....... departed Mt. Vernon in Texas and headed due north on highway 37. The roads are straight as an arrow but for a few bends. Through Hagansport, Bogota, Clarksville, Negley, Idabel, Broken Bow and Beaver's Bend. Finished the trip north along 259 through Hochatown with a few miles of eateries, craft breweries, wine shops and gift stores. A destination in and of itself. There are many older cabin rentals available along the way that draw folks from the bigger cities for peace/quiet, the beauty of the rolling hills and a get-away from the hustle - bustle of busy days.
Our destination that day was Beaver's Bend, an Oklahoma state park.
The road north out of Mt. Vernon had no traffic to speak of. We commented that here we are in the northern Piney Woods with roads seemingly just to ourselves. Further on, the land turned flat with large open fields, sparse trees and working homes along the highway.
Hazy morning with no traffic on north Texas highway into Clarksville.
We turned off the highway to take a quick tour through town.
The town square well represented many of the smaller towns we have traveled through. An old-west-looking walk way of sistered stores and shopping fronts. Brick roads in good repair but matching the times of those bygone days.
My wife ogles the court house neatly maintained and tucked away on one of the corners of the old town. She says, "the last train to Clarksville" which opened the door for us trying to remember the words of the song. "Clarksville" in the song exists only in the song. But it easily could have been this one when local boys were being drafted into the Army and then sent off to war.
We soon crossed the Red River into southern Oklahoma and the Choctaw Nation. A coffee break and stretching our legs was in order.
I crossed paths with an older local man at the coffee "bar." We said good morning to each other. He set his coffee cup down and said "brother, can you watch this for me, any kind of running water changes my life immediately." Off to the restroom he went and I guarded his coffee as I was learning the newer technology of getting one's own cup with all of the new coffee machines. No more glass pots freshly brewing or just getting old, sitting in the coffee makers.
Find cup, fill cup with creams that squirt from nozzles, colored sweetener buttons also squirts a foggy mixture of one's choice. Only straws available for stirring, I thought. Taste testing so that the wife too would enjoy the late morning coffee as we would soon hit the road again.
The older gentleman returned, apologizing for how long it took him. "Takes longer now, I gotta go when I have to go, the medicine helps but it just takes more time." I laughed because he was me. Any running water seems to flip switches in side this 78 year-old frame that are out of my control. It just is. Listen closely to old folks talking and you will hear similar stories. The fellow had me laughing out loud and it felt grand.
He headed to the pay counter as I was finishing up the final taste test and searching for a lid that fit. Standing behind him at the pay counter, he looked back and asked what I was getting and I replied just a cup of coffee for the road. He told the gal behind the counter to put it on his bill. A most kind gesture from a stranger in Oklahoma. And anyone paying attention would realize this kindness offered is best answered with similar, from the heart, kindness. I put my hand on his shoulder and said thank you and what a kind gesture. "My pleasure brother." Softly spoken. I teased that I wondered if I could get a rib eye with an order of fries, too. He yelled to the kitchen, "put on a rib eye and fries." He called my bluff and again had me laughing out loud.
I doubt that I would ever encounter moments like this in the Pacific Northwest or in the New England states. The Texan and Oklahoman human grains of openness and kindness to strangers runs deep and are infectious. So, in the car and off we go.
Crossing the Red River heading for Broken Bow and Beaver's Bend should have been on my bucket list. And the town of Idabel just for the saying out loud of Idabel. No matter how hard I try, Idabel does not roll of my tongue like it does the locals.
Broken Bow was busy. Traffic of working folk. Again, a normal bigger smaller town of this area. Beaver's Bend State Park was just up the road.
The back roads were bending up hill, downhill and tunneled by late-waning autumn leaves. They were narrow, no room for a good photo or two. Besides, we both enjoying the brief beauty of the short loop drive. Many cabins for rent and one guy, alone, fly fishing in the river.
This was a great photo opportunity, but absolutely no way to get on the bridge for photography. From the car had to be good enough. Pictures like this are found in outdoors magazines. But, in Beaver's Bend, there is a guy who stands in waders with the river above his knees, lost in a real-world of fly fishing.
Back to 259 to finish our trip. The highway drives straight through Hochatown. Both sides of the highway run with off-road gravel driveways, lined with any and all kinds of shopping. Craft breweries, wine tasting, doodad gift shops and restaurants for any wanting. Two-way traffic was challenging for me and made it difficult to look at the sights. My co-pilot called out areas to turn off for our inspection.
An hour touring was just fine and we did come home with some locally made chip dips and two new BBQ sauces. The one we opened when we got home (on the left) will become our go-to sauce, so good it's worth another trip north if need be.
From Mountain Man Meat
War Pigs is a veterans-owned company and Mountain Man Meat carries their brand.
We arrive back home an hour before sunset, as planned. We had FUN.
My bet is you will watch this short video of an eagle catching fish, twice
Another Thanksgiving this week. I have doubted the coming of holiday seasons now for a few years. However, it appears that 2023 turkey bird and "fixins" are in order.
Have a happy Thanksgiving day. Tell someone you love them this week and when you hug, hug!! No fake standoffish hugging.
Days in our lives for which we are grateful.
Thank you for the visit.