Thursday, May 26 – We left Oklahoma City today at 7:30. We arrived in Bryan, TX at 1:40. It was a pretty easy and uneventful drive. We are staying one night at Prime Rose RV Park back in late April…only $14.50 PPA for the night.
Flash back to Oklahoma City -
Hey.....we haven't even visited any of the museums yet! This tour took us four and a half hours, and we didn't linger in any area! National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Where does one start to tell you about the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. It is UNBELIEVABLE! Everyone that knows you are in Oklahoma City, even people you meet briefly in town, say “be sure to see the Cowboy Museum.” They aren't kidding....DON'T MISS the Cowboy Museum!!! The actual displays are housed in eleven rooms in the west wing of the museum.
THE END OF THE TRAIL – A Native American View by James Earle Fraser
We began our tour by viewing a 20 minute movie giving us an overview of what to expect and a little history of the museum. Volunteers meet you in the hall to direct you to where to begin you tour.
Starting with the Canyon Princess, an 18 foot, 16,000 pound white cougar reigns over the exhibit wing. Carved from a single block of Colorado marble by award winning artist Gerald Balciar.
On special loan to the museum is the Bowie Knife exhibit. Thousands of beautiful and historic knifes are on display in the Eldridge Gallery. We thought we were going to get kicked out of the Museum while visiting the first exhibit. Marsha started taking pictures when a security guard came up and said…nicely…"No pictures, please." Marsha showed him the diagram of where "photos permitted" were listed. He explained that if an area doesn't have a picture of a camera, photos were prohibited. She read it backwards. She gave him a big smile and a long apology, and he allowed her to stay. Doesn't seem like I can take her any where without her causing an uproar!
Here is the only one she was able to keep.
The rooms are filled with Native American art, paintings, sculptures, western firearms, western clothing, tools, and utensils.
Indian woman's Elk tooth dress.
Indian beaded gloves
There is a complete room dedicated to Western performers. The Hollywood greats we all remember. Gene Artery, Roy Rodgers, Dale Evans, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood (Marsha's favorite), and many, many more.
Remember Roy Rogers and Dale Evans?
How about Walter Brenner?
Of course this area couldn't be complete without THE DUKE…John Wayne.
Then there's the Rodeo Gallery, honoring the famous cowboys that rode the bulls, bucking horses, and entertained the thousands of rodeo fans.
Don't these look comfortable? They are Ladies' Bathing Shoes…what the heck? These really aren't for bathing, but for trick and fancy riding. The thin leather soles allowed for greater traction in moving around the horse.
An unusual exhibit is the circa 1900 Western cattle town called Prosperity Junction.
You revisit the town at dusk entering many of the building and looking in the lighted interiors of others. The full-size structures include a saloon, school, blacksmith shop, post office, doctor's office, church and others.
Paul bellied up to the bar.
While Marsha played a little tune on the ivories.
Inside the local church.
This is Marsha's favorite statue. Abraham Lincoln. Considered a "western" president, Lincoln made remarkable contributions to the settlement and development of the West even while preoccupied by war. In May of 1862, he signed the Homestead Act into law, permitting the unhindered ownership of farmland in the West by more than one million families prior to 1910.
The museum has an amazing special events center with HUGE murals displayed on the walls. Artist, Wilson Hurley painted the five panoramic murals of the American West. These three-panel murals measure over 18 feet tall and 46 feet wide. They are beautiful.
The Norma Sutherland Garden around the Museum were lovely with streams, statues, flowers and a beautiful lawn.
You could easily spend the entire day in this museum. There is so much to see. They even have a beautiful dining room if lunch or dinner is needed to fortify you to continue your tour.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see ya'll back real soon. Have a great day!