Oklahoma: Cowboys, Indians, The West and Route 66
22 September - 3 October 2024
On this tour we take an in depth look at the American Indian tribes in Oklahoma. How they got there, how they survived, their culture and their battles. We also trace the final part of the infamous 1830's Trail of Tears. We look at the white settlement of the state, cowboys, the West, military history and get our kicks on
22 September - Day 1:
Fly to Oklahoma City via Fort Worth where we stay for two nights.
23 September - Day 2:
We stay local today. In the morning a visit the remarkable National Cowboy and Western Museum and after lunch the equally impressive Oklahoma History Center.
24 September - Day 3:
This morning we leave for Lawton and Fort Sill.
Here we visit the Museum of the Great Plains in Lawton followed by the Comanche Museum and Cultural Center and the Fort Sill National Historic Site (this includes Geronimo’s gravesite).
Overnight: Lawton or Fort Sill.
25 September - Day 4:
Today we drive on the old Route 66.
First to El Reno to visit Fort Reno. This fort was established in 1875 and has a wide range of artefacts.
Next we travel west on Route 66 to the town of Clinton. Here we have lunch and visit the Route 66 Museum.
We continue to the Old Town Museum in Guthrie. It is a two-storey Victorian building with artefacts of pioneers, rodeos and cowboys.
Overnight: Elk City
26 September - Day 5:
EThis morning we drive to the Battle of Washita site where Custer and his 7th cavalry attacked Chief Black Kettle and the Cheyenne in 1868.
The on to Kingfisher where we have lunch and visit the Chisholm Trail Museum, the most famous cattle trail of them all.
Our final stop of the day is the Territorial Museum in Guthrie to discover the origins of white settlers in Oklahoma and especially the 89ers. Those were the people who participated in the famous land run of April of that year.
27 September - Day 6:
Today we travel to the site of the two Civil War battles of Cabin Creek near Vinita. Next we drive to Viniita where we have lunch and visit the Eastern Trails Museum where we will learn more about the Cabin Creek battles.
Overnight: Muskogee, for two nights.
28 September - Day 7:
This morning we visit the Five Civilised Tribes Museum where we will learn about the tragic story of how those tribes were forcibly moved from the homelands to Oklahoma in the dead of winter on the infamous Trail of Tears.
After lunch we visit the Honey Springs Battlefield site.
29 September - Day 8:
We have a leisurely start to the day before we visit Muskogee War Memorial Park with WW2 submarine USS Batfish.
After this, we follow the water route of Trail of Tears, stopping briefly in Salliwah to see the site of Sequoyah's Cabin, the man who created the Cherokee alphabet, the so-called Talking Leaves.
Overnight: Fort Smith for two nights. (Arkansas)
30 September - Day 9:
We visit Fort Smith National Historic site where we will learn about life on the frontier, Indian Territory, the Trail of Tears and Civil War history. There is also a Civil War cemetery here.
After lunch we visit the US Marshalls Museum. This museum at the riverfront only opened in July 2023 and is highly recommended.
1 October - Day 10:
This morning we drive Atoka to visit the Atoka County Museum and Confederate Cemetery. Here we will learn about the Choctaw removal of the 1830's, a gunfight between local lawmen and Clyde Barrow (Bonnie and Clyde), local history and look at the marker for the lesser known Civil War battle called Middle Boggy.
On to Fort Washita Historic Site. Established in 1842 with lots of Civil War, Native American and Gold Rush history.
Finally to Sulphur and a brief look at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
2 October - Day 11:
Returning to Oklahoma City, we will visit the 45 Infantry Division Museum, which is an exceptional military museum.
Later that day we visit the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum. A very moving site dedicated to the memory of those who died in the bombing of 1995.
Overnight: Oklahoma City.
3 October - Day 12:
Return flight to London Heathrow via Fort Worth