The last couple of weeks have been harder for me. Knowing the cancer spreads is a burden. But nurse came on Tuesday and said everything she could check was in good shape. She advised if I had any energy at all to get out somewhere. Since we had canceled the New Mexico trip, we opted to try a local drive as a getaway. I found a 58 mile Ozark scenic drive and called for Biscuit an overnight at the Kennel. Pretending life was normal, we drove out.
We hadn’t been to Harrison, Arkansas or Buffalo River in years. Using a state tourism guide we did the Jasper Disaster Trail with over 300 curves. It wasn’t a disaster for us, but it was a disappointment. We saw the Buffalo River only once from a bridge, there were no pull outs or overlooks. The scenery might have been great had we been able to see through the thick trees! Also, we missed seeing any of the numerous elk due to the heat and time of day.
However, the wildflowers were impressive and the newly cut hay sweet smelling. The Queen Anne’s Lace fluttered like a lady’s lace handy. Delicate blue chicory dotted ditches, and black-eyed wild daisies were abundant. There were lots of black walnut trees, both new and old. I saw some Ohio buckeye trees I had never seen before. Also, the further south we wound, the more the mimosa trees appeared, their pink gauzy flowers looked like fairy tutus hung out to dry.However, the wildflowers were impressive. The Queen Anne’s Lace fluttered like a lady’s lace handy. Delicate blue chicory dotted ditches, and black-eyed wild daisies were abundant. There were lots of black walnut trees, both new and old. I saw some Ohio buckeye trees I had never seen before. Also, the further south we wound, the more the mimosa trees appeared, their pink gauzy flowers looks like fairy tutus hung out to dry.
We stopped for lunch at a café on the National Historic Register. It was not a particularly impressive building. Lunch was downhome cooking and tasted okay, but I eat downhome cooking all the time at home so I am less impressed than some folks. Poor folks, not unlike many eateries, can’t make a decent glass of tea though. It is so hard for me to pay $2 for a glass of poor tea!
So, we wound our way back out of the Ozarks, got dangerously low on gas, came out west of where we expected to be. Got on a major highway and as we are apt to do, missed our exit! We found ourselves not only west of destination but in the state of Oklahoma. We tried to find a motel, which in the area was not so easy. But found a bed and I crawled into it! Crackers and water for supper and while I usually don’t sleep well in a motel, this time I was out for 12 hours!
The next morning after a tasteless motel breakfast, we got on the road and headed to Muscogee for a museum listed on our map. This corner of Oklahoma is still in the Ozarks. There are trees and streams and rolling hills, but gone were the close stands of trees that pinned you to the road. Oklahoma opens up a bit here and begins to move towards western terrain. The land spreads and sky sweeps.
The Five Civilized Tribes Museum is very small but interesting. It is the building itself that carries the charm. This native stone structure was built in 1875 when the Five Tribes superintendent consolidated to serve all the tribes here. It is beautiful. The rock steps where ladies dismounted from wagons is still there. You could feel history here.
This was an interesting piece of work. Note how many flat irons could be heated on this stove all at once. Originally it was in a Chinese Laundry and then was used at the Eufaula Seminary Boarding school near Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Then we made an effort to find Miss Scarlett’s Tea Room about 40 miles away. We managed and again the structure was impressive. The food was good and presentation nice. There was a piano player for lunch which was quite nice to hear while we ate.
Then it was time to head home as I had done about all I could do. Once on i44 again, traffic became increasingly treacherous. Drivers were aggressive, careless, and mean-spirited. We were glad to arrive home in one piece!