It's 0800hrs and I am leaving the house on my way to the rendezvous point to start the Day of Dirt (D.o.D.) Adventure 2013, I am wondering just how many people will show up since the Oklahoma City metro area had a torrential downpour and hail storm last night. If anyone does show up we may spend all day just pulling people out of the ditches and as much fun as that sounds, it's not the point of the trip though it would be an adventure.
If you read about last years D.o.D. (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f347/...012-a-1504153/
) you will recall that the end of the trip got cut short and we ended the trip at Pops in Arcadia, Ok. This year we are starting at Pops and back tracking, hitting the stops that got rained out last year.
0830 I arrive at Pops and there is already another Jeeper there. By 0900 hours, the set time to meet, there are only 5 of us there. Did the weather deter the others?
Slowly the Jeeps start rolling in.....a few at a time...... small groups of 4 or 5...... and then a group of about 12 Jeeps help fill the parking lot. Approx 0945 we roll out with 40 rigs behind me we head East on Historic Route 66, the Mother Road. There were a couple of CJ5s, some CJ7s, a couple YJs, TJs, Jks, Two XJs and a WK.....as well as a Chevy Silverado and Tahoe. A well rounded showing for the Jeeps I would say.
We head through Arcadia, Oklahoma to an old gas station just on the East side of town. Seems like the last of the Jeeps was just pulling out of Pops when we pulled over to view the gas station. It's a neat little stop with an interesting story (see pic below).
We continue to head East a few more miles and then took Indian Meridian North into the country side. The roads were sloppy and we had a few rigs that struggled to make it up some of the hills and some that ended up in the ditch. All rigs were able to get back on track under their own power.
Our next stop was Evansville Cemetery. The town of Evansville no longer exist, but the cemetery is there......way back in the woods at the end of a dead-end road. After successfully getting all 40+ vehicles turned around we back tracked a few miles and continued North to Charter Oak.
At Charter Oak we turned East to the town of Fallis.
"Fallis was an unusual little town. Located in a wooded area and “on a long red hill,” it became an agricultural center, a railroad town, and an oil community. More importantly, however, it was the home of five nationally recognized authors plus two well-known state poets. The original natural setting was beautiful, and, as one author noted, it was a source of inspiration. Founded in 1892 at the western edge of the Iowa Reservation, Fallis developed as an agricultural trade center. Cotton was the principal crop, and two cotton gins were in operation. In 1902 the Katy railroad built through Fallis when completing its line from Bartlesville to Oklahoma City. In 1903 the Katy built a line from Fallis to Guthrie. Also in 1903, the tracks of the Fort Smith and Western Railroad from Fort Smith to Guthrie crossed the Katy line at Fallis, making the community a trans-shipment center.
For a while it was believed a roundhouse and repair shops would be located in the town. The first oil well drilled in Lincoln County, in 1904, was near Fallis. Although it was of little importance, it did add income to the community. At the time of statehood Fallis had a population of about 350. Four general stores, a bakery, two lumberyards, two blacksmith shops, three hotels, a bank, two doctors, and four saloons, as well as other businesses, attested to the importance of Fallis as a trade center."
(Read/See more about Fallis: http://www.abandonedok.com/fallis/
Just before reaching the town of Fallis we came upon brand new black top. Now why would such a town, nearing extinction need a brand new black top road? We circled through and around Fallis and did not encounter a soul only a few dogs. We headed North out of Fallis to our next stop.
We jogged our way West and North working our way towards the next destination. On Dobbs Road we came to a 102' Pratt style bridge over Bear Creek that was built in 1908. With a weight limit of only 3 tons, we took it one Jeep at a time.
After all the rigs had crossed the bridge we continued our NW trek to the town of Meridian.
"Meridian received its name from the Indian Meridian on which it is located. This line is used as the main street and also separates the town into two townships. The west half being in Bear Creek Township, and the east half in South Cimmarron Township.
In 1902 the townsite was laid out by the Meridian Right-of-Way and Townsite company, and very soon many homes were built and the town began to be populated.
In late 1902, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad was built through the town and soon after the Fort Smith and Western established a branch line through Meridian and on to Guthrie.
During a fire in 1908, much of the downtown was destroyed, and was later rebuilt in 1920 when a small boom hit the town and grocery stores, cafe’s, music parlors, Meridian Mills, garages, blacksmith shops, and department stores were built. Several doctors also opened up a few drugstores and the post office was rebuilt as well.
Meridian’s first school was located in an upper story of the drugstore, but was destroyed in the fire and in 1936, a large sandstone school was built by the Works Progress Administration for the white children, and later the L’Overture school was built for the black children. In 1970, both schools were closed and the school district annexed to Coyle."
(See more about Meridian here: http://www.abandonedok.com/meridian/
With a slightly larger population than Fallis, there were a few people milling about. I think the sleepy little town was caught off guard when the convoy came rolling through. I did not see it but apparently based on the radio traffic there was a little kid frantically waving at us with a big smile on their face. I hope we made that kiddo's day.
We once again headed North on Indian Meridian out of the town of Meridian. After a few miles we took a quick detour West to another almost forgotten cemetery ( Pleasant Hill Cemetery) with headstones hidden in the tall grass. Hidden by a large bush/tree was even a headstone for Willie Nelson.
With one more stop ahead of us we loaded up and once again headed North. Just outside the towns of Coyle and Langston we came to this old 2 story homestead. It was a neat place but unfortunately the floors had collapsed. There was a cellar that still had jars in it, though empty. There was a large outbuilding that once had an interior wall made of old oil cans. Down by the river there was a very large pipe fence. Based on it's location to the cattle/calf chute it would not seem likely that the chute or the fence were in their original location as it would rend the chute virtually useless. Again a neat place to stop and a great end to a another fun Day of Dirt (Mud?) Adventure.
From here a group went into Guthrie for a late lunch and the rest of us dispersed and went our own direction. I am still surprised with how many people showed up. In the 1st D.o.D. I had around 30 people say they were going attend and had 15 show up. For the 2nd running of the 1st D.o.D. there were 19 attendees. I never would have expected to have 47 people say they were coming and actually have 43 who showed up. It was difficult finding enough parking for that many vehicles and in fact we did not stop at the old bridge as I had originally intended as the road was too narrow to park that many vehicles. Maybe a vehicle limit next time?
Pictures are in order of how they were taken.