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We’re kind of in Gordonville Texas (north of it), and kind of at Lake Texoma (south of it), and really really close to Oklahoma. We’re counting this as our Oklahoma stop, because although we’re not technically “camping in” Oklahoma, we’re just a couple of miles south of it. Fear of getting stuck in a major ice storm in Oklahoma City moved us south, and staying at the Thousand Trails here means we don’t pay. Hooray for free rent!

We drove up to the heart of Oklahoma our first full day here- Oklahoma City. The city is fairly large. One of their most visited spots there is the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. They have a lot of cowboys in Oklahoma, apparently- or at least did at one point. The museum features history, costumes, weapons and just general information on the cowboy and Indian cultures from Oklahoma past, and some from today.

After the museum we visited the downtown area and saw the site of the Oklahoma City bombing. The memorial was very moving, and even on a cold day in January there were several visitors paying their respects.

In general, we found Oklahoma to be a very pretty state, although undoubtedly more so when it’s not the middle of winter (when there is actually wheat to smell sweet, etc. etc.). Maybe we were trying too hard to convince ourselves, but we thought it did seem slightly different from northern Texas. A few more trees maybe, a few more rolling hills- very subtle differences.

We’re finding it interesting, the small differences from state to state. Somewhere along the way there was an invisible line that has turned Best Foods Mayonnaise into “Hellmann’s”, unleaded gas to “no-lead” gas, drive-through liquor stores are common and the Dairy Queen signs now promote “steak fingers” instead of chicken strip baskets. People no longer think it’s strange when Travis gives his typical, “howdy” greeting, but tie-dye t-shirts and uncut hair are getting second looks.

Here in north Texas, another thing we’ve noticed is the pride that people have in their small towns. At visitors centers everywhere there are pamphlets on even the most remote little places. They have little to boast about, but they try to draw in visitors with what they have. It’s these self-promotion pamphlets that led us to places like Denison, Sherman and Pottsboro, Texas.

Denison’s big claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Dwight D. Eisenhower. President Eisenhower was born in a little farmhouse there in October 1890. The following year his family moved to Kansas, but that didn’t deter Denison from claiming Eisenhower as their own, nor does it keep numerous tourists from visiting the site every year.

Sherman has one of the better pamphlets. We went to the town itself, and reading the pamphlet is actually a little more exciting. The pamphlet is full of colorful photos of the enthralling goings on about town. One of the best photos shows “kids at the park” and lists it as “a part of a visit to Sherman”. So there you go- some kids, this dog, that stop light, a duck, and those mailboxes over there- all a part of your exciting adventures in Sherman.

Our favorite self-promoted town was Pottsboro. It’s the little town that could. The town motto is, “Pottsboro- we just keep getting better!” What is its secret to success? It is “home to north Texas’ third largest runway”. Not even the third largest in Texas- but that’s okay. You just keep getting better Pottsboro!

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