At-Home Road Trip Answers: March, Week 2

Here are the answers for Week 1 of March’s At-Home Road Trip ticket book. Remember, to receive credit for this week, a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult must sign your page to confirm that you filled in the answers before the answers were posted. Click the post title for the full answers.


  1. In what state can you find the Spindletop Oil Field?
  2. In what state was the first parking meter installed?
  3. In what state do people celebrate a particular fiesta by burning Zozobra, “Old Man Gloom” to make way for a new, better year?
  4. In what state can you visit the Petrified Forest?


  1. Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea. The Texas oil industry started with a bang when a drilling attempt at a salt dome near Beaumont, Texas resulted in a high-pressure gusher of crude oil that reached 100 feet high and lasted nearly a week before workers were able to cap it. Other oil wells had been drilled in the United States prior to this, but the Spindletop discovery set off an economic boom and wild land speculation. The US became the world’s leading oil producer, and would continue to hold the title for several decades.
  2. Along with the US oil boom came a great increase in the number of privately owned automobiles, which by the 1920s and 1930s were becoming a real nuisance in cities. Newspaper editor Carl Magee sponsored a contest to develop a parking meter that would show at a glance if a parking space had been paid for or not, and turned to the University of Oklahoma for help. The first working model, called the “Black Maria”, was developed by Holger George Thuessen and Gerald Hale. After the contest, Magee would patent his own variation on the Black Maria, and it would be installed on Oklahoma City streets in 1935.
  3. The name “Zozobra” evokes an air of the supernatural, perhaps the name of a god of a long-forgotten religion. In actuality, Zozobra was created in 1924 by artist Will Shuster, and every year since then an effigy of the embodiment of despair is burned at the climax of a big party in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As Zozobra burns, your cares and worries are supposed to burn away with him. In 2020, the burning of Zozobra was streamed live online.
  4. You can find Petrified Forest National Park along Interstate 40, near the city of Holbrook, Arizona. Arcchaeologists have found signs of human habitation in the area stretching back 8000 to 15000 years ago, but the fossilized trees in the Petrified Forest are millions of years old. Taking a fossil from the Petrified Forest is widely believed to be bad luck, but it’s also against federal law.

How did you do? Remember, if you answered the questions at all, you earn a chance for the gift bag raffle at the end of the program in May. And if you answered them all correctly, you’ll get two chances! You can email a photo of your completed and signed answer page to, or drop off a completed and signed trip ticket at the library.