I don't know that western Oklahoma (setting aside the panhandle) will ever be a tourist destination, but it is worth the effort and it has a landscape that is immediately identifiable.
Entering the Gyp Hills of Kansas (from the Gypsum mineral that is common in the area).
Sitka, Kansas has dissolved to little more than this elevator. Even the railroad tracks that once carried loaded grain cars from the elevator have long been pulled up.
I stopped to have a look at the house I saw back in 2005. At that time it was in precarious condition; I didn't think there'd be much left to see. I was right.
2015 vs. 2005. In another ten years, the attic will likely be flattened, as well.
In the end, the shed-out-back (possibly the first thing to go up) may outlast all the farm buildings.
Running south on the state highway.
Fort Supply, Oklahoma dates from long before Oklahoma was a state. Today, it's the site of the Oklahoma penitentiary.
A pony bridge on old Route-66. Lucky for the health of this bridge, this road no longer gets much truck traffic. I-40 has long taken all that away.
An original part of Route-66 is this molded shoulder detail; you don't see it too much anymore. Turning the highway into a rain gutter wasn't such a clever idea after all.
A combination garage and diner. You can date its closure with the opening of the interstate highway, just a few miles to the south.
Lookeba, Oklahoma was founded by Lowe, Kelley and Baker; take the first two letters of each, add another 'O' for good measure, and there you are...
Binger, Oklahoma is the hometown of Johnny Bench (where he was the valedictorian at Binger High School).
Scott Mountain in the Wichita Mountains. There's a paved spiral road that goes to the top, but for some reason, the gate was closed today.
Oklahoma State Highway 49 runs through the mountains. This is one of the nicer roads in the state.
It's all pink granite.
The winter wheat is up and very, very green.
Mangum, Oklahoma (yes; that spelling is correct).
Vinson, Oklahoma was quite a vibrant town before the first world war. Some of the old buildings are hanging on; but, most lots are now clear.
Elm Fork of the Red River.
Erick, Oklahoma. Roger "King of the Road" Miller grew up here (I don't know if he was valedictorian).
I wish it didn't have to be, but Oklahoma has aggressively been replacing its old bridges that had lots of character with modern and fairly uninteresting (but safer) bridges.
Englewood, Kansas was looking like it would be a successful regional city in the late 1800s, but drought, fire, and a change of plans by the railroad doomed it to a virtual ghost town.
A Kansas ranch on the western edge of the Gyp Hills.
U.S. 160 is a good way to cross Kansas.
Protection, Kansas is doing pretty well.
I had today's special (always the best suggestion): pineapple chicken and two sides of your choice (including carrot cake and coffee or tea) all for less than six dollars.
Typical in these small towns, you really have to look for the cafe (that's it on the left). It's easiest to just look for the cars parked in front.
Protection still has its bank (the Bank of Protection) and a grocery store. Well done!
It's another dog-in-truck for the collection...