Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012-15 Bentonville Arkansas to Bartlesville Oklahoma


Bentonville Arkansas

Bartlesville Oklahoma

Next Week:  Laverne Oklahoma

Campground:  Osage Hills State Park. 2131 Osage Hills State Park Rd, Pawhuska, OK 74056
Phone: 918-336-4141. $20 water/elect.  $2 senior discount.  2 pull-thru’s and easy back-ins.

You may wonder about my writing of this Blog and how I go about it.  For one thing, I begin the next Blog quite often hours after I’ve put the last one to bed.  This morning after sending off my Blog, I was already thinking about the next one.  As the week goes on, I keep adding to the Blog report whenever there is something to write about from that days events.  I use all those brochures for reference as well and try my best to give you the most accurate information.


I’m at Prairie Creek Campground, an Army Corp park, it gets the usual weekend campers.  This is a popular park for tenters and I’ve noticed an innovation that many of the tenters utilize.  Most, if not all of them install window unit air conditioners to their tents.  A bit odd looking at first glance but I’m sure quite effect. I have a large family on two adjoining campsites with 5 tents and the attached a/c units next to me.  Lots of small kids running around and occasionally one or more having a good cry over something insignificant though I‘m sure in their small world it is of the utmost important event for the moment.  And I’d forgotten how I used to have to go to a central water spigot to wash dishes and get drinking water.

Tires… again.

Yesterday while I was doing some errands I decided to stop in a tire shop and have them check out one of my tires that has developed a slow leak.  Come to find out two of the tires had tire separation on the inner sidewall making it difficult to see the sidewall tear until the tires were removed from the truck.  A third tire from the same set had a similar problem about 6 months ago as you may recall from my previous posts.  These were all Motomaster tires purchased in Canada at Canadian Tire Corp.  Needless to say, with three of the four original tires having the same sidewall damage, I had the remaining three replaced.  Expensive, but so glad that we discovered the sidewall tears before I had a blowout on the highway.  I now have all super heavy duty tires on the truck and hope no more problems are encountered down the road.  My moniker as the Poster Child for Bad Tires remains.  Personally, if anyone else would like the title they are more than welcome to it as I am more than willing to give it up.


From Arkansas my route brought me north into the south west corner of Missouri, not far from Joplin where the tornados were so devastating last year.  I didn’t get close enough to see the damage as my route brought me just south of the town and then on a westerly route (hwy 60) heading into northern Oklahoma.  Total driving distance was about 185 miles to the Osage Hills State Park.  That’s about the perfect distance I like to drive in one day.  Osage Hills St Pk is on the Osage Reservation.   39 tribes now call Oklahoma their home after having been relocated here in the mid to late 1800’s. The tourist bureau has a wonderful booklet available called Oklahoma Indian Country Guide, One state - Many Nations.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about the Indian tribes in Oklahoma. I picked up a couple extra copies if anyone would like one, just send my your address and it's yours.

Just a quick note on the Osage Hills St Pk.  Though it’s a small campground, only about 20 sites, the sites are nicely spaced and the whole area has a feeling of peacefulness that I don’t always feel at larger more congested parks.  The campground itself is not close to the river or small dam created lake and it sits off the main road so there’s no traffic or boat noise.  The grounds are covered with Black Tack and Post oaks.  Both are slow growing trees and a bit gnarly looking.  Never knew there were so many different oak trees.  But then again, Florida is home to 5 or 6 varieties, Florida’s are much larger than these and spread out considerably more than the ones out here.

Price Tower.

Frank Lloyd Wright's only skyscraper ever built
Well, I’ve hit my second big adventure of the summer.  I’d marked this place on my map a few years ago when I’d heard of it and here I am standing in front of the Price Tower.  It’s the only Frank Lloyd Wright skyscraper ever built.  It’s design was first intended as part of 3 skyscrapers to be built in New York City.  But the depression came and nothing was built.

