We took Highway 121 north to Highway 82 to Paris, Texas. Then we put on a Google Map, which directed us through country highways and small towns until we reached Highway 3 in Oklahoma. As we drove, we listened to Thumbprint Radio, a collection of songs on pandora.com that my wife had "liked." These songs ranged from the sounds of the 1960s to the sounds of the 2020s. We turned onto the road by the North Pole Store, a convenience store. After three miles of bumpy gravel road riding, we arrived at Cabin 5 at River's Edge Resorts. We had last been there twelve years ago. Our cabin, like the others, overlooked the Glover River, a fairly wide, fairly shallow slow-moving river.
We dined on turkey sandwiches. Then we walked down a path to a primitive boat launch to the river. I took pictures on the shore of a Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly. Later, I reclined in one of those metal lawn chairs that sits long and mostly flat. I watched the birds overhead. Friday night we dined on roast chicken that my wife had brought from home.
Saturday we drove from our cabin down the dirt road. We saw a Blue Grosbeak sitting on a fence. We passed a riding party from Riverman Riding, a horse riding operation near our cabin. We drove an hour to Red Slough National Wildlife Reserve.This is a massive wetlands. We walked for an hour or so, seeing birds and water lily and flowers. We were pleased not to be bitten by bugs. Through alligators exist there, we did not see any. We drove to change positions, and wandered a bit on not-very-good roads. We got back on a highway to Broken Bow. We missed a turn, and somehow rolled into Little River County, Arkansas for a moment. We righted the ship, and headed toward Broken Bow again.
We passed into the county seat at Idabel. We stopped at a Subway sandwich shop for lunch. We had our masks on. The woman behind the counter did not, though she was shielded by a plastic shielding. We kept our distance, got our sandwiches, and ate in our car.
As we came into Broken Bow, we saw a sign for the LIttle River National Wildlife Reeserve access # 2, right beside town. We drove down that road. The reserve started with a sign explaining its function. We walked on the dirt road through semi-shade in this wetlands area. We came at last upon a wetlands pond where we saw a couple of Great Egrets. We followed a sign to Duck Roost Slough. It was lovely, with cypress trees, but we saw dragonflies rather than birds. I ok pictures of dragonflies that iNaturalist helped me identify as Great Blue Skimmers. When we crossed back by the wetlands pond, we saw a Little Blue Heron, a White-Faced Ibis, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, a Green Heron, and what I believe to have been a Tri-Colored Heron. We also saw Northern Cardinals along the trail.
We drove to Beavers Bend State Park. We stopped in the state park museum to ask for directions to a trail I had read about. We stood a long way from the maskless young man who gave us good directions. We went and hiked the Lookout Mountain Trail, a moderate 3 mile loop that allowed us to climb a mountain on a gentle slope. We enjoyed this shady, pleasant walk a good bit. This was a highlight of our trip. We saw the Kiamichi Mountains from the high point of our walk, through the woods.
We went back to our cabin, where we dined on tri-tips and sourdough bread. We got a good night's sleep. The man in the neighboring cabin fished the river from an easy chair. Later, a family a few cabins away swam in the Glover River.
Sunday morning I woke up an read 100 pages of "A Stranger in Olondria", a Sofia Samatar novel. We drove to Broken Bow Lake, and looked at the spillway and drove past the lovely Mountain Fork River.
We drove into Idabel, and went to the Museum of the Red River We had been there once before. The museum had been expanded through some nifty architectural additions. We enjoyed its exhibition of native American and indigenous peoples art and craft, as well as an exhibition of local Idabel artist Harold Stevenson, whose work we found very appealing. We walked on the shady little sidewalk behind the museum, and hit the road home. While Broken Bow had heavy traffic, Google Maps routed us around that, and put us on country highways until we got to Highway 82. I worked from home on Sunday evening.
During our time in Oklahoma, we did not see that many political signs. But the signs we saw uniformly proclaimed support for President Trump. People were uniformly polite, except the drunk driver on the road in the oversize pick-up. Except for visiting Subway and visiting the museum for directions, the only human interaction we had was passing, at a distance, a hiker or two on a trail. I suspected we were the only people in the parking lot who paid the $ 10 parking fee at the state park, but I lack proof on that score. Even checking into our cabin was contactless, as the cabin was unlocked. We brought our own pillows in perhaps an excess of zeal.
Monday and Tuesday proved busy work days, as I expected them to be. I took pictures of immature Eastern Bluebirds Monday at Bradfield Park. Tuesday evening storm clouds loomed overhead, but it barely sprinkled. Hurricane Laura is about to his the Texas coast, but we will likely see only some cooling rain up here in north Texas. I hope the people in Beaumont, a city of which I am fond, come out all right.
In Oklahoma, we had seen some migrating Monarch butterflies. I was pleased to see one Sunday and Monday enjoying our backyard milkweed at home. Perhaps we will get caterpillars.
from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice