The past few days have been laughably bad for me but yesterday took the cake. Today is proving to be better but I'm still needing much positivity and uplifting so I've chosen to relive this past Sunday where my mister kidnapped me for a day trip to a part of Oklahoma I had only tiptoed on before.
We awoke before sunrise, loaded up the car, packed up the beast and headed southeast for a much needed escape from normalcy on a stunning day.
After a few hours in the car, we found ourselves at Robbers Cave, a notorious hideout for many of the bad boys from Oklahoma's past including Belle Starr and Jesse James.
We hiked and hiked all over the place! In fact, my legs are STILL sore from it! I was amazed how well the beast did traipsing along the giant boulders. There were a few times he didn't quite make his jumps so we'd have to help his gigantic bum up or he'd start to slide down some of the rocks but he never gave up! He was my motivation to keep on trucking.
Standing atop the cave was breathtaking. Standing atop the cave on a beautiful day with my mister and my beast was memorable, to say the least.
After exploring the cave portion, we found ourselves in the Stone Corral which is where the outlaws would hide and shelter their horses. It amazed me to imagine horses climbing those huge rocks but I suppose if the beast could do it, so could they.
I was also floored by discovering that a bloggy friend, Kwill, on the other side of the country hiked and explored horse caves on the same day we did!
And this. This picture makes me so happy.
Since I wore a scarf around my neck and we were at Robbers Cave, it was only appropriate a shot like this was taken.
After a good while exploring, we perused the gift shop and nature center...complete with soft-shelled turtles and snakes galore! The beast was even allowed to 'shop' with us :)
The park is situated on Lake Wayne Wallace (never heard of it? Yeah, me neither) which I would love to come back and swim in during a camping stay.
Being as insanely busy and overwhelmed as I currently am, I told the mister that if we were to go on this trek, every bit of planning was up to him. I was just along for the ride. It was in the park where we dined on the most fantastic picnic lunch made by him...salads, sandwiches and Gardettos, a road trip staple for me.
The second part of our journey was planned to be spent driving across the Talimena Drive which is a long stretch of scenic highway on the top of the Ouachita Mountains, one of Oklahoma's three ranges. Well, we made it about a quarter of a mile into the drive before I got a little overwhelmed by the combination of the height and the high winds so we snapped a few shots and back down to lower ground for scared ol' me. Maybe another time...maybe.
But with our detour came an unexpected surprise - Spiro Mounds! I had been to the mounds several years ago while volunteering with the Tulsa Foundation for Architecture on a fantastic 'Outlaws Tour' led by the famous Michael Wallis.
Spiro Mounds is the ONLY prehistoric Native American site that the public can visit in Oklahoma. It's amazing to me that such a civilization thrived there and that evidence of them remained hidden for thousands of years!
A replica of the village is slowly being rebuilt which you can mosey through to learn about how life was long before we can even imagine.
If you're needing to run away for a day, I highly, HIGHLY, recommend the trek we took.
I'm so thankful that the mister made me quit working for a bit (although I did bring a little work with me ;) and get out on the road. It's a day I'll never forget. We're already busy planning our next Okie day trip!