Heartland

Heartland

Cool sculpture near downtown Oklahoma City, OK

Cool sculpture near downtown Oklahoma City, OK

After leaving Amarillo, we blazed through both Oklahoma and Arkansas rather quickly stopping for just a few days at each state.

It’s true what people say, the produce in the Mid West, well, at least in Oklahoma, is just not great. The produce section alone is proportionally small in comparison to what we are used to in the West. We tried two different stores, one of which proclaimed to be focused on healthy eating, but both were trying to sell soggy kale and slippery green onions. No wonder nobody eats their veggies. 

George on the loose for a few moments.

George on the loose for a few moments.

In Arkansas we had our first experience living in a dry county. I cannot tell a lie, we smuggled alcohol into the Long Pool State Park and secretly drank it in discrete cups. The concept of a dry county is strange to me, but I kind of wonder if that cuts down on drinking related driving deaths?

In Oklahoma, and this is just an observation and/or coincidence from our short stay there, we saw more people missing their front teeth than we would on a usual trek around town. I like to think it was just a coincidence because all around town was a franchise called “Dental Depot” that looked like it was a good place to get dental work done on the cheap.

Our camp site just outside of Oklahoma City, OK.

Our camp site just outside of Oklahoma City, OK.

One thing we just could not stop saying in Oklahoma was "OKAY".

Seriously?

Seriously?

In Arkansas, and this may have just been an indication of our camp site deep in the Ozarks, there were more bodies six feet under than people living above ground. On the gentle rolling hills of the landscape covered with trees, we were lucky to be there to see the first buds of spring which would progress to a cooling shade canopy in the coming Summer months.

Relaxing on a hike in the Ozarks. Under these rocks is an extensive network of shallow caves.

Relaxing on a hike in the Ozarks. Under these rocks is an extensive network of shallow caves.

Just a few steps from our campsite in Long Pool in Ozark State Park, Arkansas

Just a few steps from our campsite in Long Pool in Ozark State Park, Arkansas

At the slightly higher elevations, spring had not sprung yet, but you can see rolling trees forever.

At the slightly higher elevations, spring had not sprung yet, but you can see rolling trees forever.

Foregoing an expensive meal at the famous Cattlemen’s Restaurant (not the same as the chain) in Oklahoma, we did get some nice steaks to cook on the barbecue, and tried a few experiments with flavoring various items hickory chips which I will go into on a later post as we hone in our technique. A previous camper had left a nice set of campfire skewers, so we took that as a sign to enjoy our first s’more of the trip.

At nightfall, it was dark and exquisitely quiet in our camp site in Arkansas, and these are clearly becoming two things that we really find contribute to our overall happiness. It feels good to be getting to the heart of what’s important to us.

We were one of three visitors at the campground.

We were one of three visitors at the campground.

Two Kings of Memphis

Two Kings of Memphis

Home of the Free

Home of the Free