Woolaroc! The name is a conglomeration of woods, lakes, and rocks. These are things that Frank Phillips wanted to preserve for his enjoyment, while modern-day oilmen take no issue with cutting down entire mile sections of forest to erect another well. At the entrance, they give you a map showing general areas for the various wildlife, and a nice CD to narrate your drive along the five-mile trail.
Then, we headed to the Woolaroc Museum. Frank Phillips, founder of Phillip 66, wanted to preserve the western spirit of Oklahoma for future generations. Half of the museum focuses on Native American heritage. The boys were particularly fond of this pow-wow exhibit, in which the dancers actually sing and move around a carousel.
One piece of the museum that we found fascinating was the 1927 Dole Air Race. Of the eighteen planes entered to fly from northern California to Hawaii, only two landed safely. Phillips entered the race as a publicity stunt, to get his new oil products into the spotlight; and he won the race in 26 hours, 17 minutes, earning him the $25,000 first prize.
At his "getaway lodge," which could double for a good-sized hotel, you will see numerous trophies on the walls. I found it ironic that a man who would create a wildlife preservation would be so into big-game hunting....in psychology, we call that reaction-formation. It's difficult to see, but the elephant head on the wall came from the Ringling Brothers circus. During a poker game one night, he won the entire circus, but later allowed the circus owner to win it back. When the elephant died, Mr. Ringling had it stuffed and sent to Mr. Phillips as a token of the 'time he owned the circus.'
From the lodge, there are beautiful hiking trails that lead down to a large lake and picnic area. We spent a lot of time hiking, and enjoyed the beauty around us.
Books for Mom or Dad