Our next stop with the Traveling Supremes was Wagoner, OK. From here, we visited the Will Rogers Museum and the Cherokee Nations Heritage site.
William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (1879 – 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator and stage and motion picture actor. He became one of the most famous American media stars during the 1920s and 1930s.
Known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son”, Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made over 70 movies, wrote more than 4,000 newspaper columns, and became a world-famous figure. By the mid-1930s, he was the leading political wit of his time, and was the top-paid Hollywood star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.
The Cherokee Heritage Center is a non-profit society and museum that preserves the historical and cultural artifacts, language, and traditional crafts of the Cherokee Indian. It consists of a museum that show the remarkable arts and crafts of Cherokee Nation, and gives a moving account of the “Trail of Tears”.
The Cherokee Nation removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold in Georgia, in 1829. The Cherokee were divided into thirteen groups, who were forcibly marched to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Approximately 5,000 of the 16,500 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.
One of the more famous Cherokees was Andy Hartley Payne, the winner of the Trans American Footrace staged in 1928. He ran the 3,423.5 mile from New York to Los Angeles in 23 days averaging 6 miles per hour over an 84 day staged run.
We were also given an excellent tour of the restored village, and the way of Cherokee life. A very educational and interesting display.
If you don’t like museums, you definitely should visit the East Texas Oil Museum in Kilgore, TX. There isn’t much to read, instead you walk into history with some excellent exhibits and animated displays… including an elevator “ride” some 5,000 feet into the ground to view oil deposits on site.
The discovery of oil in the 1930’s had a major impact on this area in particular, and on the country in general. Our Traveling Supremes RV group had a rally in the area, and this certainly was a highlight. Very much recommended.
The next day we viewed the Tyler Rose Festival Parade. Tyler distributes about 75% of the roses in the United States, and has a major economic impact on the area. There were many marching bands, beautiful girls, automobiles, beautiful girls, colorful roses, beautiful girls… well, you get the idea. After the parade we visited the Tyler Rose Gardens and viewed the very elaborate center piece exhibits for the festivities.
The vacation is over, and we’re back in our motor home. In fact we are back in Lewisville for a few days. When we left, most of the park was flooded due to heavy rains. Now it is back to normal. But…… what’s with the weather? It’s been the mid 90’s all week….
All good things must come to an end, even a terrific trip like the one we have been on. So on our last day we managed to get in some final sights.
We walked to Athens First Cemetery, the most important cemetery in Athens. It is not the largest, but most prestigious. The cemetery is organized by family, with all family members buried in one area or crypt. Some of these were exceptionally elaborate. If you can’t take it with you, make a monument…
Our friend George and his lovely wife Angela made our last day most pleasant. First, he drove us near the top of Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens at 300 meters (908 feet) above sea level. A great view from way up there made the last climb up worthwhile!
For a send of, George treated us to a fantastic lunch at a very local sea food restaurant near the seaside city of Pireas. The fish was fresh caught and superbly cooked. Great sendoff, George!
Now only have the trip back to contend with and then see if we can get life back to normal.
The Agora of Athens (also known as “Forums”) was the center of the ancient city: a large, open square where the citizens could assemble for a wide variety of purposes. On any given day the space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the heart of Athens, and the square was surrounded by the public buildings (“Stoas”) necessary to run the Athenian government.
Later the Agora defined the open-air, often tented, marketplace of a city where merchants had their shops and where craftsmen made and sold their wares. Today, open-air markets are still held in that same location. There were confectioners who made pastries and sweets, slave-traders, fishmongers, vintners, cloth merchants, shoe-makers, dress makers, and jewelry purveyors. One of the Stoas (Stoa of Attalos) has been rebuilt just to show the size and complexity of the building. It now houses the Museum shops.
Athens has a lot of museums. A lot. We didn’t have enough time for all so we just visited the New Acropolos Museum and the Archaeological Museum. We could have spent days in either one.
The New Acropolis Museum is considered one of Athens most important museums. Beautifully laid out, and still respecting the excavations underneath. In fact, you can still observe the ongoing excavations, either through viewing openings or transparent floor panels. Much of the Acropolis’ treasures are on display in this museum.
The National Archaeological Museum houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide. Of special interest was the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient analog computer designed to predict astronomical positions for navigation as well as predicting the cycles of the Ancient Olympic Games.
Athens has been the center of Greek civilization for some 4,000 years. The capital of modern Greece, it’s still dominated by 5th century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings such as the colonnaded Parthenon temple. So it was fitting that we started our Athens trip at this iconic location.
The first observation was that of people. Crowds everywhere, it took1/2 hour to buy tickets, then 15 minutes to get in. There was even a 15 minute line to leave the grounds! But put all that behind you, and enjoy not only the scenery but the awareness of walking in (on) the steps of people over some 4,000 years. And marvel at the abilities of people who did not have any benefits of modern equipment.
Across from our hotel was the Temple of Olympian Zeus, definitely worth a visit. The work on the column top was incredible. Then a walk to the Panathenaic Stadium, site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896, again in 2004, and now hosting ceremonial events & live music concerts.
We ended the day with a terrific dinner at a most pleasant local Greek restaurant. And oh yes, we walked around 9 miles today.