Monday, December 12, 2011

Woolaroc or bust!

Last Sunday, we decided to pack up the car and hit the road for an Oklahoma day trip.  Dan chose Skiatook and Woolaroc.  Hidden away in the rugged Osage Hills of Northeastern Oklahoma, Woolaroc was established in 1925 as the ranch retreat of oilman Frank Phillips. The ranch is a 3,700 acre wildlife preserve, home to many species of native and exotic wildlife, such as buffalo, elk and longhorn cattle. Woolaroc is also a museum with an outstanding collection of western art and artifacts, Native American material, one of the finest collections of Colt firearms in the world, and so much more.  This place is Oklahoma's hidden gem.  The wildlife preserve, rustic lodge, outstanding museum and rugged natural environment are amazing.  We were really impressed!

The drive to Skiatook is about 50 minutes, but we stopped for lunch at Ron's Hamburgers and Chili.  It'a total dive in a very small town.  Delicious!   
We got to Woolaroc around 2pm and received a map of the grounds when we entered the gate.  William took the map very seriously.  One side had a map of the property and the other side showed you all the animals that live on the grounds and where you can best view them.  As we drove SLOWLY through Woolaroc, William made sure he put a check mark by every animal we saw.  He took this job extremely serious and made sure we found EVERY SINGLE animal (but don't tell the Zebra, oops!).  
Then we hit the museum.  The museum is HUGE and full of Indian artifacts and the story of the Phillips family's oil boom.  You might think that sounds kinda boring, but this museum was really amazing - and coming from the land of Smithsonians, that says something!  We spent a couple hours checking out all the information.  The kids were great.  William ran around checking out the "old fashioned" Indian relics and Adeline took a nap in her stroller.  

Then we saw it.  A full scale airplane inside the museum.  They follow us everywhere I tell ya.  Needless to say, the airplane was the icing on the cake for William.  
The staff at the museum told us that if we stayed until dark (5:30pm), Woolaroc puts on a Wonderland of Lights display.  They take groups on a hayride throughout the property to view their Christmas lights and the hayride ends at the main lodge where they serve cookies and hot chocolate.  We didn't know about the light show before we set out on our trip, but we decided to stay another hour and hold out for the hayride.
So to pass the time, William played on the playground with a couple other kids.  I was a little nervous for the hayride only because we did not come dressed for the cold night time weather. 
I was afraid Adeline would be cold and tired.  She still likes to go to bed around 6pm and the hayride was at 5:30.  But, she's a trooper and never missed a beat.  Dan layered her in his coat so she was snug as a bug.  William was FIRED UP for the hayride.  He had the best time riding along in the wagon and providing commentary on the lights.  
The whole light adventure only lasted 20 minutes and before we knew it, we were back in the car heading home to Tulsa.  
We have always loved day trips and it was refreshing to explore our new surroundings.  Can't wait for the next adventure!


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