Monday, May 19, 2008

Ahoy, Tumbleweed Ho!

This is a review of everyone's favorite panhandle- Oklahoma's. It's always been my favorite, and not just because I have lived in Oklahoma for my entire life. No, it's because Oklahoma has the grandest panhandle of them all, in my opinion. Texas and Nebraska's are too short and stubby, while Florida's and Idaho's are marked by natural boundaries (I am assuming) like the ocean and mountain ranges, so they at least seem somewhat justified. Never has there been a panhandle that seems so needlessly tacked on in meaningless fashion like Oklahoma's. Apparently it sounds like the three counties of Cimarron, Texas, and Beaver (west to east) were almost given to Oklahoma by default; the "No Man's Land" that formed when the Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas borders were determined was thrown in with OK when it became a state in 1907.

The only thing more preposterous than having this panhandle would be to take a trip out there, and this is exactly what we did last Saturday (we being my mom and my sister, no I don't have any other friends. I tip my hat to them for being willing to do something so pointless though). I mean, what kind of Oklahomans can we call ourselves if we have never been to the state's most prominent feature? We trucked it out there all the way to Boise City, which is the last "town" in Cimarron county---they have a golf course there so my sister and I took clubs. As soon as we made it into the panhandle (at a town called Slapout, OK (and by town I mean one house and an abandoned gas station)) what did I see? A tumbleweed! Now I feel like Charz at some point had a discussion as to whether these even existed, other than their being formed when 'Kros told a joke. Well rest assured, they do. The land out there is arid plains for as far as you can see in either direction, and there are a few barns and telephone poles lining either side of the road. It is a bit eerie, giving off a slight twilight zone sort of feel.

And by golf course I mean 9 holes in the middle of flat farmland. There are barely any trees- no sandtraps, no water hazards, no nothing. The wind is constantly blowing- or rather, gusting- across the prairie and it NEVER quits. You have to aim about 45 degrees left or right of where you want the ball to go. We talked to some farmer and he said that the course was built and is maintained by volunteer farmers and ranchers in the area. I have to give them credit for creating it, and knowing that, it was actually in pretty reasonable condition. I have a photo of me and my mom sitting in the golf cart on the fourth tee box; about 5 yards away are two gargantuan cows grazing in a field. On the very first tee box I was trying to determine where I was and what I was doing there- fortunately another tumbleweed blew across the fairway which helped me come back to reality.

Bears- 2.5. It was quite a trip out to the panhandle. I'm not going to admit just how long we spent in the car in order to play these nine "holes" of golf. Preposterous is the only word that I can think of- so senseless as to be laughable.

Anti-bears- 4.0. I'm always up for something that is so senseless as to be laughable, and I throughly enjoyed every acre of desolation that I saw this weekend. With so many housing editions, banks, and Wal-Marts going in around town, I slept better this weekend feeling that the world (at least in square area) seems a little bigger again. And it was a step towards being a more well-rounded and educated Oklahoma citizen.

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