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10.30.2013

A few words about our progress

As one of my photos was featured on Oklahoma Today's website and Facebook page I'm sure I will be getting a small spike in traffic.  Thought it was time I update on the progress of this blog.

No, we did not give up on the project.  It is still a work in progress and may be for quite some time.  When I started this project I hoped to get it complete while my kids were still young.  However, that didn't happen.  Like most families can attest, life sometimes gets in the way of our plans.  Most weekends these days are filled up with soccer games, Taekwondo meets, cross county, and my own marathon training.  

I wasn't completely happy with a couple of the photographs I uploaded.  I may replace them later and revisit those counties.  A few of the counties I visited but did not upload because I decided the quality wasn't what I wanted to capture.

Never fear, the project will eventually get completed, however, I am not in a rush to get it done.  I plan to take my time and complete it slowly, and most importantly, not rush through it just to get it done.  Anything worth doing is worth taking the time to enjoy.

6.19.2011

Adair County

County seat - Stilwell  / County population per 2000 Census - 21,038

Did you miss us?  As I have said numerous time this project is always a work in progress.  I've had this photo processed for awhile but just haven't gotten around to publishing it.  I would like to note that this is the first 77counties photo to actually feature a human in it.  Your's truly is literally riding a fence in Adair County.  I'm not sure who built this fence gate but  I can't help but think they have a sense of humor.  I would also like to think that by building a fence like this, they don't mind wandering travelers like myself stopping to jump on for a photo op.  If they do mind, then I apologize in advance.  At the same time I want to say thanks for giving us some laughs this wonderful afternoon.

Roadside oddities are one of my favorite things in life.  I'm not sure why I enjoy them so much.  Maybe it's growing up around route 66 and the roadside Americana that is much a part of it.  Regardless, anytime I see something like this I am fascinated and have to take a closer look.  So you can imagine my joy when we left Stilwell and headed towards Tahlequah only to find this gem along the way.  I knew as soon as I flew past it that I had to do a U-turn because that was indeed "the photo" for Adair County.

The multitude of kids activities have kept us from doing a lot of road trips lately.  However we will try to get back on the road and posting more counties for your enjoyment soon.  We have a long way to go, but unlike "the Bandit" we don't have a short time to get there.  So we hope you will continue to check in on us from time to time as we post more of the 77 counties.

3.20.2011

Sequoyah County

County seat - Sallisaw  / County population per 2000 Census - 38,972

Greetings once again fellow travelers, explorers, wanderers, fans of photography, Okies, and Non-Okies as well.  Next stop on our journey around the state is Sequoyah County.  Named for the famous Cherokee, who created the Cherokee syllabary thus allowing his native language to be transformed into a written language in the early 1800's.  A stunning achievement since he could neither read or write in any other written language.  I am particularly familiar with Sequoyah since my childhood grade school also shared his name.

Sequoyah shares it's eastern boundary with the state of Arkansas and has also seen the passage of millions of travelers entering or leaving the state on Interstate 40.  I-40 is the major east west corridor for the state of Oklahoma and the longest Interstate in the US.  Sequoyah county also borders with Historic Fort Smith a major frontier passageway into Indian Territory from the east.  Those of you not familiar with Oklahoma would probably remember Fort Smith from the book "True Grit" and the 2 movies based on that book.

I like to refer Sequoyah County as gateway to the Ouachitas myself.  As you leave Sequoyah County at the lock and dam on the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir you start heading into the beautiful tree covered mountain area of Southeast Oklahoma which is just another of the numerous ecosystems found throughout the state.

Now I know there are numerous things I probably could have photographed in this county but I settled on the old Sequoyah Theatre in downtown Sallisaw.  Just something about it spells Oklahoma to me.  There are numerous small towns across the state that still have an operating theater such as this one.  It reminds me of my childhood going to the old theater downtown in my hometown.  The smell of popcorn smacking you in the face as you entered the door.  The old crackle and pop sound of the film sound as the movie would start.  The faint noise of the projector from the back of the room as the old house lights went dim.  Nothing like the 72 screen megaplex 3D IMAX showings we have today.  Technology is great but nothing will ever beat seeing "Empire Strikes Back" for the first time in the old classic theater.

3.13.2011

Haskell County

County seat - Stigler  / County population per 2000 Census - 11,792

So were back in the saddle again for another set of counties.  At the end of January we got a nice blast of warm air that pushed temperatures up into the 70's for one Saturday afternoon.  That was shortly before we got dumped on by over 26 inches of snow in a 2 week period along with sub-arctic temperatures that plunged down to -12 F here at home.  It was worse in Bartlesville where they hit the coldest recorded temperature of all time for Oklahoma at -28 F!  Luckily we chose that warm weekend to do a little day road trip that took us to Haskell, Sequoyah, Adair, and Cherokee counties.

Our first stop of the day was the Haskell County courthouse in Stigler to make the official log of the county.  You might remember this tiny town of under 3,000 making the national news with its display of the 10 commandments on the courthouse front lawn.  The federal courts made them remove the display which was probably a good thing since they forgot to proofread the 7th commandment and left the letter "e" out of  the word adultery.

After our visit to the courthouse we continued east through Stigler and headed towards Sequoyah county.  Along the way we turned down an old dirt road that went down the edge of an arm of the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir.  On this road we found the small and quite old Simon Isaac Cemetery.  That's were we took our photo for this county.  Along the edge of the fence in the middle of several small evergreen trees was on old moldy leather and metal dining room chair.  Not sure why it was in the cemetery or why it had obviously been there for quite some time.  Nevertheless I decided it would make an interesting addition to our photos.

Stay tuned for more counties coming soon, including the first 77 counties photo featuring an actual human.  You won't want to miss the odd little piece of roadside art we found in Adair county.
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