Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Oklahoma Panhandle- Guymon and Woodward Thunder Caravan Stops

Interesting day today. Cloudy and somewhat cool in Oklahoma City and yet Seattle is going to possibly have their warmest day on record. Selfishly I am rooting against breaking the record of 100 degrees set on July 20, 1994. I actually remember that day very well as it was the day before Squatch tryouts for the Seattle SuperSonics and I was responsible for making runs to the airport to pick up the mascot contestants. I was trying to explain to the guys that day that we were all hurting since it was our hottest day ever. I like my story and it won't be as good if the record is broken today and I'm not there.

Thought I was going to have a non eventful weekend last week but then I got a phone call on Wednesday night. I wasn't supposed to go on last weekend's Thunder caravan but a last second cancellation meant I was in. This was the road trip version of the caravan as we were going across the state to visit Guymon (about 260 miles away) and Woodward (130 miles away).

The Guymon apprearance was on Friday morning so we drove over on Thursday and arrived at around 9:30 that night. Guymon is west of OKC in the Oklahoma panhandle where the infamous dust bowl of the 1930s took place. Guymon is a nice little community but it is definitely out in the middle of nowhere. We passed through Woodward to get there but didn't see much in the way of people and places for the final two hours of the drive. Not to say that it looked like a scene out of Grapes of Wrath (don't think the drought of the 1930s had had much effect) but there wasn't much going on. We did pass by the city of Fort Supply which had a jail right next to the main road and had a highway sign that read "Caution, hitchhiker might be escaped inmates". Probably not the place to have your car break down.

Our Guymon event had a huge turnout of kids as we had a visit from a couple different kids groups. The temperature was around 100 and we gave away over 325 hot dogs in our two hours. We then broke everything down and headed 130 miles east to Woodward to spend an evening before our event there the following day. Included a nice picture on here of a family we met on the way back when stopping at a gas station. The kids were excited to see our Thunder fan and wanted to get their picture taken with us.

Once we got into Woodward, our staff went off in two different directions. Three of the ladies went off to a roller skating rink and the rest of us headed over to a place called Crystal Beach for a barbecque. Woodward is a town of 11,000 people and the main street going through town isn't exactly impressive but Crystal Beach is just a few blocks off the main drag and was very nice. It is a large park compex that I am told costs over $25 million. It has a small water park, walking pathes, playgrounds, a small man made lake and an arena for outdoor sporting events. There may have even been other things but those are just the things that I saw. We had a great BBQ with both Thunder and Mid First Bank employees. Mid First brings their large corporate grill to all of our caravan events and Thunder contracted employee Paul made a tradeout with his friend at Cusack Meats so we had an amazing meal at a picnic area. Definitely the highlight of the trip. Afterward we all met up over at the local Woodward bowling alley for some more "fun". Hate to say it but it was probably the worst bowling alley I've ever been to. The floor was extremely slippery, they didn't have very many balls to choose from and the bowling pins in our line where hardly ever lined up correctly. Their staff did provide us with some entertainment as they all went out for a smoke outside and left a 4 year old girl on the counter to eat her bag of chips while dipping her hand in a dirty fish bowl that was sitting on the main counter. Bad parenting and a few of us felt like saying something but what are you going to do. At least the alley was good for an interesting story.

Saturday's event at Woodward was very hot!! I thought I had heard that it was going to be cooler than the Guymon stop but it wasn't. I know that we drove by a bank about 40 miles from there on the way home that said 107 degrees and I would believe it. By the time we were done at 2pm we were drained. We did find a nice place to eat lunch in Woodward and they had big screen televisions that were showing a live MLS game from Qwest Field where the Sounders were playing Chicago. Fun to watch a Seattle sporting event on TV in Oklahoma.

Not too much else to report on for now. As I'm typing this the clouds have cleared out and the sun has arrived.

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