When the oil boom came to Bartlesville in the 1950‘s, Mr. Price had become a wealthy oil pipe fitter and wanted to build a high-rise for his booming business.  I was able to take a tour of the tower that included seeing one of the 8 apartments and then taking a ride up a very small elevator all the way to the top to see the 19th floor office of Mr. Price.  The top office has a two story ceiling and wood burning fireplace.  The 8 apartments never rented as the price (about $350) would have been too high for the people living in this oil town back in 1956.  Frank Lloyd Wright was meticulous about designing everything for the building including drainage grates, office furniture and even waste baskets that would match his overall design.  Though he left out closets for the 8 apartments by only providing a single small closet approx. 3ft x 3ft in size for those two bedroom loft apartments.  The small kitchens were quite efficient including a dish washer and a combination range and refrigerator.  Those apartments are now a part of a boutique hotel so you can experience what it would have been like to live in a Wright designed apartment/home.

The exterior design was so Frank Lloyd Wright in design that I was able to pick it out the first time I drove through the downtown city center surrounded by Conoco/Phillips office towers.  The Wright design includes lots of green copper on the outside horizontal and vertical louvered shades.  Supposedly representing a forest tree.  On the interior the tall window curtains in the main reception area are made of copper as well as much of the trim work.

Wish I could find a web site that would address architectural marvels throughout the country besides just the wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright buildings I’ve been able to see throughout the years.  If you know of a web site, please let me know as I do enjoy visiting great architecturally designed buildings and homes.


Woolaroc is the country estate of oil baron Frank Phillips and now is a museum, nature preserve and wildlife center with all kinds of animals like the Wapiti, Emu’s, Llama, buffalo, deer and well you get it, lots of big animals are in a 3,600 acre natural preserve type setting.  I expected to see all that and the original stone and log lodge which was filled with just a ton of western furniture, blankets and animal trophies on the walls, but I was blown away by the scale of the huge museum that was built on the premises.  It was built around the same time as the lodge to house the vast western and Indian collection of Frank Phillips.  If your into guns, there were separate rooms for the Remington and Smith and Wesson collections, oddly juxtaposed with a doll collection.  The Native American pottery and artifacts were well displayed as was as an extensive collection of Western Art.  There sure was a lot to see and I’m glad I set aside a full day to explore it.  Though afterwards I did stop in the Osage Casino for lunch and of course I got my free $5 worth of play money for the slots.  I’ve extended my stay in the area an extra day or so because there’s just so much to see and do around here.

The Frank Phillips Mansion. (Phillips Petroleum) 

There are just a ton of things in the area to explore.  Within an easy drive there’s the Tom Mix Museum, Will Rogers Museum, The Coleman Theatre, and Tulsa Oklahoma’s many attractions less than an hour away.  I opted for one last tour of an historic home, the Frank Phillips Home.  A 26 room mansion right here in Bartlesville.  A beautifully appointed home with a sunken library, created because the Missus wanted higher ceilings and they couldn’t take the height away from the second floor,  so during renovations they lowered the floor.  Everything looked so comfortable, I could have moved in right then and there.  I loved all the stories about the close knit family life including Frank Phillips butler/man servant.  A Japanese man with many talents who listened to everything Frank said and eventually acquired over a million dollars by investing quietly on the side.  When WWII came about and they started to gather up all the Japanese in the U.S. Frank merely told everyone his servant was Philippine.  Oh and the mansion had the smallest kitchen I’ve ever seen in one of these grand homes.  How the cooks were able to create large feasts in that small kitchen is a wonder.  The stove and sink in one small room, the next room had lots of cupboards and a refrigerator,  and the butlers panty was the largest of all three rooms.  Exploring the two hidden safe rooms, as there were threats of robbery and attempts at kidnapping back then.  Fun to see other peoples homes and hear all the stories associated with them.  They had one son and two foster girls.  All sharing equally in the estate after the parents death.  If walls could talk, they’d have a tour guide like ours.

Next stop the panhandle of Oklahoma on my way to the 4 corners area out west.

Additional Photos at my Picasa Web Site.

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