boot. This panel was believed to have powered the air compressor that kept the clothing of the statue ‘inflated’. News of the fire received national attention, and fair officials committed to rebuilding Big Tex “bigger and better” in time for the 2013 fair.

Working under secrecy, a new Big Tex was created in 2013 by SRO Associates and Texas Scenic Co. at a cost of $500,000. The recreated statue weighs 19,000 pounds (8,618.3 kg) more than the previous version, bringing him to 25,000 pounds (11,339.8 kg). This allows Big Tex to withstand 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) winds without needing support wires as in previous versions. The height was increased by 1 yard (91.4 cm) to 55 feet (16.8 m) tall. Big Tex Circle, the location during the State Fair of Texas, was also enlarged and reinforced for the larger statue.

The recreated structure for Big Tex that appeared in 2013 required new clothing and larger sizes. The new Dickie shirt features a 14-foot collar, and 23-foot sleeves and weighs 130 pounds (59 kg). The shirt is made from 150 yards (140 m) of awning material. The new Dickie jeans feature a 27-foot waist, and 22-foot inseam and weigh 100 pounds (45 kg). The jeans are made from 100 yards (91 m) of denim material.

… to be continued …

2023 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Park of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: A Stroll Around The Park ~ 2013 (1) πŸŽ‘

In 2013, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, and I visited the State Fair of Texas again. The weather was much nicer and warmer that day we went a year prior. After we made it through the entrance, the girls got hungry. We all had sandwiches and snacks, which I had in my backpack. The food at the fair can be very expensive. Since we can come in with food and water, we always bring something inside the fair park. When we were done eating, we strolled around the park and started walking toward the Music Hall.

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At the main entrance, I photographed the frieze of the 85 feet tall pylon which was added to the blockhouse in 1963. Near the bottom of the pylon is a piece of art that can easily be overlooked by those eager to enter the park. The bas-relief, a series of sculptures attached to the base to create a raised effect, covers all four sides of the monolith to form a horizontal decorative band called a frieze. Showing a scene of a wagon train and buffalo hunt, it was made by James Buchanan Winn, Jr.

Located between the Vietnam memorial and Music Hall, the Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain was originally stationed at the Frank P. Holland Court in 1916. The fountain moved to the front of Music Hall when the building opened, then traveled to its current spot during the 1970s. More commonly known as The Gulf Cloud, the fountain pays tribute to Captain Sydney Smith. Partly funded through marketing special Sydney Smith badges, the fountain was made to honor the captain and his contributions. It stands twelve feet high, weighs five tons, and has a diameter of thirty-five feet. The bronze centerpiece depicts a mother and three daughters, each figure symbolizing a different feature of Texas. The mother represents the plains, the girl on the right stands for the mountains, and the one on the left lying down refers to the Gulf. The winged figure symbolizes the gulf cloud, which will eventually provide rain for the land.

Behind the Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain, Music Hall stands on the previous site of Cycle Park. Charles McAdams built the park in 1896 as a place where people could enjoy the leisure activity of biking. He soon added a steep, wooden racetrack for bicycle races and some bleachers. Calling it the Cycle Park Theater, Charles became the manager. The attraction later became a place to host outdoor festivals, plays, and concerts. A large fire burned it to the ground in 1903 and a new structure was built. Currently capable of seating 3,420 guests, the Music Hall is modeled to reflect the styles of Spanish colonialism with hints of Moorish design. There are six stair towers, each with a dome on top. In addition, there are several porches that have arches positioned over them. The first major change came with the aforementioned addition of air-conditioning in 1951. The building then experienced a large remodeling project in 1972. It increased the size of the backstage area, improved the auditorium acoustics, installed more comfortable seats, expanded the lobby, provided enough space for an indoor box office, and added the Crystal Terrace Restaurant. Music Hall remained the same for twenty-seven years until it underwent some changes in 1999. The job included better acoustics, new carpeting, new paint, and refurbished chairs, along with the addition of a guest relations center and gift shop.

