by cRc cRuise director
We made the run from breakfast at Boom-a-Rang in Norman down to the McDonalds/Valero station in downtown Elgin, OK on US 277, and had a 15 minute comfort stop, gathering a few of the slower cars together. Everyone would cRuise at their own comfortable speed, with 50 mph being the standard.
The photo to the right is of our private parking area at the Plantation Inn in Medicine Park.
We took the scenic route into Medicine Park, driving along the southern side of Lake Lawtonka and into reserved parking at the Plantation Inn. There happened to be a Pontiac car show at the opposite end of the parking lot - but we had lunch on our minds, so we parked and went into the inn. They were ready for us, with 2 long tables, already set, and our two personal servers.
The Plantation Inn was first opened around the turn of the last century and has seen a lot of good and bad times in Medicine Park - but there are good times currently, and the Inn is in pretty good condition, and prides itself in serving up one heck of a big lunch sandwich or a "saddle blanket" of a chicken fried steak (see the photos below of the buffalo chicken sandwich).
This is the front of the Plantation Inn restaurant. The Inn offers 20 rooms at about $100 a night. Rooms are above the restaurant. There seems to always be something going on in Medicine Park, so you would not get lonely if you decided to spend a weekend.
Here our cRuise gang is seated in our own private dining room. Perhaps the news of how the cRc can take over a place had filtered down to Medicine Park, but for whatever reason, we were seated alone as a group in this nice dining room, off of the main dining hall. To the right are Carol and Keith Reames while to the left are Jim and Carol Hoffman.
Then we have a nice shot of Billy and Mary and Flo comparing notes about how their cars ran on the trip down. Billy and Mary were in their vintage Thunderbird convertible while Flo and Dan drove in their vintage 1962 Chevy Impala convertible........tops down were the orders of the day!
Steve and Andrea Ruedy take a moment to pose for our cameraman while one of our ladies takes orders in the background.
Known as America's cobblestone community for the round red rocks dotting this picturesque town, Medicine Park, has a fascinating history. The Plains Indians were well acquainted with this quiet oasis long before its time as a colorful resort town attracting celebrities, gangsters, politicians and journalists. The cobblestones – an abundant, native geological phenomenon of the area – are found in most structures and give the town with its distinctive look, sort of like houses constructed of rusting cannonballs.
A picturesque little creek runs right through downtown, complete with waterfowl and waterfalls. This creek is the outflow of Lake Lawtonka. Pictured here is one of the several small falls in town. And now lunch is served.
And what a sandwich is served. What we have here is their Buffalo chicken sandwich...and it comes with a side if you want one. Getting this sandwich squished down to eat is combines a bit of magic as well as luck - as you can see.
Well, it should be obvious that nobody left the Inn hungry, if they did, it was their own fault. From here, our cRuisers could either opt to shop a bit along the river, make the "reliability run" up to the top of Mount Scott, drive into the park to see the Prairie dog village, the Elk or Buffalo, or take a hike. From there, each person made their way back to Norman at their own pace.
Many opted to do the reliability run to the top, and we had a group photo taken at the summit. Located on the eastern edge of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Mount Scott is one of Oklahoma's most prominent mountains. A three-mile-long paved road leads to the summit and a breathtaking view of southwest Oklahoma. Below is Lake Lawtonka. The peak reaches 2,464 feet above sea level.
The evidence is hereby presented of a number of cRc members at the peak. All made the somewhat scary trip up and down safely. Marilyn and I opted for the descent in second gear in her 57 Chevy which seemed to work ok for us. Not too fast, not too slow. I thought as we were ascending to the summit that my 26 Model T pickup would have had a tough climb, if it could have made it at all. Model T Fords had a gravity feed gas tank below the seat, and if the hill was too long or too steep, the gas would not flow in sufficient amounts to give the car any power. Stories you have heard about Model T Fords needing to back up a hill (putting the gas tank ABOVE the carburetor) were true. Ford finally came out with a little squeeze air pump that you would attach to your gas tank to mildly pressurize it. I thought my high gear would be too weak and my low gear would have taken forever - just as glad I made the trip in Marilyn's 57.
Several of us tried in vain to hike off the lunch. Maybe a 15 mile hike would have helped, but not a 2 miler. We enjoyed the scenic 2 miles anyway. Pictured here from left to right are Dave, Marilyn and Carol (front), and Brad, Connie, and Jim (back row)......and finally a 40 foot falls along the trail.
PS - After logging about 200 miles in the 57, Pearl refused to start on Sunday morning. Cause: A low tension lead had come loose. Glad that did not happen along the road! A great time was had by all. Carol told me she is starting her planning on the "Spring Fling", our 2018 springtime cRuise. More information when it is available.
Many thanks to Carol Hoffman for making this a fun, educational, scenic cruise for everyone.