After our “continental breakfast” (one very sticky glazed doughnut) and quite a bit of frustration that the internet would not work well enough for us to book a hotel for the night (we ended up having to phone), we didn’t leave the motel until 11ish. At our first stop for the day, Catoosa, we spotted the landmark we were searching for, a large blue whale, at the side of the road and pulled in to take photos.

The Blue Whale at Catoosa

Once a swimming hole, it has now been restored as a park, and as tempting as it was to attempt to use the slide on the whale, swimming was forbidden. The water didn’t look too inviting anyway. While we were there one of the people we had seen at Four Women on the Route yesterday turned up, and we had a brief chat with him. He came over from the Netherlands by boat in his camper van and is doing a similar road trip to ours, but on his own. Unlike us however, he is travelling all morning and stopping by 2pm, we are sleeping all morning and driving in the afternoons! Just as we were leaving a man who had been sitting by the water asked us a favour, to pose with a small man made of paper in front of the whale. While this sounds rather odd, he explained that it was for his grandson as part of a school project, and so we posed, each holding one of his paper hands, in front of the blue whale. That done, it was time to get back on the road to Tulsa. Also, did you know that Port Catoosa, is the most inland port in the USA? No? Don’t worry, neither did we. Arriving  in Tulsa, we had planned to visit a park that had been recommended, but could we remember its name? Of course not! So having typed Starbucks into the GPS, we pulled up outside the nearest one to sneakily use their free wifi from the car park. We managed to find the name and address of the park, and a local hairdresser for Liz to get her fringe cut. The haircut took a matter of minutes and we drove the mile or so straight down the road to Woodward Park. At this point, remembering that it was Ben & Jerry’s annual free cone day, we looked up the address of the nearest Scoop Shop, only to find that there are none in THE WHOLE OF OKLAHOMA!!! This is a complete travesty and we were extremely disappointed.

The blue fountain

It was a lovely day to be outside, so in order to get over our Ben & Jerry’s related disappointment we went for a wander around the park. Including a small ornamental garden around a fountain and a greenhouse with various flowers and a whole room of different species of cacti. Venturing further afield we also discovered an arboretum at the back, and wandered along the path admiring the various trees. Finding a bench in the sunshine, we sat and chatted for about half an hour before deciding that we were hungry. We decided to go back to the Mexican next to the hairdressers for lunch and then to come back to the park to chill out in the sun for a little longer. The Mexican was both delicious and cheap, and feeling somewhat bloated after our huge meal we returned to the park with our books. Choosing to sit at the front of the park this time, I found a bench to sit on, while Liz stretched out on the grass. We passed about an hour this way, moving occasionally in an attempt to tan evenly. We were both amused to notice that in order to make the fountain look more appealing, they dye the water blue, but it seemed that they had gone somewhat overboard and managed to dye it a bright neon blue, very unnatural. At about half 3, slightly too hot and bored, we decided to find the hotel. About a block away from the park entrance, we realised that we had missed a huge and very pretty section of the park, a rock garden with loads of brightly coloured flowers and streams running through it.

Woodward Park

We pulled in to have a short wander and to take some photographs, as well as to play on the swings. Our hotel for the night did not look to be a particularly salubrious establishment from the outside, but the room was perfectly fine and clean, perfect for a night of doing nothing, after a busy day of doing not a lot…

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