A very small stretch of one of America's most historically important roads is being dedicated as the Donald J. Trump Highway up in Oklahoma's panhandle. While the hot story surrounding it across the medias today is how it was "snuck" into a bill about bridge and road bill, it was literally a bill written to name several bridges and stretches of road across the state. No harm, no foul. The thing nobody is really talking about it is, this stretch of road travels through no-mans-land and the odds of you finding yourself on it are bleak.

Now I've been all over Oklahoma, but I don't think I've ever even crossed into the great wide unknown that is the panhandle, though it is on my list of places I want to experience. Black Mesa, tiger muskie fishing, high desert and endless roads. Sounds good to me. One of the many routes that can take you there is US 287, of which an Oklahoma portion has been named in President Trumps honor. It's a highways built long before the interstate system and stretches from Houston all the way up to Yellowstone National Park. I can't tell you if it's a good road or not, but as it exists in the panhandle, there's no inspiration of confidence in its condition... I'll tell you why.

I remember a story I heard from an old timer about the roads in the panhandle.There was once an Oklahoma politician named George Nigh. He was a public school teacher, a state legislature in the state house, a lieutenant governor, and finally governor of this great state. There's really nothing notable about his time spent in public service other than he is the reason "Oklahoma" is the state song in the 1950's, and his naming a stretch of Highway 3 in the panhandle "The Northwest Passage" in the 1980's.

This road stretches from the Colorado border down to Boise City, West to Guymon, and then it meanders down to Idabel in the swampy Southeast corner of the state. Upon naming the new "Northwest Passage" highway up in the long forgotten panhandle, Governor Nigh decided to take a trip up there to see his own handiwork. After shaking hands and kissing babies up in Guymon, the locals insisted they take him on a tour up this stretch of road to see it for himself. While driving down the road, where the sign was supposed to be that indicated this highway as "The Northwest Passage," someone had stolen the original and replaced it with another stolen sign that read "Primitive Road - Travel At Your Own Risk." Governor Nigh then got the true experience of how bad the road actually was.

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