Sunday, October 18, 2015

Woolaroc--Wood, Lakes and Rocks

Riverside RV Resort and Campground
Bartlesville, OK

I have no way of being able to convey our wonderful experience today.  There just aren't words or photos that can describe this treasure.

We took the short drive to the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve and arrived shortly after they were open. I still can't believe that the admission for seniors is $6 and $5 for senior veterans.  The lady at the gate was very friendly and surprised that this was our first time.  Now I know why.  I'm ready to return tomorrow.  She handed us a CD about Woolaroc to play while we made the two mile drive to the museum.
 Does this give you a hint about the man behind Woolaroc?

Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum has one of the most comprehensive western art collections in the world.
 The two mile drive took us through part of the 3700 acre wildlife preserve where there are more than 500 animals.  
It didn't take long before we saw these buffalo.  We saw more animals here than our 3 visits to Yellowstone combined. 

These are water buffalo which can weigh up to a ton.

Now bear in mind, we haven't even reached the museum yet. 

I won't spoil the story behind this for you.

The wildlife preserve was beautiful and serene.

There were not very many vehicles and we could actually stop on the road and take pictures.

I couldn't believe this was Sunday when I saw the huge parking lot.  There were just a few cars in the lot.  I should mention that there was a separate RV parking area.  

These are the doors to the musuem.  Originally it was the hangar where Frank stored his plane that won the solo race to Hawaii.

In this photo you can tell that all of this artwork is mosaic.  

Here's a statue of Frank Phillips.  
You can tell how large these bronzes are with Bill standing next to them.
I can't begin to explain how much artwork was in this museum.  Navajo rugs were hanging everywhere.
We've been to lots of museums but this is the first time I've ever seen shrunken heads.
I used to think I might like to live in Ecuador like Stu and Froggi McNichols, but the shrunken heads changed my mind.

This is Joe Miller's 101 Ranch Show Saddle which was made in 1914 in Sweetwater, Texas.  It was said to be "The World's Finest Saddle" when seen in the 101 Wild West Shows.  The horn is decorated with silver and 70 diamonds.  The saddle had 166 diamonds, 120 sapphires, 17 rubies, 4 garnets and 15 pounds of gold and silver.  Sorry the photo didn't show all the silver on the stirrups.  

Does this give you an idea of the quality of items in this museum?  Remember, we've seen the Cody Museum, the Western Heritage Museum and numerous other museums across the country and this one is just as good and maybe a better experience with the wildlife preserve.

There were numerous paintings from Frederic Remington, and Charles Russell.  There were bronzes everywhere.  

My photographs were pretty bad today.  This was one of the woodcarvings.
I really enjoyed the wood carvings.  
In Frank's earlier career he was a barber.  Bill would have stopped in his shop since he had a barber pole. 
This is how they came up with the name Phillips 66.

This room to the left told of Frank's life.  Bill didn't even see this room because when you went downstairs, to the right, was the Colt Firearm collection.  
I can't believe I'm posting this horrible photo but maybe you can tell the size of the collection.  The collection was of Colts and Winchesters, Bill couldn't have been happier.  Bill always enjoys seeing the artwork that goes into the engraved ones and there were plenty with lots of gold   inlay.  

Most of the Colts were hand guns with a few rifles in the collection.  This Colt Gatling gun was displayed.  

It was surprising to see the great condition some of the old guns were in.  The display also showed the number  produced and serial numbers.   I was surprised to see a number one.

I did like the engraving on this Texas Ranger one.
The next room showed the airplane.  I think I heard someone say that there were 14 rooms of artifacts.

The inside of the lease house.

Notice the anaconda snake skin above the lease house.  The skin is larger than the house. 
We didn't spend much time in the contemporary art collection as we needed to find someplace to sit down and take a break.
I took a photo of this because Sandi and Jim Dixon used to live in Billings and there son still does.  
This bronze was for sale for $12,000.  I thought maybe Sandi could get a discount and pick it up for fifty or so.
There was a very small concession stand where we both had BBQ buffalo sandwich.  There wasn't much to pick from and I wish we'd have packed a picnic lunch as there were lots of places we could have had a picnic.

Are you wondering what the bars are behind Bill?
That's my hand waving from the observation tower.
It's much steeper and narrower than it looks in the previous photo.

This bronze was by Joe Beeler, the cowboy is thanking God for the rain.  We had learned that Joe Beeler was a personal friend of Eddy Basha in Arizona. Have you ever visited the Zelma Selmere Basha Art Museum in Arizona? Many of Mr. Beeler's work's reside there.

 Fancy birdhouses were lining the parking lot.  We thought of Eddy Joe Gannon when we saw them.
We even walked through the petting zoo and they had an exhibit on the Bison and bones that kids could pick up.  I thought of Vicki Allen when I saw this windmill.  It looked like an Indian head dress.

We drove down to the lodge house and the bunk house as we were getting tired of walking.  My foot did great but I was glad once we got back into the truck. 
This was the bunkhouse but it now has some beautiful native american paintings instead of the horses and cars.
The lodge house was open on the first floor only.
Many famous people stayed here.  Will Rogers was a regular visitor.  
This photo of Jane Phillip's bedroom has photos of famous people that stayed at the lodge.  The visitors gave her autographed photos and if she didn't like you, the photos weren't put on the wall.

In the far right is our truck, the only one in the parking lot.  The building is the museum from a side view.
These buffalo crossed the road right in front of us.  

I know that the Zebras will mix in with other groups of animals but was surprised to see this mixture.  

It was almost closing time when we left the grounds.  We will return to this area.  The Phillips Petroleum Company Museum and the Frank Phillips Home is not open on Mondays or we would have extended our stay.  The Bartlesville Area History Museum and the Keepsake Candle Factory are also not open on Sunday.  The Tailgrass Prairie Preserve and the Dewey Hotel Museum will also be on our to see list when we return.  

We did drive by the Frank Lloyd Wright's Price Tower and Price Tower Arts Center.  It was closed but we did get this photo.  According to a brochure, this was Frank Lloyd Wright's only skyscraper built.  

We made a quick stop in Walmart and when we were returning to the RV park we saw these water towers.

Hot, Warm and Cold

Now I must ask my blog readers if they know the significance of all the painted buffalo's on most corners in this quaint town.  Can you imagine all this to see in a town of less than 33,000 residents?  

Turtle Safely........

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