I gathered a group of local Jeepers (Red Dirt Jeeps) for what had been named the D.O.D. (Day of Dirt) Adventure. It is a trip around the county via as many dirt roads as possible visiting old towns, bridges, cemeteries and such.
We met up mid morning for a quick meet and greet and for a breakfast consisting of breakfast burritos and doughnuts.
It had rained the day before and showered on us a few times while we were staging, so with the greetings out of the way we were off. Or so I thought.. Already had a rig down? Is this a sign of the trip to come?
Just needed a jump, so then we were off.
Our first stop was at Oakview Cemetery, just south of Lovell, Oklahoma. Here I found a headstone for a 5yr old boy who died Sept 4, 1891. For those that don't know, that is 16yrs before Oklahoma became a state.
From here we continued on to Lovell, Oklahoma.
"Lovell began as a Post office on May 22, 1889 while unassigned lands were opened for settlement. Itís original name Perth, was changed in 1906 to honor the man who settled and developed the town site, James W. Lovell. Perth, soon to be Lovell, became an agricultural trade center upon completion of a railroad route connecting Guthrie to Enid in 1902, later to become Santa Fe Railroad. Schooling began in 1903 with a population of nearly 200. The Lovell school first met in a 16 x 26 foot sod house, a small frame building was built a few years later. At the time of statehood in 1907 the town had began to fill out having a school, two grain elevators, itís founding post office, two cotton gins, the largest blacksmith shop in the area, bank, hotel, lumber yard, and animal feed post. The town gained population and interest in 1926 when an oil boom hit in the near by town Roxana three miles northwest of Lovell. Foreseeing the future, in 1922 construction completed on present larger two room school house. In January of 1928 a fire roared through the east side of Lovellís main street, destroying eleven businesses. Without insurance, the Great depression and World War II on the horizon, little rebuilding was redone." pulled from - www.abandonedok.com/lovell-school/
We also located the school and had to stop and take a closer look.
The school held it's last class May 17th, 1955.
--photo by Brian Smith
-- photo by Brian Smith
We headed a few miles north to Roxana, or what was left of Roxana (nothing). For a town only established in 1927 it didn't hang around long.
We then back tracked a few miles and then headed east to an impressive modified Pratt through truss bridge crossing Skeleton Creek, built in 1927. Here we are all lined up waiting turns to go across.
--- photo by Brian Smith
We continued on down the road.
We crossed over the highway and then things got a bit crazy! As I had mentioned it had rained the day before and off and on the day of, and though we had come across a bit of mud all day we had not come across a road like this.
After everyone made it through the slip-n-slide I developed a noise in the front end that sounded like a rock dragging my brake rotor. A couple of RDJíers looked it over and could not find anything, but it no longer made the sound. So on we went.
It was all well worth it though because at the end of the road was a 120' Pin-Connected Pratt bridge crossing Otter Creek that is estimated to be approx 112 years old.
Since this bridge was closed we backed up a bit and took an alternate route, the big Jeep of the group played a bit.
-- photo by Judy Winchester
Due to time and the storm building in the distance I choose to skip a few stops and head to town for a gas and potty break, but stumbled across this.
The Mount Carmel Church around Midway, Oklahoma.
Once we reached Guthrie, Oklahoma for gas and potty break we headed further east through the town of Meridian, however the storm had moved in and was pouring rain so few pictures were taken. We made it to Pops in Arcadia Oklahoma for a nice soda while the rain washed our Jeeps.
--- photo by Tammy Sims