Road Trip: Fantastic Caverns, Talequah

Look! A cave!Friday was my last day at work and everyone sent me off with a ton of well wishes and happiness. The nice people in my department at my job got me a card and a multi purpose compass, whistle, thermometer, magnifying glass, signal mirror, flashlight that totally rocks. I packed up all my stuff and off I went… for 6 months vacation.

Let’s savor that for a moment, shall we?

Ahhhhhh…. that’s very nice.

With a weekend to blow and miles to burn, Courtney and I went on a little roadtrip. I had been talking to a guy on a Ducati forum for a few days about buying some modified exhaust pipes. Turned out he was in Oklahoma City and since Courtney and I were planning to visit Tulsa and Tahlequah we decided to swing past OKC to pick em up instead of having them shipped!

Saturday morning we got up early(ish), dropped off Sonja at the kennel and loaded up The Black (as I will henceforth refer to my RX-8) and rolled. We hit Fantastic Caverns a few hours later and it was pretty cool. Tony suggested I might be disappointed with it, but I went with reasonable expectations and enjoyed it. The landscape around it was gorgeous and our tour guide was really cool. The caverns were a little bit of a let down, as I was expecting more crystal structures and it was all limestone, but it was still really cool. When he turned off the lights completely it made me want to go spelunking.

After Fantastic Caverns we made a bee line for Oklahoma City to pick up my exhaust. This part requires a minor aside. On the way to Fantastic Caverns Tony called me to tell me he had bought a new MacBook Pro (to supplant his brand new MacBook, fucking Sprint employees) and after I mentioned what we were doing he related a story about a church in Oklahoma City where there is no actual live pastor or anything; just TVs. They go to a giant church and all watch someone preach to them via TV. It’s called Lifechurch.TV. I called him an idiot, as I do, and ignored the comment. That’s the aside. On with the story.

A mere 200 hours later we were rolling into OKC and I called the guy that was selling me the pipes. He said to take I-35N in OKC to 2nd street and that there was a church at that intersection where we could meet. As we’re driving up I-35N we notice this HUGE cross and I’m like “Wow, I wonder if that’s the church?”. Courtney comments that the church building has a shit ton of satellite dishes on top of it, which is a little weird for a church.

Well, as you’ve guessed by now, we pulled into the parking lot of Lifechurch.TV. I couldn’t believe the irony coincidence of it. We made the deal and quickly hit the road, but not before considering catching a sermon out of pure morbid curiosity.

Next up was Tulsa where we were planning on doing… nothing? Something. Who knows? We got a room at a newly renovated Red Roof Inn, got some great Thai food and considered going to a movie before I announced I was too damn tired. We (I) crashed hard and called it a night. I woke up to Courtney eating cold, leftover fried rice directly out of the styrofoam container. With her mouth. Only.

I didn’t have any fried rice to eat so we went to Village Inn for breakfast and met Courtney’s Mom and her boyfriend so Courtney could catch up for a bit. And so I could be judged, I suppose. Soon it was back on the road for Tahlequah where I had been threatening that I’d like to do some hiking!

We visited Courtney’s sister at her work and then headed out to Sparrow Hawk where I had slightly explored on my last trip but wanted to see more. We stopped at a wilderness area and decided to hike to the summit to see the really great view. I had left my oxygen equipment at home so we had to do the entire 75 foot ascent without it. We were pretty winded, I’ll tell you.

Seriously, I am not sure how high it was but when we finally got to the little rock outcropping that she guided us to it looked pretty damn high to me. I guessed around 1000 feet and she guessed around 400 but I have no idea. Foolishly, I did not take my GPS because I rock. The view was incredible and the hike was very pleasant. I turned over every log I found but didn’t find any snakes. I like snakes.

We headed back and took a drive through the rest of the area. I found a really steep hill and drove up it and it turned out to be the Sparrow Hawk Village that Courtney had talked about. Aparently it’s a little religious village where everyone lives and worships together and they worship peacocks. Their giant water tower is in the shape of a cross. A fine mix of form and function if you ask me.

We finished out the trip with some awesome pizza at Sam and Ellas’ Chicken Palace and headed home. We drove 1000 miles in 35 hours and only saw two states. I call that criminal. Nice trip though, and a nice weekend altogether.

You can click the picture of the caverns at the top to see the rest of the pictures from the trip. Yes you can!

2 thoughts on “Road Trip: Fantastic Caverns, Talequah”

  1. WoW… Hows the trip going? The new accessioning program seems to be coming along.. They got the ICONS put in.. YAY YAY… Well just checking out your site and seeing where you are on your journey. Take care and wish you all the luck!

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