The Road Less Traveled to Missouri

Oh man, have we been on some small roads, cruising through some quaint towns. Neodesha, Kansas (pop. 2,400) is one such town. I always say there are treasures to be found, everywhere, if one just seeks them out.

In 1892, drillers struck oil here. Named for the man whose land it was on, Norman Oil Well No. 1 was the first oil well west of the Mississippi River to produce a commercial quantity of oil.
It was also the first well drilled in the vast Mid-Continent oil field that covers parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. The Mid-Continent field became the major oil-producing region in the United States through the late 1930s. Norman No. 1, by opening up the Mid-Continent field, made possible the competition that eventually broke Standard Oil's stranglehold on the American petroleum industry.
Rounding another corner, we happened into Oklahoma and the land of the Quapaw Tribe of Indians. Since their removal west to Indian Territory in 1834, their tribal base has been here in present-day Ottawa County in northeastern Oklahoma. The number of members enrolled in the tribe is 3,240.
When buffalo all but disappeared from the plains of Oklahoma in the the late 1800s, so did the meat source upon which so many area tribes depended. But thanks to an initiative from this tribe, buffalo meat will soon be back on the menu for Native Americans. Buffalo, which has a texture and taste similar to beef, is much leaner and is considered much healthier to consume regularly. Interesting stuff and fun to look at.

We are here to let the Show Me State show us some stuff.

Our home for the next few nights is the State Park Campground at Table Rock Lake, in The Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. The lake came to be by the building of Table Rock Dam (1954-1958) on the White River by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This lake has over 800 miles of shoreline and is Branson's place to go to beat the summer heat. It is going to make a great base for our exploring this part of Missouri.

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