The great thing about living in a fairly rural area is that it’s pretty easy to hit the open road and feel that getting-out-of-Dodge thing. The catch, of course, is that you need a destination on the other end. Living in Boston or NYC, people are spoiled in that a 1-2 hour drive in any direction leads to so many different places — mountains, ocean, lakes, suburbs, farms, big towns, small towns, etc. Northwest Arkansas, like many other parts of the country, doesn’t accommodate in that way. To put things in perspective, these are the driving distances to some other cities in the region, none of which take you to mountains or salt water. Sigh.
Tulsa: 2 hours
Little Rock: 3 hours (this is a big state!)
St. Louis: 5-6 hours
Memphis: 5 hours
Dallas: 5-6 hours
Oklahoma City: 3 hours
Took an off-and-away road trip with few girl friends to our closest city, Tulsa, a few months ago. There are no corn fields on the way to O-k-l-a-h-o-m-a like the drive to KC. Instead, there’s a Westward Ho feeling going on where it becomes clear why the license plates sport the ‘Cherokee Nation’ tag. Oklahoma just feels a little more cowboy.
Hallelujiah, Tulsa is a real city! I was probably irrationally excited about finding it only two hours west of here, but there it was, tall buildings and all. Hung out at a couple of amazing bars: the Crystal Pistol Saloon (what a name) and The Sound Pony. One of them had a big concrete backyard that made for a rockin’ dance floor, especially given the MGMT-like music their DJ pulled together.
Tulsa = a-OK in my book. It’s no Portland, ME/OR or San Francisco — but hey, who am I to look a gift horse (or Sound Pony?) in the mouth.