The Galapagos Islands are routinely defined by gorgeous geography and diversity of species. The collection of islands, now a province of Ecuador, are also famously known as the impetus of the evolution theory brought forth by Charles Darwin.
This tranquil setting has brought on controversy for Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne. The long-term representative calls western Oklahoma home, not exactly a locale for giant tortoises and prehistoric marine iguanas, as the Galapagos are known for. Who could really blame an Okie farmer wanting to see exotic sights of the Pacific?
Well, tabloid television news program "Inside Edition" decided a congressional trip, paid by tax dollars, would be of interest to the American public. The broadcast reported five members of Congress, including Lucas, took a luxury trip and brought their wives along for some nice shopping.
Lucas, not wanting to appear like a Darwin-chasing tourist, quickly put out the defenses and portrayed his trip as "work oriented." Lucas also said he paid for his wife to tag along on the trip.
So, just how hard of a trip was it for Lucas?
"I slept on a concrete pedestal with a mattress on top of it," Lucas told The Oklahoman. "There was a shortage of water, and we showered in brackish water," he said, meaning salty water.
Lucas, who graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in agricultural economics, spends time digging through dirt and manure (of an apolitical nature) on his Oklahoma farm and he's complaining about showering in salty water? Hope he didn't try to ride one of those giant turtles. They don't quite giddy-up like an Oklahoma quarter horse.