Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lessons from the Road, Part Two

Not all whales are elusive

If you plug 2680 OK-66, Catoosa, OK in to your GPS, you will receive directions to the Blue Whale of Catoosa.
Pretty self-explanatory, right?
Built in 1970, the whale was an anniversary gift from local Hugh Davis, as a surprise for his wife, who collected whale figurines.

This one would not fit on a shelf, and I sure as hell wouldn't want to dust it, but damn, is it cool!

The whale sits on what was once a spring-fed swimming hole, and its fins provided slides into the water. You can no longer swim here (I wouldn't want to; the water is murky at best) but it is a unique spot along Old Route 66 to stop, stretch your legs, visit the loo in a weird, round restroom, and take in a bit of old Americana. You can climb up on the whale's tail and enjoy the view, or have a picnic on the tables in the park area surrounding the whale.

I'll be honest: I knew it was going to be weird, and I sensed it would be just this side of crazy, but I sure didn't think we would enjoy this stop as much as we did. As we pulled up, we couldn't stop laughing; what a site from the side of the road! The directions were easy to follow, and honestly, if you missed it, you just weren't looking very hard.

Taking a quick stop on a long driving day, to rest our legs, laugh, and eventually stop at Sonic, was the best way to christen our Epic Road Trip. It was at this first stop that I realized Alex would do just about anything, as long as the company was good. He's really grown in to quite an awesome human.

Me and
So there we were, the aunt and her favorite boy, having found our whale. At this point in life, both Alex and I are heading off on separate, yet similar, paths; he, to learn and grow and find his career. Me, to move on from a place I love but can't afford to a place I hope to love and can enjoy a more balanced life. The search is what brought us here; the search, ironically, brought us to an old swimming hole in the middle of an Oklahoma lake on a warm August afternoon. Our quest for self discovery brought us to a bit of 1970s kitsch, and brought us closer together as a result.

Life is, I suppose, a series of self-discoveries as we search for who we are meant to be. And, if you're really lucky, you get to do it alongside some pretty amazing people.

Call me Ishmael.

Next up: The importance of knowing where your friends are.

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