Catch The Spirit in Oklahoma City, and maybe check out the cowboy museum

November 19, 2018

Chuck Robinson


Oklahoma City’s calling the Spirit of the American Trucker south from OOIDA headquarters, where Jon Osburn, skipper of OOIDA’s touring tractor-trailer, has been catching up with directors and staff at the OOIDA fall board meetings.

The next stop for The Spirit is the Oklahoma City East TA Travel Center. It is at Exit 142 from Interstate 40.

Though it is called the Oklahoma City East TA, it is west of downtown OKC. There is another TA west of it on I-40 at Exit 140.

If you want to explore beyond the truck stop, Oklahoma City has some options for you and your truck.

Judging by the number of cowboy hats worn by many of us in trucking industry, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum might be of particular interest. It has an amazing collection of classic and contemporary Western art by artists ranked among the country’s greatest, including Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. Many of the works of art will be familiar and well-known.

There is a turn-of-the-century town. Also, there are interactive history galleries focused on the American cowboy, rodeos, Native American culture, Victorian firearms, frontier military and Western performers.

There is parking to accommodate your big rig, too, and access is easy. They handle buses there all the time. Take Exit 128B from I-44, go north up to N.E. 63rd Street and hang a right. The museum is on the right, or south side of the street. It is about 15 miles from the Oklahoma City East TA.

Admission to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is $12.50 for adults.

Here is another alternative excursion in Oklahoma City: the Crystal Bridge Conservatory at Myriad Botanical Gardens. Winter seems impatient to get settled in. However, you can bask in the sun and warmth of the Crystal Bridge Conservatory, and parking is pretty easy too.

The Conservatory has 13,000 square feet of tropical and desert plantings. There are about 750 varieties of plants. A cascading waterfall and a sky bridge gives you a birds-eye view into the tropical forest.

Myriad Botanical Garden is adjacent Chesapeake Energy Arena. There is truck and bus parking available south of the Bass Pro Shop under the bridge, which is less than a mile away on Reno Avenue.

Bass Pro Shop in Oklahoma City is only about a third of a mile from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill, which is in the Bricktown entertainment district, in case you want to wet your whistle.

Admission to the Conservatory is $8 for adults.

Whenever you see The Spirit tour truck, go say hello to Jon Osburn, skipper of The Spirit. He enjoys visiting about the Association’s activities and current issues. You also can join or renew your OOIDA membership for $10 off the regular price there. Also, you can get vouchers for flu, shingles and pneumonia vaccines from Jon at The Spirit.