Friday, October 24, 2014

Back to the Piney Woods

After enjoying a beautiful sunrise out our back window, we said goodbye to our friends, hooked up the RV and left Hutchinson on Tuesday, October 21.  

I maneuvered us through Hutch and almost all the way to Tulsa.  I was glad to be so comfortable handling our rig under different driving conditions.  It’s really a pleasure to drive, and our Copilot Truck software gives us confidence that we won’t wind up on a bridge that won’t support us, or scraping the air conditioning units off on a too-low underpass.  (When we bought the software, we put in all our rig’s vital statistics, and the software analyzes our route and sends us on roads appropriate for our size.)

But the driving conditions did get interesting.  Sometimes “Mr. Rogers” as we call the voice of Copilot Truck, doesn’t consider all the things we would like.  After an uneventful trip across Kansas and through a lot of Oklahoma, we were glad to be nearing our destination, Walnut Creek State Park near Prue, Oklahoma.  The park was well-rated by RV Park Reviews, which has been pretty reliable for us.  In addition, friends have stayed there in the past.  

Walnut Creek Park is located on Keystone Lake, and Mr. Rogers directed us to take a round-about route to get there.  The road conditions got worse and worse as we went along, but there was no place to turn around.  We were bouncing along at 20-25 mph, and I’m convinced some of the potholes were as bad as the frost heaves our friends Janet and Ray encountered on their RV trip to Alaska!  Finally, Mr. Rogers told us we were at our destination, but there were no signs, and only a very small road we weren’t about to take.

We continued on for a half-mile or so, and pulled in to the only convenience store/gas station on that entire stretch of road.  Then we got the news .… The park was located on Corps of Engineers Land and operated by the State of Oklahoma.  According to the locals at the convenience store, the park wasn’t profitable and on October 1 the State of Oklahoma returned it to the COE.   The COE unceremoniously closed it and removed the sign, leaving us and who knows how many other people wondering what happened!  We were disappointed, but at least we didn’t have to take that very small entrance road.

John took over the driving to give me a rest, and a half-hour later, we pulled into Keystone State Park.  We had just enough time to unhook and set up before it began to get dark.  Most of Keystone’s sites are on the small side, but # 302 fit us well.  The dogs liked the big, grassy yard, and there were nice areas to walk and stretch our legs.  

John’s arm is much better and he drove us home to Texas on Wednesday.  We took several toll roads as we crossed Oklahoma, including the Indian Nation Turnpike.  We have decided that, although the traffic is much lighter than on the interstate, the roads aren’t well maintained and it’s really not worth the $$$.  

We are presently parked in the piney woods in Lake Bob Sandlin State Park near Pittsburg, TX.  Space #11 is long enough to hold the RV, but the Volvo and Tracker are parked in an adjacent overflow area.  

Our yard is large and grassy, and has access to the lake.  

The dogs are enjoying themselves, especially since the park has several miles of walking trails that wind through the piney woods and a fishing pond where they take dips. 

The foliage is lush and beautiful.  Even though most of the leaves haven't taken on their fall colors, the beauty berry bushes are loaded!  We even found a few pink ones among the purple.

We are in this particular area to discuss some proposed modifications to our truck bed with a couple of guys who specialize in that work.  As a result, we’ve been driving around the area a bit.  Just outside the small town of Gilmer, we came upon a very unusual sight.

Some 30 fence panels were hung with women’s bras in every size and color imaginable.  We turned around for a better look, and saw this sign in front of the house.

Knowing there was certainly a story here, I consulted Google and learned that the fence is a project of Breast Cancer Survivor Cynthia Clark.  After her mastectomy in 2010, Cynthia didn’t know what to do with all her bras.  She decided to use them to raise awareness of breast cancer and the need for women to get a yearly mammogram, since that is how her cancer was detected.  She solicited help from family and friends, and In October of 2011, she, her daughter and granddaughter decorated the fence with bras.  

Women continue to donate bras to the cause, and each October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) Cynthia hangs bras on the fence around her house to raise awareness and help prevent this disease.  The number of bras displayed has now grown to over 800.  We were very fortunate to be in the area this month, and hope to see even more bras if we visit next October.

We discovered another not-to-be missed attraction in the area.  Vaughan's Catfish Restaurant is just outside the park entrance, only 5 minutes or so from our campsite.  On Thursday evening we indulged in their all-you-can eat special and enjoyed every mouthful.  It's been our only all-you-can-eat extravaganza this trip, and worth waiting for.  

(But I do think John looks a little guilty, don't you?)

No comments:

Post a Comment