The Edmond Sun

Features

April 6, 2008

Oklahoma tourism tour highlights state's great places to visit

EDMOND — Every time I come home from a press trip, someone comments, “Gee, I want your job.” Yes, it’s a lot of fun but it’s also serious business. State tourism organizations, convention and visitors’ bureaus and destinations host groups of writers, introduce them to their product(s) and hope for press coverage in return.

Last fall, the state of Oklahoma hosted a major press tour. Two dozen writers from across the country descended on the state for five days of constant activity.

The tour was organized and conducted by Geiger and Associates, a public relations firm that specializes in tourism exclusively. Its reputation and relationship with hundreds of writers make it efficient in meeting both its clients’ and the writers’ needs. The firm only represents clients who can offer writers great story opportunities.

In order to let you know what a travel writer’s life is like on the road, I’ll share with you one day’s schedule. On this day, I chose a Route 66 excursion, one of several options offered.

• 7:45 — Leave Tulsa accommodations.

• 8:30-9 a.m. — Blue Whale, Catoosa. Considered a Route 66 icon, the whale actually was built several years after the eclipse of the historic highway by the interstate. Hugh Davis built the structure for his wife as an anniversary present in 1972. She must have been the girl who had everything! In its heyday it was a popular spot for local children who enjoyed diving and sliding into the water from the happy cerulean cetacean. Today it attracts photographers and nostalgia buffs but its days as the hit of the old swimming hole are long gone.

• 9:30-10:30 a.m. — The Will Rogers Memorial, Claremore. This stop was typical for us — not enough time to see everything, just enough time to get a quick overview. Will Rogers was such an amazing and versatile person. It would be helpful to schedule visits long enough to read some of Will’s writing, watch some of the movies and get acquainted with Oklahoma’s best-loved son. And we all rubbed the toe of his shoe for good luck.

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  • NAMI classes begin in September

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    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

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