The Old Mill Inn is a restaurant located across the street from Grand Place. However, its original purpose was to serve as the Flour Milling Industry Building for the centennial celebration. Workers made it an exact replica of the Burrus Flour Mill in the town of McKinney, a building that had been around since the early 1800s. The new clone of the building housed exhibits pertaining to the flour mill industry that included three kitchens, a tea room, and an experimental mill. To run the attraction, a group of flour mill companies managed to persuade a national cooking star named Ida Mae Chitwood to take charge. When Ida Chitwood arrived at Fair Park, she taught cooking classes in addition to acting as the building’s supervisor. She also spent her time making fresh biscuits absolutely free to those visiting the attraction. Because of hard times, people would wait more than an hour in line to taste the famous cook’s food. After the exposition, the Old Mill Inn eventually became the home of Borden’s Dairy Exhibit at the fair. Children would get to have the chance to meet the family of the company’s mascot Elsie. Her husband was named Elmer and her daughter was called Beauregard. The two family members were available for petting along with the matriarch. The building currently serves as a restaurant specializing in southern cuisine. Open throughout the year, its interior is decorated with remnants of the past. A stairway leading to a private dining area has autographed photos of famous people who have paid a visit. In addition to the customary meals it provides, the restaurant allows guests to participate in a mystery party every Friday and Saturday through a local company called Keith & Margo’s Ultimate Mystery Dinner Adventure.

http://www.texasescapes.com/DallasTexas/Dallas-Texas-Fair-Park-History.htm

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… to be continued…

2023 · Days of The Week · Oklahoma · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma ~ 2013

On Labor Day 2013, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I went up to Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. We wanted to get out of the city to take a little walk. So, we went north of the refuge by Murry 23. We walked along the lake and watched some butterflies. One Gulf Fritillary landed on Katelynn’s arm. We didn’t make it far, because it was very warm and humid. A short time later, we made it back to Texas.

2023 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Places · Special Events · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Park of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: The Fair Park At Night ~ 2012 πŸŽ‘

We spent the early evening hours at the State Fair as well. The fair actually looks much prettier, when it is dark outside. All the lights come on, and the light parade passes through the park. Big Tex and the Texas Star Ferris Wheel come to full glory, and the statues are in their great spotlights.

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2023 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Places · Special Events · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Park of Texas: Fair Park, Dallas: A Visit At The Texas Discovery Gardens 2012 (1)

Every time, we visit the State Fair of Texas we can’t miss out on the Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park. The girls love to see the flowers outdoors and the Butterfly House. This year, they had a special treat for Katelynn at their expo: Snakes, spiders, and bugs. Katelynn loves all these creepy crawlies. There were some venomous snakes and hairy-legged spiders. Not to forget to mention the cockroaches. Thank goodness, they have been locked in their terrariums. I like them much better when there is a protective glass between those critters and me.

… to be continued …

2023 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Places · Special Events · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Fair of Texas, Fair Park, Dallas: A Stroll Through Fair Park ~ 2012 πŸŽ‘

We walked on the fairgrounds to look at some sculptures and go to the Texas Discovery Gardens. Big Tex celebrated his 60th Anniversary at the State Fair of Texas. Unfortunately, 13 days later he burned down to his frame. He had an electrical short in his wiring, which moved his jaw. It was a sad day in Dallas’ History. The following year, he was rebuilt.

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Festivals · Places · Special Events · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

State Fair of Texas, Fair Park, Dallas: The Automobile Building 2012 πŸŽ‘

It was the first weekend of October when we visited the State Fair of Texas in 2012. And it was chilly. Most of the time, we avoided the wind and walked into buildings. Since the Automobile Building protected us from the chill, I captured photos of the Mural on the walls along the Esplanade Fountain in Fair Park, Dallas, Texas.

History of the Automobile Building:
http://www.texasescapes.com/DallasTexas/Dallas-Texas-Fair-Park-11-Automobile-Building.htm

… to be continued …

2022 · Days of The Week · Places · Texas · Travel Tuesday · USA

A Day In Downtown Dallas, Texas ~ 2011

In November 2011 I met with a friend and her son from Germany in downtown Dallas. This allowed us to do some sightseeing in town. We looked at a lot of buildings like the Fountain Building, the Bank of America Building (the tallest building in Dallas), the Old Red Dallas County Courthouse, the Comerica Bank Building, … etc.

I always wanted to go to the Sixth Floor Museum by Dealey Plaza. In the museum, we were not allowed to photograph. But it was very interesting to look at pictures, read history, and watch videos of Kennedy’s Presidency until the assassination at Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963, and the aftermath. No matter, how often I watch those videos I always become a bit sentimental.

2022 · Alabama · Days of The Week · Florida · Louisiana · Mississippi · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA

Driving From Florida To Texas ~ 2011

After almost a week in Walt Disney World, it was time to drive back home. That day, we made it from Buena Vista, Florida all the way to New Orleans. There we had a motel room, and drove through “The Big Easy”. Five and half years later, we still could see the signs of Hurricane Katrina, she left behind. Even our motel room smelled musky from the flooding in August 2005. It was devastating to see all these damages due to the storm.

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