The third segment of our trip focused on visiting dear friends. College friends of ours live in the Table Rock Lake area of Missouri near Branson and AF friends live just outside Oklahoma City. We had never visited at either place and we thought it a great time to catch up. Since we had the motorhome, we would be “moochdocking” at their respective homes while visiting.
We have known Lee and Rhonda for over 15 years now, ever since Lee and Craig attended War College together. They had always wanted some land and to live in Oklahoma when Lee retired, and they had bought property while still on active duty. They have since retired and are living the country life on a wonderful acreage. They graciously allowed us to mooch their utilities as we set up in their driveway.
They have some wonderful wooded land where the sun shines its early morning light in a broad span causing the shadows of dawn to lift like a theater’s curtain. The pond glows orange and the day begins with deer grazing in the grass. I accused Lee of becoming a gentrified cowboy, escaping the rat race of the city for the serenity of the country.
Rhonda and Lee took us for a day trip into Oklahoma City. Rhonda is from the area, and Lee was stationed here so they are very familiar with the local area. So this was a real treat. They took us to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The memorial honors those killed in the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing. It is built on the site the building used to stand on. There is an entrance gate at each of the two sides. One is marked as 9:01, the last moments of peace. The other, the first moments of recover. The bomb detonated at 9:02. The field is filled with 168 chairs representing each of those killed. There are small chairs interspersed representing the children who lost their lives. It was a very moving experience.
Oklahoma City has gone through a very organized and structured rejuvenation. We had no idea of the growth, building and planning the city leaders have accomplished. Bricktown is an urban district with tons of trendy restaurants, shops, museums and galleries. There is even a large Olympic rowing area right downtown. They are also in the process of building a huge new convention center. Dinner was spent watching sailboats on Hefner Lake. Who know there is a giant lake in the middle of Oklahoma City? We definitely will keep Oklahoma City on our return to list.
Even with the wonderful touring and dining, the best part of our visit was spent talking, catching up and hanging out with Lee and Rhonda. They have a lovely home, were wonderful hosts, and we cannot wait for our next visit.
Jennifer has said she owes her attending Iowa State and being an Alpha Phi to Lisa, her friend in high school. Lisa and Doug have been our friends for a long time now, long enough that it starts to date us. They live on a lake, with outstanding lake and sunset views and were kind enough to let us park our rig in the shed to keep out of the hot sun and mooch their electricity and cool AC air.
Lisa and Jennifer had wanted to have a weekend to get together with some of their college sorority sisters and this weekend sounded like the perfect opportunity. Theresa, Janette and Kim joined us for a weekend on the lake and cruising Table Rock. The girls were very gracious including Doug and I in their activities. It was really great to see them all and spend a fun weekend telling old stories and getting updated on all their family happenings.
Lisa and Doug took us out on the lake for a day of water, sun and fun. Now Jennifer is not usually a water person, but this was just too special of an opportunity to pass up. She did great riding in the boat, Doug is an awesome Captain, and she even did some swimming in the lake. Table Rock lake is a “refresh” lake. The water constantly moves through it, so it is very clear, clean and fresh. Out on the water, Lisa gave us a water skiing demo, then Kim and Craig both took a turn. It had been 30 years since Craig had been on water skies, and he did ok. We spent time swimming in coves, kayaking, jet skiing, and riding on the giant tube.
They took us to Top-O-the-Rock to do a salute to the sunset. It was magnificent. We ate dinner, the bagpipes played, they shot off a civil war canon, and there was great wine as we toasted the end of a wonderful day.
One of our favorite parts of owning an RV is our opportunities to travel the country and see old friends and family. This really was a great week of having fun with friends and we are so blessed to have been able to spend time with all of them.