One fine day, having seen all that we wanted to see in Anadarko, we drove the car about 50 miles to the town of Duncan, to visit the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center. Having seen that, we went home by way of the little former town of Meers, OK, where we stopped for a famous Meersburger. From there we headed home to Anadarko. However, the road construction people had different ideas.
Several highways we tried, or ones we were diverted to, had blockades and detours. All in all, we had to detour at least an extra 50 miles to get home. Saw a lot of Oklahoma farmland, though.
Down in Duncan, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center was most interesting.
The major outdoor sculpture depicts a cattle drive; it is one of the nation’s largest and most incredible bronze statues.
Inside the center itself, most of the dioramas and displays have been designed for educational purposes, with school children being the obvious intended beneficiaries. But we, as mid-sixty-ish kids, enjoyed the displays as much as anyone. In the Experience Theater, we viewed a 20-minute movie with a very participatory theme: we were able to smell the coffee and bacon cooking, feel the prairie winds on our faces, feel the thunder of hundreds of stampeding longhorns. At a couple of points, we actually got drenched with water during a rainstorm and a river crossing!
The Chisholm Trail was named after Jesse Chisholm, a merchant of Scottish and Cherokee descent. He and the Wichita Indians he traded with forged a trail from Kansas into southern Oklahoma. Later on, that trail became part of a much larger route for cattle being moved from Texas to railheads in Kansas. It wasn’t Jesse Chisholm's trail, and Chisholm died in 1868 without ever knowing of the great cattle trail or his association with the route.
At the former town of Meers, we stopped at the Meers Store (est. 1901), to try one of their famous “Meersburgers.”
The burger is ½ pound of very lean beef from their own herd of Longhorns, fire grilled and served on a 7” bun, with meat hanging out on all sides. The traditional Meersburger includes tomato, pickle, onion, lettuce and mustard. That is how their cowboys like it. They say that some folks like mayonnaise on their burgers, and that’s called a “sissy burger.” Some like ketchup on their burger, that’s called a “Yankee Burger.”
A few people like both mayonnaise and ketchup along with their mustard, but that’s just because they’re “confused.” We ordered ours straight, and were delighted!
We did make it home to Anadarko before it got darko, and truly had a great day in … Our Life on Wheels.