Our Oklahoma Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 750 miles, and drove for 11 hours and 58 minutes during our week in Oklahoma.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Road Side Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in Oklahoma the past week.

Famous Person: Shannon Miller

Famous Food: Navajo Fry Bread Taco

Roadside Attraction: Twister Museum

State Capitol/Museum: Oklahoma City

National Park: Chickasaw National Recreational Area

Historic Location: Trail of Tears

Can't Miss Attraction: Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum

Made in the USA Tour: Calm Waters; Center for Children and Families

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in Oklahoma over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $150.00

$ 2.22 gal. in Enid, OK was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.35 gal. in Tulsa ,OK was highest price paid.

Comments:

We went through a lot of gas, because Oklahoma is where the wind blows.

Groceries: $211.00

Walmart $70.00

Costco $119.00

Sprouts $22.00

Comments:

We bought a lot of groceries while in Oklahoma!

Dining out $36.00

Starbucks $8.00 (Tea x3 in exchange for free Wifi)

CiCi’s $9.00 (Pizza buffet on the go)

CiCi’s $13.00 (Pizza buffet on the go)

Costco $6.00 (Pizza on the go)

Comments:

Pizza is our downfall, but it is cheap.

Entertainment: $61.00

Redbox $4.00 (Movies x2)

Trail of Tears $17.00 (Admission x2)

Oklahoma Museum $30.00 (Admission x2)

Twister Museum $10.00 (Donation)

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Lodging: $49.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x6 nights)

Motel $49.00 (Budgeted)

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Miscellaneous: $4.00

Parking $4.00

Comments:

We did great in this category!

Oklahoma Expenses Grand Total: $ 511.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc. )

Is Oklahoma Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.

Economy:

Nate: 1

“Although the State’s Constitution requires a balanced budget, the Oklahoma state budget is facing an undisclosed shortfall in 2018, which will require tapping into their rainy day fund. Oklahoma ranks 2nd in the nation for spending in penitentiaries, and ranks 50th in the nation for funding schools! I was shocked to see thousands of striking teachers outside of the statehouse, which is currently undergoing a $245-million-dollar renovation! This government's priorities are ass backwards!

Lori: 2

“Energy, finance, transportation, agriculture, and aerospace make up the basis of the Oklahoma economy. The unemployment rate of 4.1% is on par with the national average, but the average household income in Oklahoma is $49,176 which is 39th in the nation. We can most certainly do better elsewhere!”

Economy score: 1.5

Cost of Living:

Nate: 3

“With an income tax of 5.25%, a sales tax as high as 11.5% after local surcharges, and ranks 24th in the nation for property tax, Oklahoma is not an overly tax friendly state. To make matters worse, the state taxes groceries!”

Lori: 7

“Compared to the national average, in Oklahoma; housing is 38% cheaper, gas is 15% cheaper, and food 6% cheaper! That sounds A “OK” to me!!!

Cost of living score: 5

Quality of life:

Nate: 1

“Oklahoma has the 2nd highest incidents of tornadoes in the US! If that wasn’t bad enough, the state is notorious for wild fluctuations in temperature and rainfall. One week it is flooding, and the next week there is a drought! I’LL PASS!!!!”

Lori: 1

“Oklahoma has a violent crime rate of 4.5 which is 25% higher than the national average! This is totally unacceptable for our potential new home state. You better be carrying if you live in Oklahoma!”

Quality of life score: 1

Culture:

Nate: 5

“When it comes to social outlets and entertainment, Oklahomians enjoy; BBQ, rodeo, football, religion, country music, guns, fishing, and any and every outdoor activity!”

Lori: 6

“Although Oklahoma ranks 48th in the nation for solar energy, the state generates 32% of their energy from wind, and ranks 3rd in the US for wind energy! If Oklahoma is where the wind blows, why not put that wind to good use!”

Culture Score: 5.5

Environment:

Nate:4

“With 42 state parks, 6 national parks and 62 lakes there are plenty of outdoor fun to be had in Oklahoma. Driving through the rural part of the state, the roads were well maintained and I encountered little traffic. However, driving in Tulsa and Oklahoma City was a nightmare of detours, potholes, and bumper to bumper traffic”

Lori:3

“Most of the state’s residents live in the Eastern part of the state in and around Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and outside of the city, access to goods and services are far and few between! The majority of the state consists of vast expanses of rural land. In Oklahoma, you either live near a city, or farm!”

Environment Score: 3.5

The verdict is in:

The final score for Oklahoma was 3.3, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Georgia 6.8

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

Alabama 5.9

California 5.9

Kansas 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

South Carolina 5.4

Arkansas 5.4

Mississippi 4.7

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Oklahoma 3.3

Illinois 1.9