|Windmills near Weatherford|
The best I can tell the onion burger became popular during the Depression years. Restauranteurs searched for ways to make their expensive meat go further. Onions became a popular choice as filler because they were cheap and helped keep the burger moist. Eventually customers became accustomed to burgers with onion fried in, and the practice continued even after good times returned. Today the city of El Reno holds an annual Onion Burger Day each May and fries up a 700-pound burger. But onion burgers aren't the only thing to see.
Traveling west through Oklahoma the road flattens out as you approach this part of the state. The open prairie and red clay soil spreads out in front of you like a wide, rolling ocean. Your first hint of the desert that lies ahead are visible on the horizon. This is the highway that Steinbeck and Kerouac told us about.
Further up the road we discovered the Stafford Air & Space Museum in Weatherford. This was a real treat because they have a great collection of aviation and rocketry memorabilia. General Thomas P. Stafford, an astronaut and native of Weatherford, helped found the museum in 1981. They had to kick us out to lock the doors. We finished the day riding around the nearby wind farms that dominate the local horizon.
Riding these relatively flat roads isn't for everyone. In fact, some people downright hate it. Others see it as a kind of highway-speed meditation. I find there's a certain calm about locking down the throttle and heading across the plains. I just wish that darned wind would calm down.
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