An August 2004 trip
to Oklahoma City by hersplash
Quote: I heard there were cowboys in Oklahoma City, but it took a while to find them. Some were real, and some were just in paintings. Nontheless, you can get a good education about the lifestyle of the cowboy while visiting this city.
Attraction | "Oklahoma National Stockyards"
Throughout the stockyards, there is a cat walk which allows you to walk above the cattle to the stadium where the actual product is sold. Below you are thousands of cattle in pens, and you can watch as the workers sort the cattle by type. Further on down, you can watch as the cattle is identified and weighed for the actual auction. While I was there, they were selling 7,500 cattle. I was told that in the spring they usually have about 20,000 cattle there.
Inside the stadium, you can watch the actual auctioning. They move and sell these cattle so quickly, it was hard to identify who was actually bidding. (I guess these guys don't raise their hands.) And, of course, you have no idea what the auctioneer is saying!
If you go into the adjacent office building, you can get a book on the history of the Stockyards and a brochure on Stockyards City. This city has many neat shops which offer apparel, equipment, supplies, and dining.
The Stockyards are free of charge, and, although some say that tours are available, I couldn't find them. But it's quite easy to get around on your own. Boots are not necessary as you walk above the cattle. Just be prepared for a distinct smell and an overwhelming roar of the "moo" sound.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 6, 2004
Oklahoma City National Memorial
620 North Harvey Ave
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101
Attraction | "National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum"
Some of these galleries include:
Native American--featuring clothing and tools and explaining different tribes' motifs. American Cowboy--a tribute to the working cowboy and ranching life showing saddles, an extensive barbed wire selection, and other equipment. There is a Rodeo Gallery, Western Performers Gallery, American Firearms and other Art Galleries.
Besides the prized permanent art collection of paintings and sculptures, they had the Prix de West Art Exhibition and Sale on display (around June thru Sept. every year). This showcases paintings, bronzes and works in stone by the country's finest contemporary Western artists. The art is amazing and overwhelming, and almost brought me to tears. I was even tempted to spend a few thousand dollars to purchase one, but settled on a $65 book that shows them all.
The museum is for all ages, and even has a Children's Cowboy Corral and reproduction of a 1900's town. The restaurant was terrific and moderately priced. Because the museum is so large (I didn't include everything), the museum suggests itineraries for the amount of time you have.
This is a fabulous museum--very informative, beautiful, and fun. I'm saving up for next year's Prix de West!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 6, 2004
National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center
1700 Northeast 63rd St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111
(405) 478 2250