I didn’t get to sleep until well after midnight and woke up with a migraine, which sucked because we wanted to get on the road early. We did manage to get up and out and headed south to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. It was intermittently foggy, but not a bad day for traveling. Following the GPS on my phone, we got most of the way there when it turned us off onto a dirt road. It appeared to be well-worn, so we continued. There were some cool-looking cows along the way that seemed to think we were in the wrong place. Some just stared, but some ran away. That should have been our first clue. A little way further we saw what we thought was a dog in the road. It did the squirrel thing and ran down the road in front of us for a ways. When it finally turned to run into the brush, we realized that it was a coyote. Still a little further, we passed a “Dead End” sign. The GPS was still telling us there would be a right turn up ahead. At this point we had to go further to find a place to turn around anyway, so we soldiered on. Well, there was a turn, but it was basically two muddy ruts in a grass path. Ugh! We pulled in to turn around in time to see a fox running across. This was the day for animals! I hopped out to make sure MW had plenty of clearance as he backed up. As I was standing at the back of Penelope directing him, I heard a LOT of hoof beats coming at me. I turned around to see a small herd of young cows running to the gate beside me. That must be where someone comes to feed them. They stood looking at me expectantly for a bit before figuring out that they were out of luck for the moment. Slowly they started back into the field. I love cows and it was really cool! We got everything headed in the right direction, but not before spinning some tires in the mud. Poor Penelope looked like we had been mud running! The front had mud all the way up to the top of the window and the stabilizer jacks looked like they had been dipped in concrete (when it dried, it felt like concrete, too)!
Finally back on the main road, we decided to skip that one and head to the Tom Mix museum in Dewey, Oklahoma. He was an actor in westerns. Strike two! Although it was supposed to open at 10 AM, we waited until around 10:15 AM and no one showed.
Our next attempt was the Will Rogers Birthplace, Dog Iron Ranch on Oologah Lake. It was a pretty drive back off of the main road, and the house sits on a ridge overlooking the lake. It was moved here from the original farm, which is now under water from when they dammed up the river in the 1950s. Will was 25% Cherokee and his father owned 60,000 acres. Both parents were part of what some call the “Cherokee elite”. Clem served as a member of the Cherokee Senate and as a judge in the Cherokee nation. Later he became Vice President of the First National Bank in Claremore, where he worked until his death. The ranch was nice with a house and barn with terrific lake views. We walked around there a bit, running into a peacock in the barn who looked like someone plucked his tail feathers.
Next we headed to Claremore to check out the Will Rogers Museum and get “the rest of the story”. (You need to be a little older and from the south to understand the quotation.) Will was the youngest of eight and bounced around a lot before making it to vaudeville, which was his stepping stone to stardom. While some of his stances were quite liberal, he had a logical thought process and quiet manner that I like. Politicians now could learn a lot from him because he got along with everyone regardless of beliefs. We were surprised that 1) he was an expert roper and did many tricks, some of which have never been duplicated, and 2) he made 71 movies. He died in a plane crash in Alaska with Wiley Post. (There are airports in Oklahoma City named for both Rogers and Post.) We really enjoyed this museum.
Back on the road we continued east, stopping in a grocery store parking lot to have sandwiches and walk around a little. After crossing into Arkansas, we found our way to the Lake Wedington Recreation Area campground. This was a primitive/boondock site but has a bathhouse w/shower, and on the lake, though our site was up in the woods. It was fairly level side-to-side, but front-to-back was really off. That is the easy one to fix, though, and we got Penelope set up quickly.
We just had time to get cleaned up before heading into Fayetteville to meet Charlie and Leeann Collins at La Hacienda. Charlie was MW’s college roommate, and although I’d heard a lot about him over the years, this was the first time we’d met. They were both really nice. Charlie has been a state representative in Arkansas since 2011 and is nearing the end of his re-election campaign. (So if you live in District 84, take a look.) After dinner we went to their house where we met their two sons. (Their two daughters are living out on their own. One is in the Merchant Marine service!) We reluctantly left about 9:30 PM hoping it won’t be so long before we meet again and crashed as soon as we got back to Penelope.
More pics from today:
We were up and out before sunrise this morning to get over to Gassville to stop in at Great Escapes RV Supercenter. (They carry the Grand Design and Cougar models I wanted to look at.) There, Roger Rose spent a bit of time with us comparing the models and really helped us narrow it down to one. Unfortunately he didn’t have the one we chose with the theater seating option, so we didn’t get to trade now. (Later I did find one in Rural Hall, NC, though, so we will check that out when we get home.)
Our next stop was lunch at McDonald’s in Mountain Home. MW found out that McRib is back, so there will be a LOT of Mickey D’s over the next few weeks! (Personally, I don’t see the appeal.)
Back on the road we continued over to the Davidsonville Historic State Park, where we plan to spend a few nights. This is a REALLY nice one. The sites are spread out a little in a wooded area, and they have the cleanest bathrooms so far. The town of Davidsonville only existed for 15 years from 1815 thru 1830. It dried up when the river became less used for commerce. Some relics have been excavated, and the park was established to protect it because it was the first county seat, post office, land office, and courthouse in Arkansas. There are nice trails and picnic and play areas, too. They also rent canoes to use on the river.
After getting set up, MW worked on getting a fire started for hotdogs and smores. Yum! While I was talking to Kate, the preacher from the church across the road stopped by to say they were having hot dogs and fireworks tonight and invited us. That was really nice! After dinner we relaxed for a bit and took a walk around the grounds. We watched a movie tonight called 13 Ghosts on Svenghouli. It was from the 1960s and had Martin Milner (Adam 12). It was kitschy Halloween fare, but entertaining. The park was about half-full tonight, and a few folks were a little noisy, but they quieted down around 9:15 PM. That is good, because you know I WILL go out there! LOL